10 Philosophers/Mathematicians/Physicists That Have Helped Me See The World Differently
- We are bad at predicting the future, so I conduct experiments.
- We should design systems to benefit from volatility. So I am building a portfolio of solutions and services that can benefit from different economic cycles, shifts, and trends.
- Skin in the game. So we are self-funded.
1. Nassim Taleb
“Missing a train is only painful if you run after it! Likewise, not matching the idea of success others expect from you is only painful if that’s what you are seeking.” ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan
I am a big fan of Nassim Taleb. I try to incorporate his ideas in my entrepreneurship journey:
2. René Girard
“It is not difference that dominates the world, but the obliteration of difference by mimetic reciprocity, which itself, being truly universal, shows the relativism of perpetual difference to be an illusion.” ― René Girard
I confess, I only discovered Girard recently, but have been reading about the mimetic theory. His ideas are helping me be more self-aware and conscious about everything I do.
3. Daniel Kahneman
“Intelligence is not only the ability to reason; it is also the ability to find relevant material in memory and to deploy attention when needed.” ― Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
I read his book Thinking, Fast and Slow three times. I am learning to recognize biases like availability, sink cost, and What You See Is All There Is biases in me.
4. Marie Curie
“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.” ― Marie Curie
She is an excellent example of someone who did not let hardship break her. On the contrary, everything she went through fueled her spirit. She won the Nobel prize.
I learned from her that obstacles are the ways.
5. Max Planck
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ― Max Planck
This quote has never left my mind since I was in high school. I sometimes forget to apply it, but I strive to use it as much.
6. Michel de Montaigne
“I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.” ― Michel de Montaigne
I read passages from Les Essais when I was younger and fell in love with Montagne.
There is so much to learn from Montagne about the self. He put a lot of emphasis on humility and diversity.
As a privileged writer and philosopher, Montaigne emphasizes the importance of respecting peasants, bricklayers, and traders, since they possess knowledge that he does not.
“Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hatred, and hatred leads to violence. This is the equation.” ― Ibn Rushd, Averroes: Antologia
A great polymath. He brought religion and philosophy together.
He inspires me to think about religion philosophically.
8. Erwin Schrödinger
“If a man never contradicts himself, the reason must be that he virtually never says anything at all.”
― Erwin Schrödinger
I got to love physics through his equations. He taught me that it is OK to have contradictory thoughts or contradict myself. I always thought a reasonable man should never contradict himself.
“Most men and women, by birth or nature, lack the means to advance in wealth or power, but all have the ability to advance in knowledge.” ― Pythagoras
He helped me pass many math exams with his theory :)
10. Albert Einstein
“If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.” ― Albert Einstein
He is the reason why I love physics. I have a poster with the quote above as a reminder to keep things simple. Which I fail to do most of the time :)