The author is really in love with his premises of crowds being smarter than the smartest, qualified individuals. I was skeptical and happy to explore his findings. The disappointment came when all he had to offer was evidence to his thesis. It is great that a crowd can guess almost correctly a number of pebbles in a jar. But let?s not forget that a crowd also voted Hitler into power and supported him for years, with destructive results for that very crowd. French followed Napoleon to Russia with destructive results. The ?Crowd? supported the Russian Communist revolution that resulted in the famine of the 1920 where 20 Million people died?
To me the wisdom of crowds is still elusive. The author does not seem to touch on any of these examples, and the small scale experiments with students guessing a variable are just not raising to the word ?wisdom? for me.
Try it on, is a good exercise.
I wish the author had a good editor. The story is rather amazing, providing that is all true, but the writer can not hold himself from going in pointless details that have nothing to do with the story.
Finally I bought a book about war and espionage and in the middle of the action, I have to listen to a description of his mom in Texas and her cooking.... Many other pointless parentheses drove me up the wall...
With the help of the skip forward button I finished it.
Well worth it.
I liked this author a lot in some of his previous books, but now I simply lost my patience.
About 20% of the book is relevant to the title, the rest is just fill up. As an example, he will describe for pages the make and color and the layout of the news van that came to report on the "incident" for pages and pages. Then he'll give you biographies of all lowly employees involved.... Those details have nothing to do with what happened...
Most of the book is irrelevant like this. I guess some writers like to hear themselves talk forever....
The author follows no timeline or cause and effect progression of events. The whole book seems like a collection of unrelated sentences about Bismarck impossible to follow.
While missing the point.
This book is very hard to follow. It feels like there is not enough material and the author is blowing time and filling pages with useless details.
I'd rather go for something by Michael Lewis or Malcom Gladwell
The authors embark on a quest to answer a enormously complex question: How a family can achieve everlasting wealth, but more than that how can they pass the values and principles that will assure a sustainable structure for wealth preservation and creation.
I have been struggling with those questions a lot, and I have not found too many writings on the subject matter. I guess we live in the age of "right here, right now" where instant gratification precedes any sense of heritage or legacy.
It is very refreshing to find like-minded thinkers that contemplate a bigger sense of ourselves. I think that multigenerational wisdom has been essential to our evolution as specie. Imagine each one of us trying to re-invent plowing or animal raising... Where would we be?
However today, grandparents embark on cruises, parents work long hours, and the guidance of the youth is left to the TV set.
I have a lot of respect for the authors candor and their frankness in recognizing that they don’t have all the answers. At times they even expose their disagreement on certain principles.
Weather you’ll agree with the book or not, the material is guaranteed to make you think, therefore I recommend it wholeheartedly.
I pride myself as a economic theory geek, but this was beyond anyone's ability to digest. The first two chapters simply dont contain any events, characters or real life facts. Instead, a robotic voice tells you the relationship between the savings curb and the investment curb in a deflationary environment. Then a lot of these dry axioms are repeated in different words 2-3 times, as if the author is struggling to fill up time.
All these theories are presented as gospel, no point and counterpoint, and there are no real life examples of how they apply.
About one third in the book, you start getting characters, presidents from the 30ties and other officials. The same theories start repeating, but now there are some events and people put them in practice.
A very strange book, I just could not bear it...
The 20ties and the 30ties were often avoided by historians. Finally I found an author that really reveals the misguided policies of the "Peace of Versailles". Polices that lead to the great depression and the second world war... A must read.
Be warned, this is not about the stupidity of America, but about converting you in an extreme secular, atheist. Everyone that is not that is an idiot according to the author. Even the believers in the "intelligent design" theory are dumb. For him evolution is a perfect theory that has no holes and no questions un-answered. The fact that 95% of the people believe in divinity is compared with a survey on gravity. " If 95% of us would vote that there is no gravity would that make it so?" he asks. Therefore there is no creation and you're stupid if you're not an atheist.
Next chapters go totally la-la discussing John Adams and his misdeeds but never connecting his actions with the "Idiot America" as if he forgot completely what his book was about. He makes no other point either, so you feel that after he called creationists idiots, he just had to fill the manuscript with random talk in order to finish the book.
Here my patience ran out. Life is to short to put up with this.
I cant believe he got published...
The subject matter is fascinating and very little covered by history books. It is obviously very touchy for an English author since it might point to the unfairness of the Versailles treaty.
So this author is endlessly beating around the bush by telling you the price of eggs, train tickets and other data that makes your head spin but he's not developing enough the big picture.
So yes, there was inflation in the 1920s but how did they get there? Why did the Kaiser abdicate? Who took power? What was the mechanisms of tax collection and why did they collapse?
The treaty of Versailles and the subsequent adjustments to the war reparation are mentioned in very few sentences, but very under developed...
So if you want to know how much was an egg in Berlin during 1920, 1921, 1922... etc go ahead and get this book.
The author is incredibly proud of this data and he assumes you know all the other details of the Weimar Germany.
Well, I didn't so I expected a lot more...
If you really like business leadership books, try Jack Welsh, Bill Gates and Lee Iacoca. At least you know they actually ran a successful organization in their life.
This author is another wannabe management "guru" with no credits to his name other then his "philosophical studies"...
They are a dime a dozen these days. I guess it is a lot easier to teach than to do...
However there are a few worthy thought throughout the book, if you can take the pointless chatter in between them, then go ahead, give it a try.
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