Anger Is a Kind of Madness

Anger Is a Kind of Madness

They didn’t have the studies to back it up, but they knew.

Anger makes you dumber. It makes you a worse leader, a worse decision-maker

This is why Seneca wrote his On Anger to Nero. He didn’t think an emperor could afford to be ruled by his passions. “I tell you that anger is a kind of madness,” he wrote. A recent research study conducted and published by psychologist Michael Greenstein proves it.

According to the study, angry people were not only more susceptible to misinformation. They were more likely to use that misinformation to guide their decision-making and actions. Information and confidence, traditionally correlated, followed an opposite trajectory in angry people. As angry people got more false information, they became more confident. 

Angry people, unknowingly, confuse their heightened state of emotion for heightened cognitive capabilities. They think their mind is alert, aware, firing on all cylinders. People after a few cocktails do too, but Greenstein implies that the angry-inhibited are more at risk than the alcohol-inhibited. Alcohol impairs memory. Anger gives you false memories.

“A constellation of risks” is how this new research refers to the implications of anger. But the Stoics have known this for 2000 years

Ignore them at your peril.

For more Stoicism-based guidance that will teach you to control your emotions and not let your anger get the best of you, sign up for Daily Stoic’s Taming Your Temper challenge. It’s 11 days of exercises that will help you cope with your anger, create new habits to break out of the anger cycle, and more. Sign up now.

P.S. This was originally sent on November 24, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Stoic’s email and get our popular free 7-day course on Stoicism. 

Today is Worldwide Backup Day

Today is Worldwide Backup Day

Google is not your friend, it’s a tool.

It’s been 2,702 days since they shut down Google Reader and people still remember.

Or consider that Google can shut you out of all their services with no recourse or appeal possible. All your data, photos, calendars, emails… gone.

But yes, you can back up your data. Do it today…

Visit this page to start the process. It’s free. Hopefully, you’ll never need it. Press a few buttons and back up your data to a cloud service so that it’s in two places–This should happen automatically, but since it doesn’t, it’s worth doing.

The internet was originally designed as a resilience machine, designed to heal itself and work around interruptions. And the essence of it was a distributed, peer-to-peer network that worked precisely because it was open. As data is hoarded, manipulated and monetized, that original intent has been turned upside down.

Resilient systems don’t have to trend toward monopoly. In fact, it’s better when they don’t. And don’t forget to backup your data.

[PS the post from earlier today was skewed by homonyms. Thanks to alert readers for pointing it out… sorry about missing it, but the metaphor is still worth thinking about.]


Part of speech: noun

Greek, mid 19th century
1A selection of passages from an author or authors, designed to help in learning a language.
Examples of Chrestomathy in a sentence “Ryan relied on his elementary Korean skills to read the chrestomathy.” “Test your new language skills by attempting to read a chrestomathy.”


PersonagePəR-sən-ijPart of speech: nounOrigin: Latin, mid 15th century
1A person (used to express importance or elevated status)2A character in a play or other work.
Examples of Personage in a sentence “She carried herself as a personage of great importance.” “Daniel received praise for how easily he slipped into various personages — humorous, serious, and tragic.”


Multivocalmuhl-TIH-və-kəlPart of speech: adjectiveOrigin: Latin, mid 19th century
1Having or open to many different meanings, interpretations, or applications.
Examples of Multivocal in a sentence “The issue was truly multivocal, giving the scientists multiple possible solutions.” “Since one of the math problems was multivocal, the teacher decided to give the point to every student.”

NIK’s free ebook summary newsletter

Heyo, Nik here with your free summary of the day.

If you enjoy these, check out our reading guide. It’ll help you learn and remember more from everything you read.

Happy reading!

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1-Sentence-Summary: The Hot Zone is Richard Preston’s version of a terrifying true story of how the Ebola virus came to be, why it’s so deadly and contagious, and how this all reveals our massive vulnerabilities and inefficiencies when it comes to fending off pandemics of all kinds.

Read in: 4 minutes

Favorite quote from the author:

The Hot Zone Summary

As of writing this summary, the world is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the deadly virus rages on and we grapple with the loss of life, we can learn from looking to other disease outbreaks the world has seen previously. 

You may recall the panic around Ebola outbreaks in West Africa in 2014. Governments restricted international travel, closed borders, and built isolation units. The fear surrounding it was for good reason. Ebola is an extremely deadly and highly contagious virus. 

In The Hot ZoneThe Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus by Richard Preston, we get an intense real-life look into the terrifying Ebola virus. You’ll learn where it came from, how we were able to halt its spread for now, and where it could spread next. Most importantly, we can learn how to apply the lessons we learned from Ebola to make sure it doesn’t progress to a worldwide pandemic.

Let’s see how much we can discover in just 3 lessons:

  1. If you get Ebola it can liquefy your organs, make you lose a lot of blood, and will almost certainly kill you.
  2. Ebola likely came from one cave in Africa after tourists died after visiting it.
  3. The threat of a pandemic, whether from Ebola or otherwise, is always looming over us, and our way of life makes us extremely vulnerable to outbreaks.

Curious what a virus that’s worse than COVID-19 can do? Let’s dive right in and find out!If you want to save this summary for later, download the free PDF and read it whenever you want.

Download PDF

Lesson 1: Your chances of survival aren’t great if you get Ebola, which liquefies your organs.

Ebola was first discovered in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since the first outbreak, many others followed that have shown just how deadly this virus is. Around half of all those who contract the virus will die. 

Ebola attacks the cells and essentially liquifies tissues and even organs. As the brain liquefies, it changes the way the person behaves and shuts down necessary brain functions. Its victims also suffer from blood loss which sometimes is the cause of death. 

Pretty scary sounding, right? And to make matters worse, it isn’t just very deadly, it’s also very contagious.  Part of the reason it spreads easily is because of its long incubation period of seven days. This means that an infected person can unknowingly spread the disease for seven days before having any symptoms themselves.

It is also dangerous because of the way it spreads. Ebola is spread through bodily fluids, and the illness causes profuse bleeding, vomiting, and diarrhea, making caring for someone with it very risky.  Just one single drop of blood can carry more than enough virus particles to infect another person. 

Lesson 2: One African cave may be the source of the Ebola virus.

So where did it come from? Evidence suggests that it may originate from a cave called Kitum Cave in Kenya. In 1980, a man became ill and died of Ebola shortly after visiting the cave. Years later, a young boy visiting the cave with his family also contracted the disease.

When scientists sensed a pattern, they went to the cave to investigate. The research was inconclusive. However, they believed it was very likely it could be the source because the cave is full of bat droppings, which are believed to carry the virus. It also has many sharp rocks, giving the potential for the virus to enter into a victim’s cuts or scratches. 

However, this book was written before scientists discovered bats of the same species found in Kitum Cave in a different nearby cave that carried the Ebola virus. This made Kitum Cave the likely site of Ebola’s start. 

Another possibility the author presents for where it originated is in animal holding facilities. One known outbreak was found in monkeys in a holding facility in Reston, Virginia. The close quarters of monkeys in the environment makes it relatively easy for the virus to jump from animal to animal. 

This is particularly dangerous for places that hold monkeys of different species. Keeping monkeys of different species close would give the virus ample opportunity to adapt and jump from one species to another. This would make it more likely to infect humans eventually.

Lesson 3: Our society makes it easy for a pandemic to strike, and we are always vulnerable, whether from Ebola or otherwise.

The good news is that we have learned better techniques for containing Ebola outbreaks over the years. We have designed better equipment to protect workers and put better quarantine practices in place.

The bad news is that the threat is not gone. Ebola still exists, and since this book was written there have been a few major outbreaks as recent as 2014.  We have a lot to learn about the virus, but we do know that it can adapt and mutate quickly, making it very dangerous. 

There is evidence that some of the forms this virus comes in actually can be spread through airborne transmission. It’s frightening to imagine a disease like this being as easy to catch as the common cold.  

We have a lot to learn about it if we want to prevent future outbreaks. For example, scientists aren’t even totally positive about how it spreads. There have been cases of people who got it who weren’t even exposed to an infected individual. On the other hand, there have been people who have accidentally come in direct contact with the blood of an infected person and didn’t get it. 

Scientists are not sure why this is. It’s important that we continue to research this disease because it still remains an aggressive threat.

The Hot Zone Review

The Hot Zone made me go “what the heck?!” a whole lot more than I thought it would, especially considering how COVID-19 has been going recently! I also was excited to read something by Richard Preston because he co-authored one of my favorite books with Michael Chrichton. This true story is going to have you on the edge of your seat the whole time, and maybe even a little afraid based on recent world events!

Read full summary on Blinkist >>

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Who would I recommend The Hot Zone summary to?

The 57-year-old politician who isn’t concerned enough about our preparations for a pandemic, the 34-year-old who wonders about the other viruses out there that are more dangerous than COVID-19, and anybody that wants to learn more about how we can fight deadly diseases like Ebola.

The post The Hot Zone Summary appeared first on Four Minute Books.Keep learning,

Nik’s free ebook summaries newsletter

Heya, Nik here with 3 more free and exciting book summaries (plus one video) for you!

This week’s video highlights 3 of Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life. Peterson and his views have found many fans and critics alike, but personally, I liked looking at his 12 Rules (their core statements) and then just thinking about what they might mean for myself.

These 3 are the ones I found most helpful and how I interpret them:

In other news, we also published our list of the 21 best books about habits this week. Whether you’re looking to improve your financial, exercise, or work habits, take a look!

And now on to our books of the week!

Thanks For The Feedback by Douglas Stone

1-Sentence-Summary: Thanks For The Feedback will skyrocket your personal growth and success by helping you see the vital role that criticism of all kinds plays in your ability to improve as a person and by teaching you how to receive it well.

Top 3 Lessons:

  1. Start getting better at receiving feedback by learning about its three types and the purpose of each.
  2. Seek to understand what others tell you to improve on before you react to it.
  3. Take advantage of feedback by having a growth mindset if you want to reach your full potential.

If you want to get to the next level with your self-improvement, this book is for you.

The Ride Of A Lifetime by Robert Iger

1-Sentence-Summary: The Ride Of A Lifetime shares the inspirational story of Robert Iger, including his journey to becoming the CEO of Disney and how his vision, strategy, and leadership guided the company through a time when it’s future was uncertain.

Top 3 Lessons:

  1. Pay attention to what you might consider coincidence, it just may end up leading you to success.
  2. Even if an idea you have sounds crazy, try it anyway because you never know what great opportunities will come from it until you do.
  3. Don’t give up on even the toughest of aspirations, remember that you can utilize your connections to make great things happen.

If you want some inspiration to reach your biggest business goals, this book is for you.

The Power Of Showing Up by Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson

1-Sentence-Summary: The Power Of Showing Up inspires parents to help their kids develop strong bonds and emotional intelligence by identifying how to be fully present as well as the benefits of doing so.

Top 3 Lessons:

  1. Give your kids physical and emotional safety if you want to develop a strong bond with them.
  2. You need to know what your children desire instead of just imposing yours on them if you want to help them know themselves and truly meet their needs.
  3. Don’t threaten youngsters when they’re throwing a tantrum, soothe them to help them develop emotional intelligence.

If you want to become a better parent and help your kids learn how to deal with emotions in healthy ways, this book is for you.

That’s everything for now, we hope your weekend is fantastic!

Happy reading,

PS: The easiest way to support Four Minute Books is to try Blinkist risk-free for 7 days.

If you choose to keep your subscription, we’ll get a small commission for referring you at no extra cost to you – and you’ll get 35% off! This allows us to keep the site free to use and not have any annoying ads.

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Did you know…

Did you know…

… that today is National Cashew Day? Today we celebrate this popular snacking and party nut by eating them by the handfuls! Eat them any way you like — plain or salted, as a snack or in a recipe. In a nutshell, this day is a lot of fun. 😉


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”

— John Lennon

Did you know..

Did you know…

… that today is Smithsonian Sweater Gift Day? Fred Rogers of PBS’ Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood presented a sweater, knitted by his mother, to the Smithsonian Institution as “a symbol of warmth, closeness and caring.” The museum describes the sweater worn by Fred Rogers as a “National Treasure of American History.”


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“If you’re going to think, then you might as well think positive. Remember, positive thoughts and actions are seeds that will produce positive results.”

— Robert Tew