Favorite Things

READER BEWARE: This is a constant work in process, a cathedral that will take many centuries to build. So take each item as a moment's thought rather than a perfect personification.


  1. Anatomy of Peace by The Arbinger Institute (relationships)

  2. Essentialism by Greg McKeown

  3. The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane

  4. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (body)

  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle (mind)

  6. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

  7. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

  8. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson

  9. The Subtle Art of Not Giving an F*** by Mark Manson

  10. Eats, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynn Truss

Runners Up

  • I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

  • Eat Fat, Get Thin by Dr. Mark Hyman

  • Drive by Dan Pink

  • The Revolution by Ron Paul

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie)

  • The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by

  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig)

  • The Thank-You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuck)

  • Rework by DHH)

  • Start with Why by Simon Sinek)

  • Seven Habits by Stephen Covey)

  • Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes)

  • The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor)

  • Quiet by Susan Cain)


These are (often short) reads that ought to be read slowly, as if they were poetry, for the way they alter the tincture of the soul, and they ought to be read often because the tides of entropy are constantly working as an opposing force. Also please note that there are some duplicates from the other two book lists.

  • "This Is Water" by David Foster Wallace

  • Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

  • God's Debris by Scott Adams

  • The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck

  • The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

  • (?? Warfighting (MCDP1) by United States Marine Corps)

  • Anatomy of Peace by The Arbinger Institute (relationships)

  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving an F*** by Mark Manson

  • Maps of Meaning by Jordan B. Peterson

  • Bonds that Make Us Free by Terry Warner

  • Road to Serfdom? Something by John Locke? Anthem?

  • King Arthur by Roger Lancelin Green or Tolkien's arthur?

  • Meditations by Marcus Arelius or Tao of Seneca?

  • Eckhart Tolle a Whole new earth or way of the peaceful warrior

  • The mabinogion

  • Beothicus consolation of philosophy


  1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

  2. Peter Pan by James Barrie

  3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

  4. The Chronicles of Prydain (yes, all 5 books) by Lloyd Alexander

  5. The Once and Future King by T. H. White

  6. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

  7. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown

  8. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

  9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  10. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin *

Runners Up

  • The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

  • The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien

  • DUNE series by Frank Herbert

  • THE EXPANSE by James S.A. Corey

  • SPHERE and TIMELINE by Michael Crichton

  • LUCKY STARR Space Ranger series by Isaac Asimov (just some really fun pulp fiction that also teaches you about the solar system, or what they believed about it in the 1950s, anyway).

  • Shogun by James Clavell

  • The Witcher (series) by Andrzej Sapkowski

  • ?? Beowulf by Unknown

  • ?? The Twilight of the Gods by Wagner (or by Alex Alice, ha ha)

  • ?? The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

  • ?? The Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

  • Hmm. Common Theme: Character, Adventure, Imagination?


    • J.R.R. Tolkien

    • George R.R. Martin

    • J.K. Rowling

    • Dan Brown

    • Michael Crichton

    • Frank Herbert

    • Mark Twain

    • Brandon Sanderson

Coffee-Table Books

  1. Siegfried (trilogy) by Alex Alice

  2. Harry Potter Illustrated by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay (and the pictures move in the ebook!)

  3. How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way by Stan Lee

  4. Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

  5. Twenty Odd Ducks by Lynn Truss and Bonnie Timmons

  6. The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss

  7. The Explorer's Guild: A Passage to Shambhala by X and Kevin Costner

  8. S. by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams

  9. Hyrule Historia by, uh, Nintendo?

  10. The Best Camera by Chase Jarvis


  1. Pursue your godhood. Revere your mortality. (Σεβαστείτε τη θνησιμότητα. Συνεχίστε τη θεότητα?) -- Pseudo Delphic Oracle

  2. "What goes around comes around." -- Dad

  3. "La felicidad a veces es una bendición, pero generalmente es una conquista." -- Paulo Coehlo, A orillas del rio Piedra me sente y llore (slightly misquoted)

  4. "All things are possible to him that believeth." -- Jesus, Mark 9:23

  5. "Never punt fourth down." -- Post Malone, "Wow," Hollywood's Bleeding

  6. "Less UI. More UX."

  7. "To he who will not harden his heart is given the greater portion of the word until he knows the mysteries of God in full." -- Alma, 12:10 (A New Translation)

  8. "Novels don't strive to get to the bottom of things, but to express what it's like never to be able to." -- Jonathan Safran Foer (Guardian interview 20 Mar 2010)

  9. "Every word reflects the universe." -- Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  10. "Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)." -- Jordan Peterson, 12 Rules for Life


  1. Uncertainty Principle and Quantum Superposition (particles in many seemingly contradictory states or locations simultaneously)

  2. Non-Complementary Behavior.

  3. High Adventure. (Taking a daring gamble on the unknown for a greater good.)

  4. Inevitable Harmony. (Karma or the Song.)

  5. Panpsychism.

  6. Pathological Altruism.

  7. Dark Matter.

  8. Simulation Theory.

  9. Evolution.

  10. This list is drastically incomplete. It's a WIP. Still collecting my thoughts. These are notes, a rough draft of something I imagine I'll eventually put together for real. I hope you'll take it easy on them (and me)...

Internet Personalities

  1. Dr. Mark Hyman https://drhyman.com/ (health and diet)

  2. Jordan B. Peterson https://jordanbpeterson.com (adulting)

  3. Tim Ferriss http://tim.blog (lifehacking)

  4. Ramit Sethi http://iwillteachyoutoberich.com (finance and business)

  5. Marques Brownlee http://MKBhd.com (tech)

  6. Tim Grahl https://booklaunch.com (book publishing)

  7. Tim Schafer http://doublefine.com (Man, a lot of Tims on here--videogame creator)

  8. Chase Jarvis http://chasejarvis.com (photographer)

  9. Gary Vaynerchuck https://garyvaynerchuk.com (business guru)

  10. Peter Attia

Runners Up

  • ? Brene Brown (adulting)

  • ? Kevin Rose (tech)

  • ? Shawn Achor (happiness)

  • ? Jerry Seinfeld (comedy)

  • ? Stephen Colbert (LotR)

  • ? Stephen Curry (basketball)

  • ? Snazzy Labs (tech)

  • ? Kelly Starrett (fitness and mobility)

  • ? http://mises.org (economics)

  • Naval Ravikant


  1. MPOW M30 earbuds (inexpensive and awesome bluetooth earbuds)

  2. Waterfield Bolt (laptop bag, get the small one, minimalists! Also, I'm obsessed with bags in general, and I think Waterfield makes the best, most thoughtful ones.)

  3. Beanies. With which I'm also obsessed.

  4. Google Pixel (phone)

  5. LEGOS. They're the coolest toys. I also like action figures. And wooden swords. And real swords.

  6. Rose Anvil Claude (minimalist wallet)

  7. Chromecast

  8. Tall mason jars! (for drinking and storing leftovers, plus some cool lids for them)

  9. Cable management. Can I put that here? I bought my PC cords in white, so they would stand out less against a white wall, and then I bound them all together with white velcro. And a few years ago, at my corporate workplace, I braided my cables to make them look nicer. Freaking love this stuff. In Myers-Briggs, I'm an INF-OCD.

  10. Videogame controllers. I have an obsession. Even bought the Steam controller. I have an awesome mini controller, the Moga Hero Power that's super portable and clips to a phone. I use an Xbox wireless controller for most stuff. Planning to buy Stadia and 8BitDo controllers next because they're USB-C!


  1. Photos.Google.com Editing and saving photos. I can't believe you're not using this. So sad they cancelled free storage. Used to be my all-tiem favorite app. : (

  2. Keep.Google.com Making top-10 lists. And for making dope sketches with my digital pen.

  3. Drive.Google.com I write novels in Docs. I've made crazy complex graphics in Slides. And I admire a fine spreadsheet.

  4. Pixlr E (browser-based Photoshop)

  5. PocketCasts.com (I do both podcasts and audiobooks in here, and I love it!)

    1. Audible.com and Overdrive are also super great

  6. PCloud.com (for cloud storage, mostly because I got a good deal)

  7. Music.Google.com (free cloud locker for your music if you're old school like me)

  8. ? Chrome

  9. ? Calendar

  10. ? Gmail

  11. ? Hangouts

  12. ? Fit

  13. You're starting to see the pattern here, right?


  1. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship, Two Towers, Return of the King (3) (best epic)

  2. Star Wars: IV, V, VI (3) (best space opera)

  3. Indiana Jones: Raiders and Last Crusade (2) (best adventure)

  4. The Matrix (best action)

  5. (500) Days of Summer (best romance)

  6. Inception (best thriller)

  7. Kung Fu Panda (best animated)

  8. Dumb and Dumber (best comedy)

  9. Contact (best scifi)

  10. U-571 (best drama)

Runners Up

  • EPIC

    • Last Samurai

    • Troy

    • Kingdom of Heaven

    • Braveheart


    • Pirates of the Caribbean: Black Pearl

    • The Rocketeer

    • The Count of Monte Cristo

    • National Treasure

    • The DaVinci Code (Yeah, yeah, I know. I still like it though.)

    • Tintin (and Missing Link) for kids


    • TRON: LEGACY (Also maintains the honorific title of "The dumbest movie I like," which, honestly, is a misnomer, because I love it.)


    • La La Land (+ best musical)

    • Hitch



    • Finding Nemo (I ADORE about 90% of the Pixar movies!)

    • Disney's Peter Pan

    • The Emperor's New Groove

    • How to Train Your Dragon (trilogy)


    • The Men Who Stare at Goats (which is also my second-favorite Star Wars movie)

    • Shanghai Noon

    • Maverick

    • The Man Who Knew Too Little

  • SCI-FI

    • Gravity

    • Apollo 13 (okay, you're right, but still)

    • Jurassic Park

    • E.T.


    • True Grit (2010) (best western)

    • Seven Years in Tibet


    • Brave


    • Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse

    • Unbreakable

    • Batman Begins

    • The Dark Knight

    • Logan

    • Deadpool

    • The Rocketeer (Wait, why is this on here twice?)

    • X-men

    • The Incredibles

    • Iron Man


    • The Sandlot

    • Groundhog Day

Common Theme: Smart Comic-Book Adventures or Sci-Fantasy

Movies that are better than the book

  • The Prestige

  • The Rocketeer (three times--it's a comic book)

  • Seven Years in Tibet

  • True Grit

  • The King's Speech? (says Joe)

  • I, Robot ?

This is truly an amazing feat, to take good source material and make it great. Usually Hollywood does the opposite, particularly with videogame movies (e.g., Uncharted, Tomb Raider, WarCraft).

Tied with the book

  • The Princess Bride

  • Jurassic Park

  • Contact

  • Almost LotR

It's about unity

The majority of book adaptations don't live up to their source material. I'm looking at you, Harry Potter. Also, basically anything from Roald Dalh. The movies, however, can still be fun. And it's hard to weigh the value of the visuals. The artwork for some book movies is just amazing, even when the whole package isn't. And great visuals are something that a book inherently can't really provide.

I noticed a related point back when I read and watched THE BOOK THIEF. I feel like most books give you about 70% of the story. The missing 30% is all the visual art. And let's say that a movie gives you a different 70% of the story--it gives you the visuals but can leave out the backstory and interiority that a novel provides. So you can only get 100% of the story by accessing it on both mediums. I definitely feel this way about the movies listed above.

I also feel obliged to mention The Witcher. I have really enjoyed the books. The Witcher III videogame is also awesome, and it provides the visual aspect. There's also a Netflix series, which has great visuals but seems shallow otherwise, and I kind of hate it. (However, I do like the Witcher anime they made.)

And where does that leave us? I guess I can conclude that each medium and project should be judged on its own. Sometimes these can combine to create a strong IP. Other times, these parts work against each other and don't do a good job complementing.

Favorite Multimedia

The Witcher!

  • Books, particularly the first two (haven't finished the series yet, but the novels so far haven't been as striking as the short stories...)

  • Witcher III game (haven't tried the first two)

  • Netflix anime movie (don't love the live action show)

Greek Mythology

  • Mythos by Stephen Fry (book)

  • Modern Scholar Series: Archealogy and the Illiad (audio lecture)

  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey (game)



  1. Gargoyles

  2. Spider-Man TAS

  3. Seinfeld

  4. Avatar the Last Airbender (+ Korra)

  5. Stranger Things

  6. Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

  7. Sherlock

  8. Father Ted

  9. Double Fine Adventure ( Available on YouTube )

YouTube Videos

  1. Keynes and Hayek: Fight of the Century (an economics rap video--yes, number one)

  2. Lars Anderson: A New Level of Archery (I can't introduce this; you just have to watch it.)

  3. Papyrus SNL (Okay, this seems like a joke, but it's not. I feel this PAIN ALMOST DAILY!)

  4. Happiness at Work TED by Shawn Achor (Favorite of TED talks.)

  5. Science and Spirituality TED by Jeff Lieberman (Actually, this may be my favorite TED.)

  6. Liquid Mountaineering: Running on Water (You have to believe.)

  7. Outdoor Fitness Essentials by Tim Ferriss and Merrell Sports (Unlisted!) And if you want stellar back muscles, you'll want to follow Tim's training on kettlebell swings too.

  8. Lightning in a Bottle by Key and Peele (Come on, Cedric.)

  9. Mark Sisson's Primal Sprinting Workout (Minimalist exercise!)

  10. Unsung Hero Commercial


  1. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (must insist on the 3DS version--artwork is simply incredible)

  2. StarCraft 2

  3. The Curse of Monkey Island

  4. NBA Jam Tournament Edition

  5. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

  6. Mario 64

  7. Mega Man X

  8. Jedi Knight (+ JKII)

  9. Assassin's Creed ODYSSEY (+ let's face it, the whole series)

  10. Ibb&Obb (Oh my gosh! Play this with someone who you're trying to convert to videogames! Or with someone you're trying to connect with. It's a simple, puzzle-based, co-op platformer! I love the art, the simplicity, the teamwork. I love it so much.)

Runners Up

  1. ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD! I came to this game late (like all of them), and was just amazed over and over. Do wish it had stronger story, but I think that of all Zeldas, ha ha.

  2. Braid

  3. Portal

  4. Psychonauts

  5. Grim Fandango

  6. GYLT (on Stadia, and scary for a chicken like me, ha ha)

  7. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

  8. Yoshi's Island

  9. Quake III, Unreal Tournament

  10. Half-Life

  11. The Witcher III (edited via a Steam patch)

  12. Super Mario Bros (NES +)

  13. All the Zelda games

Mobile Games

  1. Fancy Pants (and Super FP Adventures) [action platformer]

  2. Oceanhorn [Zelda clone, storied action adventure]

  3. Super Phantom Cat 1 & 2 [artful Mario clone, action platformer]

  4. Iron Marines [Starcraft clone, probably need a tablet to play well]

  5. Thomas Was Alone [charactered puzzle platformer]

  6. NBA Jam [action sports]

  7. Dandara [Metroidvania with brilliant mobile controls]

  8. The Banner Saga 1 & 2 [storied turn-based strategy]

  9. Oddmar [storied platformer, amazing animations, not too hard]

  10. Beach Buggy 2 [Mario Kart clone, way better than Nintendo's mobile offering] WORD TO THE WISE: Playing a game with in-game purchases, particularly ones that have a pay-to-win setup, is like gambling against the house. The odds are against you, and it is a fool's game. Unfortunately, because some do beat the house, there are many fools, and the industry thrives. I think it's good to set rules for yourself that you won't gamble against the house and you won't play a game that's pay-to-win. I recommend you plan to quit this game about halfway through. </soapbox>

I'm a big fan of Google Stadia as well.

Runners Up

  • Cordy 2 [action platformer]

  • Broken Age [storied graphic adventure]

  • The Cave [storied puzzle platformer]

  • Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (run it on emulator, plays perfectly with a touch screen...)

  • Limbo [dark storied, puzzle platformer]

  • ? Ultraflow [simple, physics]

  • ? Grim Fandango [storied graphic adventure]

  • ? CounterSpy

  • ? Never Alone

  • ? Mario Go

  • * iOS Lost Winds [puzzle platformer]

  • * iOS OceanHorn 2!

  • * iOS Full Throttle

Bottom Ten!

  1. Waking up. Ug. And going to bed. I never want to do either. Maybe it's just transitions (change) that I don't like.

  2. Needles. When I get blood drawn, I feel like I'm wounded the whole day. Like I'm not going to make it. Go on without me.

  3. Stomach noises--not farts--but the internal, audible stomach noises. Oh, and hiccups. Basically I hate when the ol' body does things without permission.

  4. Growing up.

  5. Neighbors with sub-woofers. Please use headphones. Pleeeeeeeese.

  6. Slide Presentations. Unless it's Steve Jobs quality, then top ten. I actually love a good slide deck, but good ones are so rare. So rare.

  7. Cops. Freaking fuzz. (Unless they're kind.) I feel like I'm a decently nice guy, and I've been treated just horribly a couple of times. But I do have a cousin who's a cop, and he's pretty cool--has never once been unkind to me or unduly suspicious.

  8. Cars. More specifically car problems. If only cars were computers, then I'd be okay.

  9. Printers. Especially trying to get my parents' working. Just email it!

  10. Spiders. I'm freaked out by spiders nearly all the time, including when there are no spiders physically present. (They're always psychologically present.) Which makes it weird how much I like Spider-Man, Spider-Man. 🕷️