The Action-Researcher – A Look Back on Two Years of Reading

Every weekday I wake up around 3:30am and read from 4am until 9am. 5 hours of uninterrupted reading allows me to read roughly 600 pages per week. I started this regimen 5 years ago when I started reading the Bible cover to cover (albeit at the time I was only getting through maybe 200 pages per week). When reading the Bible this way, everything reads like a historical epic until around Exodus 20 when the laws are given. Then the mishkan architectural requirements are given. Then proceed dozens of chapters of seemingly outdated laws, priestly duties, and other stuff that exhausts the reader. Indeed this is probably where most Bible readers tap out and just flip to Job or Daniel when things get more story-driven again.

Not wanting to gas out, I included side-research like Josephus, Philo, the Mishnah, and various Targums and online commentaries to supplement the Bible reading. This research gave context for the 613 mitzvot of the Torah. Suddenly the laws of retribution made more sense in the context of Hammurabi’s Code, the food restrictions in the context of totemic clanship, and the lunar holidays in the context of everything we know about agriculture. Many Hebraic laws make no sense when just reading the King James translation, so a smattering of Hebrew lessons helped with this as well.

By May of 2021, two years ago, I had read the Bible cover to cover and started doing a weekly Torah study with some friends. To further understand Torah laws I started reading James George Frazer’s unabridged Golden Bough series, which spans about 4500 pages, adding even more context to my Bible study. I’m not humble bragging here: it took me 6 months to finish this series. 4500 pages divided by 180 days = 25 pages per day, which was easily doable.

Being a stuntman and action designer working on various action games and movies at the time, I wanted to apply my research to my work, but The Golden Bough dealt only superficially with warfare and violence. So I started reading books on violence, which helped me to understand not only violence itself but the history behind what people thought about violence:

I was also working on games involving different locations and time periods, so I added history books. I chose older history books because they cover older times in more detail than modern ones do, and their political biases are less overt. Robinson and Breasted’s Civilization world history series was written immediately after WWI and is less technocratic than post-New Deal books, and Beard’s Rise of American Civilization is a multi-faceted work on American history that weighs major events in the contexts of economics and art, taking a less moralizing tone than modern American history books:

Frazer’s Totemism and Exogamy was useful for understanding movement, as much of it deals with tribal dances and their ritual contexts. This was instrumental in the making of my Action Essay series on the Hong Kong and Chinese movement style (links: p1 and p2).

I also added in some philosophy, science, myth, and art books to round out my research.

I didn’t read any fiction.

Reading Speed

After 2 years of reading, I got through about 170 books, about 45,000 pages total, which comes out to about 85 pages per day if only tracking weekdays, though I often read on Sundays.

My per-page reading rate varies based on the content. If it’s dense, new information, as is usually the case with history books, it takes me 3 minutes to read a page. Anthropology takes me about 2 minutes per page. With simple books like Neil deGrass Tyson’s (I call these “airport books”) I can get through 2-3 pages in a minute since most of the content involves examples to make a new argument every 4 pages or so. They tend not to throw any curve balls so I’ll often just read these in a single sitting or two. Philosophy is usually slow at the beginning (~3 min/page) but once I get the drift of what the author is saying, I can get through a page in under half a minute.

Autistic Reading Issues

I’m somewhere on the high functioning Autism spectrum (I tend to score pretty high on these hackneyed “Autism tests”), meaning I can get a job pretty easily and keep my finances in order, but I rely on a lot of rote memory for social situations. If I’m mostly receiving information from other people, I tend to tap out after about 45 minutes. In school I never remembered much of anything from lectures, if I managed to stay awake, and preferred to just take the slides home and read them in 10 minutes instead. Following movie or TV storylines is kind of a nightmare unless there are lots of visual clues as to what’s happening. It’s easier for me to follow a 3-hour-long silent film than a 22-minute soap opera.

This presents a problem when reading: I’m basically in a 1-way conversation with the author, accepting whatever he or she says as gospel truth, so if I’m not processing the information through notes, I fall asleep or lose interest. (Below I talk about my note-taking process.) I also get distracted easily by patterns, like if spaces start lining up vertically in different configurations, or if there are less than 2.5 lines between periods. I also find myself reading for entire pages while thinking about something unrelated. So whenever I get distracted by a random thought, I write it down on a notepad. Usually these start falling into some pattern, and I realize I’ve been thinking a lot about an upcoming shoot, a pressing family issue, some old hangup, etc. Whenever I mark these down I find myself able to get back on track with the reading.

The “Autistic Reading Technique” I started developing to maximize my speed and memorization was this: 1) read slowly until I figure out what the author is talking about, 2) speed read through examples and arguments, 3) slow down if anything takes an unexpected turn, 4) summarize in notes (and include any memorable data). In the end I was able to steelman whatever the author said, even if I didn’t agree with it. This was all done through taking notes. This also kept reading from feeling like a 1-way conversation, allowing me to read 2-3 hours on end without taking a break, a required ability now that I’m reading through Thorndike’s 6500-page History of Magic & Experimental Science series.

On Distractions

Adam Carolla once said that you only have 4 parking spaces in your head. In my head, 1 parking space is dedicated to my family, 1 to my faith, and 1 to my business, 24/7 (except on shabbat when I do everything possible to free up the business space). That leaves me with 1 space available when reading, so minimizing distractions while reading is critical. I read alone, before any emails or texts or calls come in (hence why I read 4am-9am), and I take notes in a way that minimizes distractions.

Note-taking Methods

If I didn’t take notes while reading, I could probably read 50-100% faster, but I wouldn’t remember as much, and I would get tired and bored. I take notes on interesting data that I’ll otherwise forget, I summarize the reading every 2-3 pages, and I write my thoughts about it on a line below. Usually these are critical against what the author is saying, or relating it to something else I’m studying. By bridging what the author is saying with other concepts floating in my head, I can create memories of the content. One issue with (my) autistic-ish thinking is that if I can’t relate a fact to anything, I won’t remember it. It’s why I also call high functioning Autism “high-network thinking”, since once you start bridging one concept with another, you’re able to bridge 10 more things together, then 100 things. (See below in the Theories section where I talk more about this.)

I also write down typos. … Yep. I do that.

My note-taking methods changed a half dozen times or so. At first, I just wrote in the pages, but I realized that 1) this will be distracting for whoever borrows or owns the book next, and 2) there’s no way I’ll collect these notes. It’s frustrating looking at my margin notes in Frazer’s Spirits of the Corn and Wild I because I have no other record of these notes. I started photocopying the pages with notes but this would take 30 minutes per book:

I then started taking notes on stickies and making a rough index. This was better, but I would have to transcribe these notes, which takes ~15 minutes per note sheet.

Then I just switched to taking notes on my laptop, but my laptop was 1) too big and 2) too distracting.

So I started looking for “distraction-free” writers. Unfortunately this market appeals to hipsters and so the leading device is the Freewrite which 1) costs a criminally high $650 and 2) gives you no ability to edit what you have already written except by using the backspace button. In their words, this is a feature: “Draft now, edit later.” Plus it looks like something a hipster would use, and I’m not hip.

Smart Typewriter (Gen3)

So I sprung for an old note-taking device called an Alphasmart Dana (~$50 used). This is an awesome machine from 2004, built on Palm OS. The keypresses are buttery and I could easily hit my 120 words/minute speed. I also use a lot of fast text-editing techniques like ctrl+del, shift+home, and other combos which are all supported. After buying a rechargable battery, I could get 25 hours on a charge, or 3 hours if using the backlit screen. It was also a fun conversation piece.

(Maybe I’m a tad hipster…)

However, there were 3 major drawbacks with the Alphasmart Dana: 1) if editing mid-paragraph, this produced a considerable lag, 2) I could only get the text off the machine via “printing” text through the USB to my laptop, requiring me to dump every day’s edits, which would take ~5-8 minutes, and 3) it would randomly delete everything sometimes. I lost a day’s worth of notes 3 times, so I had to retire this thing. RIP.

A more reliable option was the Kingjim Pomera DM30 (~$250). There are other, bigger Pomera models but I sprung for this one because of the battery life. This was more reliable than the Dana, but it ultimately was less impressive because 1) it’s Japanese, so the keyboard is non-standard, and the function keys were sometimes swapped, making fast text edits difficult, and I often accidentally hit the Yen sign instead of backspace, 2) the refresh rate on the screen couldn’t keep up with my typing speed, 3) transferring the text over wifi was more cumbersome than just manually transferring via the SD card, and 4) the articulated keyboard clacked and clanked whenever I typed. My overall productivity on the DM30 was much lower than on the Dana, so I retired this thing within a couple months.

Finally, I bought a Logitech K480 Bluetooth multi-device keyboard ($22) and connected it to a cheap old Pixel 3 ($100) which only runs Dropbox and system apps. I edit my notes and save them directly into Dropbox, and I’ve lost almost no data this way. It’s the ugliest device on the list, but it’s definitely the most reliable, the battery life is great (requires 2 AA batteries which give you over 100 hours), and the function keys allow for most fast text editing options. It also has a handy trough to put your device in, and you can connect 3 of them and switch between them on the fly. The one drawback is the size.

I also stopped carrying a laptop around with me everywhere. I just bring this keyboard and my 2 phones, which is enough to do almost all my work while travelling.

Which Books To Read

There are some 156,264,880 different books in the world. If I can keep reading ~1.5 books/week for the rest of my life (assuming I live to be 100), I’d get through 4,680 books, which is 0.003% of the current total. So it’s important not to waste time on useless books. How do you pick what book to read?

My first priority is reading books that someone recommends, whether a friend or a trusted authority. I call this reading-back. I came across Rene Girard from a close friend at my last job, who references James George Frazer in his books. Frazer references lots of anthropologists like Edward Clodd and W. Robertson Smith. I’ll usually buy these authors and extend backwards in time until the information becomes too novel and unprocessed.

I’ll also read-forward into authors who are inspired by authors I like. Girard inspired Eric Gans, whom I met, and now I sometimes speak at his conference. Girard also inspired Oughourlian, whose Puppet of Desire was instrumental in my own pet theory of violence. Girard inspires a lot of people, though, many of whom write political junk, but you usually know this from the first couple pages.

I don’t read books sold at airports, and I tend just not to read new books. I can usually glean whatever they have to say from looking at headlines, or asking a neighbor to explain why such-and-such thing is worth paying attention to. I tend to stay isolated away from news and pop culture anyway, focusing instead on more structural things in human society that are trackable for thousands of years. So instead of thinking about the war in Ukraine I’ll read a history book about Hungarians in the 9th century, or the Cold War. This is also useful for my work because I can apply this information to everything that happens afterward. You can’t apply pop culture or the latest news backward unless you know what happened in the past, and I find that the more I study old history, the less worried I am about the headlines.

Aesthetics also tend to be more interesting when you move from past to present. If you’re studying architecture to design a movie set, don’t study modern architects, as their aesthetics are all derived after a long process re-interpreting old aesthetics. When studying older architecture, the aesthetics are either more functional to redirect attention to empty space as in Shinto temple design, or more ritualistic and encoded as in the permanent vegetation on the capitals of Corinthian columns (which descend from food offerings to threshold gods, meant to keep the ceiling from falling… see Trumbull’s Threshold Covenant). By moving past-to-present, encoded aesthetics can be decoded and re-encoded again, so you might design a capital that “debunks” Corinthian food offerings and replaces it with a simple triangle, as if to say, “Better engineering is what keeps the ceiling from falling, not sacrifices to gods.” This subtle critique of magical thinking makes for better art.

As I mentioned, I read a lot of books that I disagree with. These have overall been more productive than reading books that I agree with, as they give me something to test my opinions against. It’s also a better exercise: I have to live in a place for 6-10 hours that is uncomfortable at first, but a good fighter can bob and weave. You have to think about it like sparring: you’re not letting him win, but you come away at least understanding him better. And you could probably have a beer together. Overall, if you’re trying to argue for something, you’re better off reading all the arguments against it first.

Sourcing Books

I first bought books on eBay and Amazon, which are usually fine options, but when trying to track down old books, Abebooks was by far the best option. Old books on eBay will sometimes cost $50-100 when on Abebooks they’d be $8-20. Often these authors list their books across all 3 platforms. I found a few at Goodwill, but I rarely found anything there from before 1970. Maybe people in Las Vegas don’t have old books. Often the ones I did find were surprising. The Mormon-owned Deseret Book stores often have older books but they tend to have a predictable theological bias.

The Internet Archive has a vast library of free books that you can read. Many of them are downloadable as PDFs. Whenever I can’t bring a book with me, I’ll just pick up where I left off using this awesome website. (Also, please donate to them.)


The biggest takeaway from all this was that, after reading ~50 books, I started connecting dots between different eras of authors, different authors of the same or subsequent eras, and different books of individual authors, which allowed me to make these sort-of tapestries of theories. I did this subconsciously. Below are some examples:

  • You can track social networks over time by looking at who an author cites. I inferred Frazer’s relationship with his teacher W. Robertson Smith based on how he cited his works. This also allows you to understand the author’s thinking: perhaps Frazer’s criticial attitude of the church of his time came from Smith’s groundbreaking Religion of the Semites in the 1880s.
  • Good authors update their theories over time. It’s worth citing Frazer again, who prefaces his Totemism & Exogamy series with a lecture he delivered before the turn of the century. He then retracts most of the content of this lecture in the introduction, followed by 2200 pages of evidence. In the end he presents a far more coherent, limited theory on totemism.
  • The two predominant theories of violence in the 19th century were the Christians vs. the social Darwinists. In the 20th century they were the behaviorists vs. the innate aggressionists.
  • Modern anthropology has been severely dumbed down due to its overly rational take on ancient ritual.
  • Academic writing from 1880-1915 is very easy to read, but academic writing starting around 1980 is terribly written, and unfortunately most Asian film studies are done in this opaque language. So your average Joe won’t care to read the leading literature on Hong Kong cinema. This academic speak is often accused of being Marxist, but it bears a lot of the marks of Catholic theological work. Both strands of thought (Progressive and Catholic) are universal in outlook and are always trying to re-categorize or de-categorize concepts like “humanity”, “gender”, “nation”, etc. Concepts that are discussed regularly over beers like “equality” become bloated as the author attempts to fill in all possible global information there is. This is really just an effort to make the text atemporal: it should be just as readable at the time of copyright as it will be in 100 or 200 years. The absense of modern jargon works well, but the creation of new odd terms to redefine tried and true concepts, often simply to avert bad Tweets, is annoying and makes it, yes, atemporal, but thereby permanently unreadable. One can see some vestiges of Latin scholarship here, as researchers all over the world are picking up this same language, much as they had done with the parent Romance language throughout the middle ages. I don’t read Latin (yet), but it would be interesting to study how that language maintained, improved, or degraded as the medieval universities increased the scope of their studies.
  • The science of Autism is garbage because it’s so politicized, and the victim label is being taken up too readily. If you’re on the spectrum but are high functioning, please do not take up the victimary label. Our tech and economy are becoming more Autistic anyway (personal devices, work from home, fast internet, etc.), so in a way we’re on the winning side. At the same time, as the world becomes more Autistic we run the risk of losing ourselves in the echo chamber, which is exactly what’s happening.
  • Nobody seems to care about kinship studies anymore. Family values are, according to many, “degrading,” but I would argue instead that our current kinship system is in a bilineal state (since lots of people are taking hyphenated last names), and shifting to some other new system. Kinship is the basis for how inheritance is transferred. In the past, wealth was physically moved under matrilineal systems (from a man to his sister’s children) which created big networks of small states. In patrilineal systems (from a man to his sons) it was stockpiled in one place which produced big fortified cities. I take a note from Beard here: much of this can be explained through economics. Inheritance today is complicated by the LLC structure and modern finance: wealth can easily be transferred across the world instantly, liquidated, and deleted. You could argue that we have 3 castes going: one financial caste (being neither necessarily patrilineal nor matrilineal) which is stockpiling resources into gigantic fortified cities through a global financial system, one professional cast (quasi-matrilineal) which transfers people around wherever the liquid capital goes and whose limited pool of children don’t threaten to take away resources from those cities, and one service caste which attempts to stockpile resources in the old cities through the old patrilineal system but can’t compete with the first caste and either moves out or peters out in a generation. I don’t think there will be a reversion to any old patrilineal or matrilineal system; the global financial system will probably just continue to grow, burst, and regrow and produce whatever family structures that it will.

The Reading List

Below is the book list. A good 30% of them are ones I completely disagree with, and most of the rest I read very critically.

  1. Gans, Eric, Science and Faith, – Total PP: 150
  2. Girard, Rene, Violence and the Sacred, – Total PP: 300
  3. Morris, Meaghan, Hong Kong Connections, 2005 – Total PP: 286
  4. Oughourlian, Jean Michel, Mimetic Brain, The, – Total PP: 200
  5. Oughourlian, Jean Michel, Puppet of Desire, The, – Total PP: 200
  6. Trumbull, H. Clay, Blood Covenant, – Total PP: 250
  7. Trumbull, H. Clay, Salt Covenant, – Total PP: 120
  8. Trumbull, H. Clay, Threshold Covenant, – Total PP: 200
  9. Victoria, Brian, Zen at War, – Total PP: 200
  10. Frazer, James George, Golden Bough 1: Magic Art 1, 1915 – Total PP: 426
  11. Frazer, James George, Golden Bough 2: Magic Art 2, 1915 – Total PP: 387
  12. Frazer, James George, Golden Bough 3: Taboo and the Perils of the Soul, 1915 – Total PP: 425
  13. Frazer, James George, Golden Bough 4: Dying God, 1915 – Total PP: 288
  14. Frazer, James George, Golden Bough 5: Scapegoat, The, 1915 – Total PP: 423
  15. Frazer, James George, Golden Bough 6: Adonis 1, 1915 – Total PP: 317
  16. Frazer, James George, Golden Bough 7: Adonis 2, 1915 – Total PP: 268
  17. Frazer, James George, Golden Bough 8: Spirits of the Corn and Wild 1, 1915 – Total PP: 319
  18. Frazer, James George, Golden Bough 9: Spirits of the Corn and Wild 2, 1915 – Total PP: 339
  19. Frazer, James George, Golden Bough 10: Balder the Beautiful 1, 1915 – Total PP: 346
  20. Frazer, James George, Golden Bough 11: Balder the Beautiful 2, 1915 – Total PP: 320
  21. Frazer, James George, Golden Bough 12: Aftermath, 1915 – Total PP: 480
  22. Burgis, Luke, Wanting, – Total PP: 200
  23. Clodd, Edward, Story of Primitive Man, 1895 – Total PP: 180
  24. Lewis, CS, Abolition of Man, 1943 – Total PP: 54
  25. Groot, JMM, Sectarianism & Religious Persecution in China, – Total PP: 700
  26. Guenon, Rene, Crisis of the Modern World, 1946 – Total PP: 119
  27. Groot, JMM, Religion in China, – Total PP: 300
  28. Ridgeway, W, Origin of Tragedy, The, – Total PP: 250
  29. Breasted, J. H., History of the Ancient Egyptians, A, – Total PP: 400
  30. Meek, Theophile James, Hebrew Origins, – Total PP: 250
  31. Campbell, Joseph, Hero With a Thousand Faces, – Total PP: 400
  32. Arendt, Hannah, On Violence, – Total PP: 90
  33. Robinson, J. H., Ordeal of Civilization, – Total PP: 700
  34. Cowen, Tyler, Create Your Own Economy, 2009 – Total PP: 300
  35. Clodd, Edward, Tom Tit Tot, 1898 – Total PP: 260
  36. Eisler, Riane, Chalice and the Blade, The, 1987 – Total PP: 270
  37. Doran, Dr. John, History of Court Fools, – Total PP: 389
  38. Marx, Karl, Communist Manifesto, – Total PP: 75
  39. Muller, F. Max, Science of Language, The, 1862 – Total PP: 392
  40. Ortega y Gasset, Revolt of the Masses, – Total PP: 190
  41. Stark, Rodney, For the Glory of God, – Total PP: 417
  42. Feldman, George, Cannibalism, Headhunting and Human Sacrifice in North America, – Total PP: 235
  43. Goethals, Gregor, TV Ritual, The, – Total PP: 150
  44. Stevens, Sword of No Sword, – Total PP: 120
  45. Musashi, Book of Five Rings, – Total PP: 80
  46. Ellul, Jacques, Propaganda, – Total PP: 312
  47. Ellul, Jacques, Technological Society, The, – Total PP: 440
  48. Goethals, Gregor, Electronic Golden Calf, The, – Total PP: 215
  49. Bickerton, Derrek, Bastard Tongues, 2008 – Total PP: 248
  50. Ellul, Jacques, Empire of Nonsense, – Total PP: 159
  51. Multi, Mythology of All Races 8 – Chinese & Japanese, 1928 – Total PP: 368
  52. Breasted, J. H., Conquest of Civilization, – Total PP: 700
  53. Sansom, G.B., Japan: A Short Cultural History, 1931 – Total PP: 524
  54. Frazer, James George, James George Frazer: Portrait of a Scholar (Biography), – Total PP: 130
  55. Ellul, Jacques, Violence, – Total PP: 175
  56. Martin, Mike, Why We Fight, – Total PP: 250
  57. Arendt, Hannah, On Revolution, – Total PP: 300
  58. Larkin, Tim, When Violence is the Answer, – Total PP: 200
  59. Smil, Vaclav, Global Catastrophes and Trends, – Total PP: 250
  60. Frazer, James George, Totemism & Exogamy 1, 1910 – Total PP: 579
  61. Frazer, James George, Totemism & Exogamy 2, 1910 – Total PP: 640
  62. Frazer, James George, Totemism & Exogamy 3, 1910 – Total PP: 583
  63. Frazer, James George, Totemism & Exogamy 4, 1910 – Total PP: 169
  64. Lorenz, Konrad, On Aggression, 1963 – Total PP: 300
  65. Frazer, James George, Psyche’s Task, 1909 – Total PP: 84
  66. Lea, H. C., Duel and the Oath, The, – Total PP: 248
  67. Hobbes, Leviathan, – Total PP: 367
  68. Rosenblatt, Josh, Why We Fight: One Man’s Search for Meaning Inside the Ring, – Total PP: 224
  69. Miller, William Ian, Bloodtaking and Peacemaking, – Total PP: 310
  70. Frazer, James George, Myths of the origin of fire: An essay, – Total PP: 226
  71. Frazer, James George, The Scope of Social Anthropology, 1927 – Total PP: 22
  72. Darwin, Charles, Origin of Species, The & The Descent of Man, – Total PP: 924
  73. Freeborn, Varg, Violence of Mind, – Total PP: 233
  74. Ortega y Gasset, Man and Crisis, – Total PP: 217
  75. Machiavelli, Niccolo, Prince, The, 1532 – Total PP: 71
  76. Clark, Ronald W., Einstein: The Life and Times, – Total PP: 631
  77. Ferguson, John, Utopias of the Classical World, – Total PP: 188
  78. Girard, Rene, Battling to the End, – Total PP: 226
  79. Lovejoy, Arthur Oncken, Primitivism and Related Ideas in Antiquity, – Total PP: 456
  80. Frazer, James George, Man, God and Immortality: Thoughts on Human Progress, – Total PP: 421
  81. Boas, George, Essays on Primitivism and Related Ideas in the Middle Ages, – Total PP: 216
  82. Rizzolatti, Giacomo, Mirrors in the Brain, – Total PP: 193
  83. Hickock, Gregory, Myth of Mirror Neurons, The, – Total PP: 292
  84. Frazer, James George, Lectures on the Early History of the Kingship, – Total PP: 297
  85. Webster, H, Primitive Secret Societies, 1968 – Total PP: 221
  86. Barnes, Sandra T., Africa’s Ogun : Old World and New, – Total PP: 257
  87. Krohn, William O., In Borneo Jungles: Among the Dyak Headhunters, – Total PP: 327
  88. Ardrey, Robert, African Genesis, – Total PP: 357
  89. Wrangham, Richard, Catching Fire, – Total PP: 207
  90. Pinker, Stephen, Better Angels of our Nature, The, – Total PP: 700
  91. Ardrey, Robert, Territorial Imperative, The, – Total PP: 359
  92. Frazer, James George, Belief in Immortality I, 1924 – Total PP: 472
  93. Buch, Robert, The Pathos of the Real: On the Aesthetics of Violence, – Total PP: 195
  94. McNeill, William, Pursuit of Power, The, 1982 – Total PP: 390
  95. Rosaldo, Renato, Ilongot Headhunting, – Total PP: 289
  96. Frazer, James George, Belief in Immortality II, 1924 – Total PP: 432
  97. Goodall, Jane, Through a Window: My Thirty Years With the Chimpanzees of Gombe, – Total PP: 260
  98. Mivart, St. George, On the Genesis of Species, 1871 – Total PP: 307
  99. Wrangham, Richard, Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence, – Total PP: 300
  100. Catlin, George, O-kee-pa : A Religious Ceremony and Other Customs of the Mandans, 1876 – Total PP: 100
  101. Ardrey, Robert, Social Contract, The, 1970 – Total PP: 368
  102. Haddon, Alfred C., HEAD-HUNTERS Black White and Brown Abridged Edition, – Total PP: 234
  103. Wrangham, Richard, Goodness Paradox, – Total PP: 324
  104. Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, 1754 – Total PP: 92
  105. Carthy, J D, The Natural History of Aggression, 1964 – Total PP: 159
  106. Connery, Robert H., Urban Riots: Violence and Social Change, 1968 – Total PP: 183
  107. Storr, Anthony, Human Aggression, 1968 – Total PP: 127
  108. Wiener, Philip P., Violence and Aggression in the History of Ideas, 1974 – Total PP: 273
  109. Freud, Sigmund, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, 1922 – Total PP: 83
  110. Gluckman, Max, Custom and Conflict in Africa, 1959 – Total PP: 165
  111. Dollard, John, Frustration and Aggression, 1939 – Total PP: 190
  112. Oakeshott, Ewart, Archaeology of Weapons : Arms and Armor From Prehistory to the Age of Chivalry, 1996 – Total PP: 340
  113. Montagu, Ashley, Nature of Human Aggression, The, 1976 – Total PP: 325
  114. NACCD, Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, 1967 – Total PP: 581
  115. Skinner, B F , Beyond Freedom and Dignity, 1972 – Total PP: 240
  116. Paget, Richard, Sir, Human Speech, 1930 – Total PP: 386
  117. Bagehot, Walter, Physics and Politics, 1906 – Total PP: 172
  118. Clodd, Edward, Story of the Alphabet, The, 1900 – Total PP: 204
  119. Berkowitz, Leonard, Aggression: A Social Psychological Analysis, 1962 – Total PP: 328
  120. Seneca, Letters from a Stoic : The Ancient Classic, 50 – Total PP: 370
  121. Sun Tzu, Art of War, -500 – Total PP: 186
  122. Lie, John, Ablemann, Nancy, Blue Dreams : Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots, 1995 – Total PP: 192
  123. Muller, F. Max, India: What Can It Teach Us? A Course of Lectures Delivered before the University of Cambridge, 1883 – Total PP: 275
  124. Fairbank, John, China : A New History, Second Enlarged Edition, 2006 – Total PP: 471
  125. Bickerton, Derrek, Adam’s Tongue: How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans, 2009 – Total PP: 250
  126. Gaerard, Albert Leon, Short history of the international language movement, A, 1922 – Total PP: 210
  127. Jespersen, Otto, Language: Its Nature, Development and Origin, 1922 – Total PP: 442
  128. Laban, Rudolf, Laban’s Principles of Dance and Movement Notation, – Total PP: 61
  129. Chomsky, Noam, The Chomsky-Foucault Debate: On Human Nature Book Good Condition, – Total PP: 250
  130. Laban, Juana de, Dance Notation, – Total PP: 46
  131. Freeborn, Varg, Beyond Ooda, 2021 – Total PP: 177
  132. Riley, Jo, Chinese Theatre and the Actor in Performance, 1997 – Total PP: 364
  133. Andreski, Stanislav, Social Science as Sorcery, 1973 – Total PP: 240
  134. Dart, Raymond, Beyond Antiquity; A Series Of Radio Lectures On The Origin Of Man, 1970 – Total PP: 120
  135. McWhorter, John , Story of Human Language, The , 2004 – Total PP: 240
  136. Lennox, Dr John S, Stage Combat Swordplay from Shakespeare to the Present, 2009 – Total PP: 253
  137. Sides, Hampton, Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson, 2006 – Total PP: 578
  138. Clodd, Edward, Question, The: “If a Man Die, Shall He Live Again?”, 1917 – Total PP: 307
  139. Chesneaux, Jean, Secret Societies in China in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, 1971 – Total PP: 192
  140. Chow, David, Kung Fu: History, Philosophy, and Technique, 1982 – Total PP: 225
  141. Shaolin, Shaolin Grandmasters’ Text : History, Philosophy & Gung Fu of Shaolin Ch’an, The, 2004 – Total PP: 263
  142. Dart, Raymond, Predatory Transition from Ape to Man, 1953 – Total PP: 10
  143. Hambly, W.D., Tribal Dancing and Social Development, 1927 – Total PP: 279
  144. Ross, David, Chinese Martial Arts: A Historical Outline , 2017 – Total PP: 211
  145. Ng, Wing Chung, Rise of Cantonese Opera, The, 2015 – Total PP: 250
  146. Sheridan, Michael, Gate to China, The, 2021 – Total PP: 406
  147. Grohe, Allan T., Triad Sourcebook, The, 1997 – Total PP: 100
  148. Kang, Gewu, Spring and Autumn of Chinese Martial Arts, The, 1995 – Total PP: 108
  149. Wu Bin, Essentials of Chinese Wushu, 1992 – Total PP: 169
  150. Beard, Charles A., The Rise of American Civilization by Charles & Mary Beard (Hardback, 1939), 1927 – Total PP: 1661
  151. Rawlings, Gertrude Burford, Story of Books – Library of Valuable Knowledge, – Total PP: 156
  152. Monod, David, Vaudeville and the Making of Modern Entertainment, 1890-1925, 2020 – Total PP: 226
  153. Truman, Ben C., Duelling in America, 1884 – Total PP: 260
  154. McLean, Albert F., American Vaudeville as Ritual, 1964 – Total PP: 222
  155. Hough, Emerson, Story Of The Cowboy, The, 1908 – Total PP: 349
  156. Bouvard, Dennis, Anthropomorphics, 2020 – Total PP: 168
  157. Clodd, Edward, Childhood of Religions, The, 1896 – Total PP: 255
  158. Darmesteter, Arsene, Talmud, The, 1897 – Total PP: 97
  159. Ward, John Sebastian Marlow, Hung Society, or the Society of Heaven and Earth, The – Vol I, 1925 – Total PP: 180
  160. Ward, John Sebastian Marlow, Hung Society, or the Society of Heaven and Earth, The – Vol II, 1925 – Total PP: 240
  161. Reddin, Paul, Wild West Shows, 1999 – Total PP: 225
  162. Ward, John Sebastian Marlow, Hung Society, or the Society of Heaven and Earth, The – Vol III, 1925 – Total PP: 131
  163. Burrough, Bryan, Days of Rage, 2012 – Total PP: 550
  164. Donvan, John, Zucker, Caren, In a Different Key: The Story of Autism, 2016 – Total PP: 562
  165. Baron-Cohen, Simon, Pattern Seekers, The: How Autism Drives Human Invention, 2020 – Total PP: 176
  166. Dubro, Alec, Yakuza: Japan’s Criminal Underworld, – Total PP: 300
  167. Tyson, Neil deGrasse, Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization , 2022 – Total PP: 288

I also read some controversial books, because it’s good to read people you totally disagree with:

  1. Delgado, Jose, Physical Control of the Mind – Toward a Psychocivilized Society, 1968 – Total PP: 262
  2. Qutb, Sayyid, Milestones – Total PP: 140
  3. Hitler, Mein Kampf – Total PP: 740
  4. Guevara, Che, Guerrilla Warfare – Total PP: 143
  5. Kaczinsky, Ted, Unibomber Manifesto – Total PP: 124
  6. Galton, Francis, Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development w notes, 1908 – Total PP: 256


Reading has been a lot of fun, but now I have 4 bookshelves full of books and I probably bought too many. I’ve been writing a book on violence but limiting the scope has been the main challenge.

During these 2 years, I’ve barely watched anything. I don’t keep up on any TV shows, and aside from Movie Night Day at SuperAlloy every 2-3 weeks, I watch barely any movies, and I haven’t played a game in 4 years. I also only listen to a podcast once a week or so while driving. I’ll look at game and movie clips when researching or editing podcasts or essays, but that’s it. I work 9a-5p, family time is 5p-9p, I sleep 9p-4a, and I read 4a-9a. There’s simply no time. Whenever someone tells me I should watch a show, I kindly ask them to spoil it for me because I’ll never watch it. I will, however, read a book recommendation, if it’s good anyway.