Hello old friends,
Machina is free for 72 hours at Amazon.com
I do most of my writing these days at The Strategic Review, where a free long-form essay with actionable insights from history comes out every Thursday.
I get asked frequently why I don't post them online -- and the answer is, I'm interested in reaching people who very much want to read them, but not interested in reaching the general blogosphere.
As a result, I'm able to tackle controversial topics easier. The very slight barrier to subscribing to TSR means I'm writing to people who want to read it, and if I cover a topic like how the Protestant faith-based worldview conflicts with the Catholic works-based worldview, or the diplomatic failures and overreaches that led to Oda Nobunaga burning the ancient holy Buddhist sanctuary of Mount Hiei to the ground, it can be done cutting-as-close-to-truth as possible.
TSR gets rave reviews, and grows almost every single week through word of mouth. (I think out of the 52 weeks of 2016, there were only 3-4 weeks where TSR didn't grow. I don't promote it all that often; it's all word of mouth.)
Machina covers three series:
Vantages, which looks at the worldviews and operations of the chief warlords of the Sengoku Civil Wars in the 1600's in Japan;
Temporal Control, which looks at how leaders across history have worked to rationalize and understand the modern world -- opening with how World War I started, flashing back to the inventions of metallic coinage in lydia, modern empire under Cyrus the Great, and working its way through history towards modern armies, rational accounting in the Renaissance, how Mustafa Kemal created modern Turkey after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and ending on the high stakes at the beginning of the Cold War;
And, finally, Dubious Battle which looks at the long-running conflicts through all of history. It contains the aforementioned Faith vs Works with a look at Martin Luther and the British Empire, looks at the rise and decline of rank and aristocracy, how some people aim for cardinal success (more of anything good) while unfortunately most people are obsessed with ordinal success (how they're doing in relation to others), before finally ending with looking at the different paths of mastery, looking at the master swordsman Miyamoto Musashi and the American founding father Benjamin Franklin.
A few small points since I anticipate these questions:
1. You don't need an Amazon Kindle to get it for free and read it. You do need an Amazon account, but it's free to get one. If you don't have a Kindle, just go to read.amazon.com to read it in your browser. It's a nice experience.
2. After the 72 hour free period ends, the price will be $7.77 -- which I think is rather a good deal, too.
3. I can't send you a non-Amazon PDF copy because I don't have one! I built on the Kindle format which has its little eccentricities, but is a nice format for reading. You should be able to get a copy for free via Amazon and read on any digital device or in your browser, though.
If you have any smart friends who like history, productivity, and deep thinking, please definitely point them at Machina and The Strategic Review. A new TSR series starts in 10 days about productivity, Limit Breaks, so it's a particularly good time to join.
Beyond that, I always appreciate reviews -- they're very important for an author -- so if you have a moment, I'd appreciate that a lot. And if you want to take your productivity to the next level, perhaps you'd be interested in the third Ultraworking Pentathlon?
But again, Machina is free today, go get your copy. Thanks for reading, best wishes wherever you are in the world.
... and that makes me really happy.
I haven't done any promotion since re-launching The Strategic Review. Nothin'. And yet, over the last 5 days, we added over 80 new subscribers just through word of mouth. Awesome.
Here's what people are saying --
There are three items I own which I'll always upgrade when a significant upgrade exists: my computer, my camera, and my Kindle. Yesterday I got my new Kindle, the fourth generation one that was just released. Before I talk about this specific Kindle, I want to address some general points about the Kindle.
Some people balk at the $189 price tag of the newest 3G Kindle (which is the only one to buy, by the way). It's expensive, but only if you consider it a drop in replacement for books. I consider it $200 to ensure that I read at least 10X more than I used to.