Mauser tackles the great truths in his debut philosophy manifesto.
Here is a work meant to stir creativity in the reader, to unshackle him or her from the bonds of stale thought and to unleash the latent producer within. Mauser believes in philosophy with an application: truth is valuable in that it leads to action. In 115 psalmlike sections, he offers his quick yet comprehensive thoughts on topics such as courage, venture capital and life extension. There are many intriguing subjects, and the work is admirably thorough as far as variety of concepts. Part self-help guide, part modern business model, the book offers a wide, autodidactic field of interests. Furthermore, it does so without coming off as scattershot: There’s logical structure to Mauser’s argument as he builds from one idea to the next, attempting to strip away the blockages in the reader’s mind and replace them with a more open sense of determination. With nods to thinkers as disparate as Friedrich Nietzsche, Peter Thiel and Wayne Gretzky, Mauser launches the reader through a discussion on the origins of religion, the nature of free will, the best methods of creativity, and production strategies for being a maker in the 21st century. Unfortunately, semantic clarity isn’t one of the book’s strengths. Mauser is so bent on defining and redefining words, often in the most abstract sense, that any reader who isn’t a normal consumer of dense, rhetorical philosophy will likely get lost around the second page. “Explaining,” for instance, “is merely the process of, first, connecting neurons on the hierarchical layer of ‘syntax’ to define ‘language’ and conceptual ‘words’ for abstract objects, and second, one level up, on the semantic layer of abstraction, to put those concepts into ‘sentences’ that have meaning when received by another human being in communication.” Early on, Mauser relieves himself of responsibility to his less informed readers: “only authentic books, only books written for the author, only books that write themselves, only books that are pieces of art—exclusively—are valuable books, are the books worth writing, and the books worth reading.” Don’t get it? Well, he says, that’s on you. A young man at the beginning of his career, Mauser has philosophical merits that may be sound, but one hopes his future books will take more seriously the writer’s important chore—elucidation.
A difficult work with provocative ideas hidden in the rough.