Category Archives: Philosophy

Kurt Vonnegut Diagrams the Shape of All Stories in a Master’s Thesis Rejected by U. Chicago

Original article

Diagrams of Stories

“What has been my prettiest contribution to the culture?” asked Kurt Vonnegut in his autobiography Palm Sunday. His answer? His master’s thesis in anthropology for the University of Chicago, “which was rejected because it was so simple and looked like too much fun.” The elegant simplicity and playfulness of Vonnegut’s idea is exactly its enduring appeal. The idea is so simple, in fact, that Vonnegut sums the whole thing up in one elegant sentence: “The fundamental idea is that stories have shapes which can be drawn on graph paper, and that the shape of a given society’s stories is at least as interesting as the shape of its pots or spearheads.” In 2011, we featured the video below of Vonnegut explaining his theory, “The Shapes of Stories.” We can add to the dry wit of his lesson the picto-infographic by graphic designer Maya Eilam above, which strikingly illustrates, with examples, the various story shapes Vonnegut described in his thesis. (Read a condensed version here.)

Napoleon Hill’s 17 Principles of Success

Original article

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Think and Grow Rich- Google ebook

The 17 Principles of Success by Napoleon Hill

  1. Definiteness of Purpose – The habit of focusing your actions and thoughts on one high and desirable goal in life
  2. Mastermind Alliance – The habit of working in complete harmony with others for the attainment of a specific objective
  3. Going the Extra Mile – The habit of doing more than is required of you with the expectation of receiving greater compensation from direct or vicarious sources
  4. Applied Faith – The habit of acting as if you already have what you want in life
  5. Pleasing Personality – The habit of being generally agreeable and friendly with people
  6. Personal Initiative – The habit of starting tasks that are important to you and seeing them through to completion
  7. Positive Mental Attitude – The habit of looking for the positive side of every situation in life—especially during times of turmoil and adversity
  8. Enthusiasm – The habit of keeping yourself energized by focusing your life on what you love most
  9. Self-Discipline – The habit of choosing not to make negative choices that will cost you more than you gain
  10. Accurate Thinking – The habit of making decisions and forming opinions that are based on factual information and tangible evidence
  11. Controlled Attention – The habit of prioritizing your time and energy to stay focused on what is most important and beneficial
  12. Teamwork – [Basically the same as the Mastermind Alliance principle]
  13. Learning from Adversity and Defeat – The habit of learning from adversity and defeat and making gradual improvements because of those experiences
  14. Creative Vision – The habit of visualizing the things that you want most and the actions that will help you to acquire them
  15. Maintenance of Sound Health – The habit of keeping your energy level up by eating healthy food and participating in physical exercise
  16. Budgeting of Time and Money – The habit of taking time everyday to move closer to your definite major purpose and saving money to ensure steady financial growth
  17. Cosmic Habitforce – The habit of repeating desirable thought patterns and behaviors until they become effortless and self-moving
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Better Humans: The Enhancement Project

Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness.

All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.

-Immanuel Kant

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SCHOPENHAUER’S 38 STRATAGEMS, OR 38 WAYS TO WIN AN ARGUMENT

The Art of Being Right

  1. The Extension (Dana’s Law)
  2. The Homonymy
  3. Generalize Your Opponent’s Specific Statements
  4. Conceal Your Game
  5. False Propositions
  6. Postulate What Has to Be Proved
  7. Yield Admissions Through Questions
  8. Make Your Opponent Angry
  9. Questions in Detouring Order
  10. Take Advantage of the Nay-Sayer
  11. Generalize Admissions of Specific Cases
  12. Choose Metaphors Favourable to Your Proposition
  13. Agree to Reject the Counter-Proposition
  14. Claim Victory Despite Defeat
  15. Use Seemingly Absurd Propositions
  16. Arguments Ad Hominem
  17. Defense Through Subtle Distinction
  18. Interrupt, Break, Divert the Dispute
  19. Generalize the Matter, Then Argue Against it
  20. Draw Conclusions Yourself
  21. Meet Him With a Counter-Argument as Bad as His
  22. Petitio principii
  23. Make Him Exaggerate His Statement
  24. State a False Syllogism
  25. Find One Instance to the Contrary
  26. Turn the Tables
  27. Anger Indicates a Weak Point
  28. Persuade the Audience, Not the Opponent
  29. Diversion
  30. Appeal to Authority Rather Than Reason
  31. This Is Beyond Me
  32. Put His Thesis into Some Odious Category
  33. It Applies in Theory, but Not in Practice
  34. Don’t Let Him Off the Hook
  35. Will Is More Effective Than Insight
  36. Bewilder Your opponent by Mere Bombast
  37. A Faulty Proof Refutes His Whole Position
  38. Become Personal, Insulting, Rude (argumentum ad personam)