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Review: شرح العقيدة الطحاوية

شرح العقيدة الطحاوية by أبو جعفر الطحاوي
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Indispensable boook for people who want to learn the creed of Islam. Imam tahavi talks about what it means to be a muslim and what it means to be a sunni (ahl-e-sunnat wal-jamat). He talks about what beliefs we should have as muslims, what't the extent of our knowledge of Allah swt, and how to resolve some of the paradoxes we develop due to lack of knowledge.

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Archmaester (to Sam): In the Citadel, we lead different lives for different reasons. We are this world's memory, Samwell Tarly. Without us, men would be little better than dogs. Don't remember any meal but the last, can't see forward to any but the next. And every time you leave the house and shut the door, they howl like you're gone forever.

From Game of Thrones – Season 7 Episode 1: ‘Dragonstone’ (7×01)

V for Vendetta

Evey Hammond: I don't even know what you really look like. 
[Evey tries to remove V's mask
V: [V stops her] Evey, please. There is a face beneath this mask but it's not me. I'm no more that face than I am the muscles beneath it or the bones beneath them. 
Evey Hammond: I understand. 
V: Thank you. 

V: The only thing that you and I have in common, Mr. Creedy, is that we're both about to die. 
Creedy: How do you imagine that's gonna happen? 
V: With my hands around your neck... 
Creedy: [inhales with hint of fear] Bollocks. Whatcha gonna do, huh? We're swept this place - You've got nothing. Nothing but your bloody knives, and your fancy karate gimmicks... we have *guns* - ! 
V: - Now, what you have are *bullets*, and the hopes that when your guns are empty, I'm no longer standing, because if I am... you'll all be dead before you'll reloaded

Quora: Learning how to Learn

What are the most effective learning techniques you have experienced so far? Barbara Oakley, Co-Instructor, Learning How to Learn, the world's largest online course Answered Jun 3, 2016 · Featured on Forbes and 3 more I’m becoming increasingly convinced that “chunking” is the mother of all learning—or at least the fairy godmother. Chunking is what happens when you know something so well, like a song, or a scientific formula, or a verb conjugation,or a dance routine, that it is basically a snap to call it to mind and do it or use it. Creating neural patterns—“neural chunks”—underpins the development of all expertise. We can use metaphors (another powerful learning technique!) to help us understand these ideas. If you look at the above image, you can see that when you’re trying to figure out something new and difficult, it’s like a puzzle. As shown on the left, the roughly four “slots” of working memory go into a tizzy in your prefrontal cortex trying to figure things out. But once yo…

Should I highlight/underline while reading?

Jordan Peterson says no. About everybody else says yes, you should. So this is what I am struggling with currently.

So far, the reading methodology picked up from the internet (Farnam Street/ Derek Sivers/ Motimer Adler/ AoM) says you should:

Do an inspectional reading (30 minutes per book)Do a superficial reading of the book, marking all the passages you want to remember or investigate further. Then come back to the book later to really study the marked passages. 

But JP says reading and note-taking should really be separate activities. While reading, your focus should be absorbing. And if you really feel like note-taking, you should read as much as you can absorb/internalise, and then note that down in your words. What you have taken away from the book. And then continue reading. Depending on the density of the book, this could be small or large. This I think is somewhat similar to what Ryan Holiday also suggested. Writing it down yourself, with pen on paper. That helps in committing…

Review: Candide

Candide by Voltaire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Our critics are our friends, they show us our faults," in the same vein, I would say Voltaire is a necessary friend for every person who professes to follow a philosophy of life. A thinker who attacked not only religious people, be it Muslims or Christians, but also philosophers and monarchs, he mocks everybody who, in their pursuit of goodness, do bad.

As a religious person, I not only enjoyed Candide for it's story and characters, for it's sarcasm, it's twists and turns; but I also learned how a person can become self-righteous and oppress people while serving no god but one's ego. Consider the story when few righteous and gallant soldiers were stationed to protect women. How they let their morals guide their behavior:
The twenty Janissaries had sworn they would never surrender. The extremities of famine to which they were reduced, obliged them to eat our two eunuchs, for fear of violating their oath. And at the …