Wisereads Vol. 32 — Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron, Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, and more

Last week, we shared Sun Tzu's The Art of War, a timeless guide to competitive strategy. This week, we're sharing Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, a fountainhead of economic and political thought.

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Most highlighted Articles of the week


Andrew Huberman’s Mechanisms of Control

Kerry Howley · Intelligencer | New York Magazine

In case you missed it, a bombshell story broke this week contrasting Andrew Huberman's podcast with his personal life as described by former partners and fellow scientists. "There is an argument to be made that it does not matter how a helpful podcaster conducts himself outside of the studio. A man unable to constrain his urges may still preach dopaminergic control to others… The people who definitively find the space between fantasy and reality to be a problem are women who fell for a podcaster who professed deep, sustained concern for their personal growth."


101 things I would tell my self from 10 years ago

Leila Clark · Approach with Alacrity

In a letter to her younger self, Leila Clark encourages herself to write more: "Not only will it increase your surface area of luck, it will also help you form a better idea of who you are," and to be intentional with friendships: "When you are in college, there are so many potential friends around that it is correct to filter out people who are hard to contact. Once you are older, this becomes much less true."


To Build Muscle, It’s the Sets That Count

Alex Hutchinson · Outside

Ex-physicist and not-quite-sub-4 miler Alex Hitchinson distills takeaways from a study showing that extra sets are the key to seeing results from resistance training. "You can get away with fairly minimal one-set training if your main goal is to get stronger, but you’ll probably benefit from more sets if—like many aging athletes—you’re more concerned with gaining or simply maintaining muscle mass… The deeper and more interesting takeaway, though, is that this rule isn’t true for everyone."

Most highlighted YouTube Video of the week


Scott Kelby: Using Your iPhone As Your Second Camera for Travel Photography

B&H Photo Video Pro Audio

Try enabling RAW photos and sticking to your iPhone's optical lenses for stunning travel shots like Scott Kelby, "The Photoshop Guy." "While the camera app is open, don't ever pinch to zoom. When you pinch to zoom, you're no longer using one of those optical lenses. It's now creating pixels that aren't actually there."

Most highlighted Twitter Thread of the week


Every saturday morning for the last 6 years, I watch this obscure video

Garrett Scott

Garrett Scott, CEO of Pipedream, starts his mornings pondering Jeff Bezos's recipe for success: valuing effort over talent and being open to failure and change. "Smart people rarely change their mind, lest they look stupid. This is dangerous. The world is complicated & sometimes you get new data. Take pride in changing your mind often, especially on your most deeply held beliefs."

Most highlighted PDF of the week

Harrison Bergeron

Kurt Vonnegut

In his dystopian short story from Welcome to the Monkey House, Slaughterhouse-Five author Kurt Vonnegut imagines a future of enforced equality. "He tried to think a little about the ballerinas. They weren’t really very good — no better than anybody else would have been, anyway. They were burdened with sash weights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in."

Hand-picked book of the week


The Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith

Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations reshaped our understanding of wealth, labor, and the very foundations of modern economies. Its insights into free markets, the division of labor, and the sources of a nation's prosperity continue to influence discussions today.

"The value of any commodity, therefore, to the person who possesses it, and who means not to use or consume it himself, but to exchange it for other commodities, is equal to the quantity of labour which it enables him to purchase or command. Labour, therefore, is the real measure of the exchangeable value of all commodities. The real price of everything, what everything really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it."

This edition of The Wealth of Nations is available through Standard Ebooks. You can explore their collection of high quality, carefully formatted, and free public domain ebooks here.

Handpicked RSS feed of the week


Not Boring

Packy McCormick cultivates optimism by sharing in-depth analyses of ambitious and complex startups. From Weekly Dose of Optimism #85: "Starship is an engineering marvel. It might be the vehicle that makes humans multiplanetary. But what hit me watching this launch is the power of moonshots to make people of all ages feel like they’re part of something bigger and forward-moving."