Sunday, August 23, 2015


At the moment, as with most moments, I'm reading three books.

In the Science/Math category I'm reading, ever so slowly, George Boole's 'An Investigation of the Laws of Thought'. I suspect I will be reading it for some time.

In the Literature category I'm reading, every night before I go to bed, Boccaccio's 'Decameron'. I have also learned, from Tumblr, that this is something filthy in Italian.

In the Social Sciences/Philosophy category I'm reading, on strong recommendation, Lee Cockerell's 'Creating Magic'. This book is a guide to leadership from a former Disney executive.

And it's really good. So far I agree with everything in it, which is certainly rare. I think I sought it out, certainly atypical to my usual reading selections, for two reasons. One, as recently as last week I was getting very frustrated with poor leadership and advice manuals, and hoped this might change that. Second, as has been seen in the past on here, I am a big fan of Disney, and rather intrigued by how well they run their ship.

The book spends a lot of time acknowledging and praising people who were helpful guides, supportive mentors, or imparters of wisdom. So I thought I'd do the same, and take a post to celebrate people who were important in my life for helping me out.

While compiling such a notion, I broadened the list to be those people who inspired me in general, either through personal contact, or through their words/actions/art and so forth.

These are not my favorite people. For example,  I really love the art of Keith Harring. I appreciate it. But it has not 'inspired' me. I can visualize myself as essentially the same person I am now without having encountered his legacy. That can't be said for the people on this list.

Finally, I have exculpated my close friends and family, since they are obvious. Of course my wonderful family, and fabulous friends have inspired me! To think otherwise would just be silly.

Without further ado:


Janet Murphy
Robert Kerman
Al Green
Anne Roberts
Katharine Ross
Dave Meyer
Mark Clark
Jim Gaw
Norman Derby
Ron Cohen
Mansour Farhang
Mac Maharaj
Paul Voice
Vanessa La Rae
Eugene Rudzewicz
Rick Caswell
Dave Berieau
Sue Maguire

Deep Thinkers/Inspiring Figures

Carl Sagan
James Burke
Randy Pausch
Kirby Ferguson
Jared Diamond
James Randi
Christopher Hitchens
Ken Robinson
Charlie Brooker


George Carlin
Louis CK
Bill Hicks
Eddie Izzard


Frank Lloyd Wright
Walt Disney/Mary Blair
Hayao Miyazaki
Jim Henson
MC Escher
Salvador Dali
Federico Fellini
Pete Seeger
The Beatles
Stanley Kubrick
Bill Watterson
Bill Amend
Gary Larson
Winsor McCay
Don Hertzfeldt
Odyssey Productions
Terry Gilliam
Monty Python
Rod Serling


David Hume
Soren Kierkegaard
Martin Heidegger
Jean-Paul Sartre
Albert Camus
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Lewis Carroll
James Joyce
Jorge Luis Borges
Franz Kafka
William Wordsworth
Virginia Woolf
William Shakespeare
Daniel Quinn
La Rochefoucauld
Rachel Carson
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Stanley Milgram
Erving Goffman
Carl Jung
Cass Sunstein

Historical Figures

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Lyndon Johnson
John F Kennedy
Nelson Mandela
Mohandas Gandhi
Mikhail Gorbachev
Sun Yat Sen
Abraham Lincoln
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
Woodrow Wilson
Siddhartha Gautama
Eleanor Roosevelt
Andrei Sakharov

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