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10 Recommended Books by Elon Musk I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

Capitalism is good and scientists are lying to you.

10 Recommended Books by Elon Musk I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

We all know him for his unhinged tweets and the weird names of his kids.

He is not a random Twitter user. He owns it. A globally renowned businessman and entrepreneur, known as the founder of SpaceX and Tesla.

Yup, he is none other than Elon Musk.

Today, I am bringing you a list of books suggested by him.

10 Recommended Books by Elon Musk I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

Tick tock, it’s time to talk.

Tegmark explores the most important issue faced by mankind. That is the rise of Artificial Intelligence.

The purpose of Tegmark’s book is to make us think long and hard about the risks and benefits of this booming technology and our own goals for the future.

“We invented fire, repeatedly messed up, and then invented the fire extinguisher, fire exit, fire alarm and fire department.”

Tegmark divides life into three categories, Biological, cultural, and technological. He divides them based on three parameters. One is self-replication, second is the ability to update their software and third is updating their hardware.

Life 1.0 is bacteria that can survive and replicate but cannot do anything else. Humans are Life 2.0. We can update our software through learning. We cannot change our bodies.

Life 3.0 is technological which doesn’t exist yet. But it can, thanks to AI. It will be able to update its hardware and software along with having the ability to self-replicate.

“Perhaps life will spread throughout our cosmos and flourish for billions or trillions of years — and perhaps this will be because of decisions that we make here on our little planet during our lifetime.”

The author suggests four important steps to make AI safe for humans. They are verification, validation, security, and control.

It is a fascinating read that will make you think of philosophical issues along with the practical when it comes to artificial intelligence.

10 Recommended Books by Elon Musk I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

Money games cast doubt on science.

We were fooled. And there is little doubt that we are being fooled right now.

Industry tycoons and lobbyists who don’t want to lose the market cast doubt on actual science for their interests.

This is exactly what Orskes tells us in his book. He gives many examples. The main ones are the health consequences of using tobacco and the damage to the ozone layer.

The information about them could’ve come out sooner if it wasn’t for the scientist who falsified studies. They did that for those who would’ve faced the negative consequences if the right information came to light.

“It is about evidence. It is about claims that can be, and have been, tested through scientific research — experiments, experience, and observation — research that is then subject to critical review by a jury of scientific peers.”

Whatever we hear from the people in power, we should be cautious of believing in it.

Independent research, critical thinking, and check-and-balances are necessary for transparency.

“C. P. Snow once argued that foolish faith in authority is the enemy of truth.”

Next time you hear claims from authorities, you are bound to look back on what you read in this book.

10 Recommended Books by Elon Musk I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

If you think small lies are okay, think again.

“Honesty is a gift we can give to others.”

In his book, ‘Lying’, Sam Harris makes a very compelling argument to eradicate every kind of lie from our lives.

I think of myself as a very honest person. But since reading this book, I have been analyzing myself again and again.

I told a white lie recently. The receiver was my father-in-law. My spouse was in on it. Because you know… generation gap and stuff.

I can’t help but keep feeling guilty about it.

For most of my life, I try my best not to tell even the smallest lie. This means I can walk around without having to watch my words.

Harris touches on this.

“Unlike statements of fact, which require no further work on our part, lies must be continually protected from collisions with reality.”

The author discusses lying in various social situations and how truth benefits everyone in all of them.

This is the book, I’ll insist that you get and read. Perhaps, you’ll thank me later.

10 Recommended Books by Elon Musk I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

Why is capitalism good?

If you are anything like me, you don’t like the billionaire-hating sentiment on social media.

In the wake of the Titan submarine drowning, the toxic behaviors of people rejoicing in the death of rich people were hard for me to stomach.

I mean, if I was filthy rich, I would’ve loved to go on adventures too which I cannot afford right now. Sure, I would’ve given a lot to charity, too. At least, I’d like to think so.

This book will make you see capitalism in a new light.

Norberg tells us the importance of the free market.

“Putting all your eggs in the same friendly, geographical basket is reckless.”

Global import and export has helped us in trying times. Even the countries with the most factories and stable economies need to import.

The author gives us the example of the Covid pandemic. When China needed protective equipment like face masks, it had to import, and when the virus moved westwards, European countries imported from Asia because factories had started opening there.

The overall analysis of innovation and prosperity in capitalist vs communist economies proves the benefits capitalism brings.

Regardless of your view of capitalism and whether you hate billionaires or not, give this book a read.

10 Recommended Books by Elon Musk I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

Should we control AI or should AI control us?

Russell’s book is an all-encompassing one.

He uses various reasons, for and against the development of AI. He also gives us solutions and the subsequent issues that those solutions will give rise to.

“At the rise of every technology innovation, people have been scared.”

AI research can’t be stopped because a. It is beneficial if done in the right way, b. Stopping it is almost impossible.

What should we do then?

The author tells us that we cannot deny or deflect the issues about AI.

He lays down both pessimistic and optimistic approaches towards the development of artificial intelligence.

After discussing them in detail, he also draws our attention to the complexity of humans.

“Alas, the human race is not a single, rational entity. It is composed of nasty, envy-driven, irrational, inconsistent, unstable, computationally limited, complex, evolving, heterogeneous entities.”

There will always be people who misuse the new advancements.

After much deliberation, Russell does give us a solution. Or tries to.

He says that AI should not be objective-oriented. It should confer humans if a solution is okay to go ahead with.

The author is still a bit pessimistic, more so because of human nature rather than AI.

10 Recommended Books by Elon Musk I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

What gives this 90-year-old book a timeless charm?

This book was published in 1929.

The writer picked 12 historical figures namely, Alexander the Great, Casanova, Columbus, Mahomet (Muhammad), Lola, Cagliostro, Charles XII of Sweden, Napoleon, Catiline, Napoleon III, Isadora Duncan, and Woodrow Wilson.

“We are born adventurers, and the love of adventures never leaves us till we are very old; old, timid men, in whose interest it is that adventure should quite die out.”

He takes us on their journeys.

All of these pushed the boundaries with their adventurous nature. They resisted the confines society presented them with.

They defied the ‘Gods’ and in doing so created history.

The sentence structure of this book might be a bit difficult at times but that shouldn’t stop you.

“The historic moment is always simple and brief: it belongs to one man and one will alone, without possibility (if it be truly ripe) of any confusion of rights.”

I think this book makes a great case for everyone to pursue adventure to the best of their abilities. Even if, we don’t end up famous like these 12 people.

10 Recommended Books by Elon Musk I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

When existential dread becomes too much, pick up this book.

The questions are the same old ones.

Who are we? What are we? Why are we here?

“Science has a simple goal: to figure out what the world actually is.”

The author is a theoretical physicist and a philosopher. That explains the subject matter of this book.

Science cannot answer everything for us. How we experience reality is different. Van Gogh’s painting is just atoms. But how we perceive them is another story.

“The trick is to think of life as a process rather than a substance.”

Carroll uses the term “poetic naturalism”. This alleviates the conflicts between science and philosophy.

We can look at the same natural world, through different lenses.

“Those swirls in the cream mixing into the coffee? That’s us. Ephemeral patterns of complexity, riding a wave of increasing entropy from simple beginnings to a simple end. We should enjoy the ride.”

The book is easy to read. You can see the author’s appreciation for the arts and linguistics seeping through.

If you are into the whole ‘what-is-the-meaning-of-life’, you should definitely read this book.

10 Recommended Books by Elon Musk I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

Facing the future, do we have a game plan?

The interesting thing to note perhaps is that Bostrom is a philosopher, not a physicist.

Some might call into question his ability to discern and discuss AI-related issues. This book proves more than that.

Not only does he actively give us practical philosophical concerns for humanity’s future, but he also tries to solve those concerns.

“The computer scientist Donald Knuth was struck that “AI has by now succeeded in doing essentially everything that requires ‘thinking’ but has failed to do most of what people and animals do ‘without thinking’ — that, somehow, is much harder!”

He has a pessimistic approach. A superintelligent being is likely to dominate us in Bostrom’s eyes.

I agree. Even when acknowledging the benefits, we have to tread the waters of AI with caution.

“One can speculate that the tardiness and wobbliness of humanity’s progress on many of the “eternal problems” of philosophy are due to the unsuitability of the human cortex for philosophical work.”

Bostrom tries his best to keep a neutral tone by presenting both sides of a story.

There might be a few difficult words in this book, but the subject is important enough.

Bostrom’s ideas for keeping AI in check will give you hope. Maybe we can control this monster.

10 Recommended Books by Elon Musk I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

Humanity before money.

A social entrepreneur himself, the author forces us to think of business as not only a tool to make money.

Instead, we should use it to benefit the world.

A noble cause, I say. Is it really possible?

“For those who think business exists to make a profit, I suggest they think again. Business makes a profit to exist. Surely it must exist for some higher, nobler purpose than that’ — Ray Anderson, founder of Interface Inc.”


Branson shares story after story of people and organizations who are doing it just the right way. Creating legacy and benefiting people. As all should.

He says that doing capitalism the old way will not work. In fact, such businesses with only greed at the core will die out. More sustainable and sincere causes will thrive.

The author is philanthropic and empathetic and wants us to ‘do good’.

How can something as selfish as making more money can be a catalyst for benefiting others?

Order this book and find out.

10 Recommended Books by Elon Musk I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

Runaway apprentice to an American hero, the story you can’t miss.

This book is the biography of Benjamin Franklin.

How he went from the youngest son of the family, who worked under his brother to be one of the most influential people in American history.

“When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the pleasure of contradicting him.”

He was a printer, a writer, and later on, a scientist, and an inventor. He eventually became a diplomat and a politician.

His role is instrumental in America’s independence. He helped in drafting the Declaration of Independence which famously says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

“The moral, according to Franklin, was that it is foolish to try to avoid all criticism.”

This book will also provide an intimate account of America’s creation along with Benjamin Franklin’s life.

If this book has taught me one thing, it would be that I can be many things. Just like him.

Who knows, maybe my name will end up in the history books too.


If you found this article useful and want to support NovelNest, join my email list below to get notified whenever I publish something new. If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out the rest of my book lists on my blog- Affiliate Disclaimer: This post features Amazon affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links.



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