The third ever Prestigious Awards: Tim Ferriss’ Weird World, Kid Cudi, and the Amazing Comic Book Machine Edition

July 23, 2020

The Prestigious Ashurbanipal Award: Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

Cover of "Tools of Titans" by Tim Fenriss
The recipient of the Prestigious Ashurbanipal Award for July is Tim Ferriss’ book “Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers.” The book is a “greatest hits” of Ferriss’ podcast interviews with famous and/or extremely successful people. 

I am somewhat self-conscious about this one, not only because the name of the book sounds so self-helpy and clickbaity, but also because of its very odd structure. Ferriss breaks the book into “healthy,” “wealthy,” and “wise” sections, which means that the best parts of the book are hidden at the end, and the opening part is an absolutely bizarre romp through the strange health and fitness world of Tim Ferriss, including acroyoga (!?), fasting retreats, exogenous ketones, beet root powders, hyperbaric chambers, homemade horror saunas, and learning to hold your breath for seven minutes for some reason. 

But I recommend this book because much of the later stuff is so absolutely fantastic. Even simple reminders to look up to the sky when meditating, how to think about your finances, and, thanks in large part to Eric Weinstein, great wisdom on what’s wrong on campus and our conformist culture. Sam Harris shares great insight, Gabby Giffords’ goodness somehow just shines through, and Malcolm Gladwell vents about higher ed, saying:

The worst advice that, in general, we give in America is that we terrify high school kids about their college choices. All things related to college fall under the category of bad advice. As you will find out when you listen to my rants about college [on Revisionist History], I think the American college system needs to be blown up and they need to start over.

I will be listening to parts of this again and again for its wisdom and insight, including director Robert Rodriguez’s advice on how to incorporate creativity into your daily life and Tim Krieder’s spirited defense of the value of being lazy. I also deeply appreciate Tim Ferriss being open and honest about his experiences with depression and contemplating suicide. I’m glad more people are doing that. It’s important for people to know that a lot of us have confronted that at one time or another.

Cover to "Man in the Moon" by Kid Cudi
The Prestigious Fats Waller Award: Man in The Moon by Kid Cudi

The Prestigious Fats Waller Award this month goes to one of my favorite albums of all time: 2009’s Man in The Moon by Kid Cudi. It is a hip-hop concept album about dealing with mental health issues. A lot of its best songs are definitely not safe for work, but we did play them at our wedding, because we love them so much. 

The Prestigious Jack Kirby Award: Marvel Unlimited

Marvel Unlimited logo
The Prestigious Jack Kirby this month goes to Marvel Unlimited, a subscription app that allows you to read over 27,000 different comic books. It is an absolute unbelievable dream come true for us comic book nerds and I now generally refer to my iPad as my Comic Book Machine. Deciding to make myself go back to reading comic books before bed like I did when I was a kid instead of checking email until the very last minute of the day was one of the best mental health choices I’ve ever made.

Last year I decided to pick individual classic Marvel series and read them from first issue to last issue all the way through. I have already done this with The Incredible Hulk, and am now on to the Fantastic Four. It is so much fun, and so interesting, and there will be more to report there.

Here is a highlight from this week.