Good book overall, and a rock solid premise with which I already agreed so I am a little biased.
The only real issue is that he doesn't treat some of his research with a critical enough eye. He repeats a good deal of research made popular in a number of other books on behavioral economics and pop psychology even though that research isn't really that solid.
Science writer Ed Yong recently made a splash by pointing out that one of the cited bits of research in this book is not replicable. This is a basic tenet of scientific research that even an attentive high school student understands. If your experiment cannot be replicated, it's not valid. Yale psych prof John Bargh is the author of a study on priming where various test subjects were supposedly tested on one thing, when in fact they were being "primed" to think (or not think) of the elderly, and the old. Supposedly the test subjects who were exposed to the "old" words and images would subsequently walk and move slower after such priming.
Only problem is that no one has been able to replicate the study.
Now of course this is a review about the book "Wait" and not about Professor Bargh, but the larger point is that the author apparently did his research, not by looking at actual research but by reading other popularized books on research. Bargh's study is the most glaring, but the author makes a habit of citing a number of such questionable studies.
Which is unfortunate because his basic premise is solid, but he has treated his subject in a rather sloppy manner. Still worth reading, but it falls short of being as excellent of a book as the subject really warranted.
Extremely interesting. I'm a middle manager for a large corporation in the manufacturing sector so this is something I think about quite a bit.
The author does a great job of telling us a story that he actually experienced instead of rehearsing an editorial constructed from that experience.
It's very easy to feel the frustration of the American importers when they're getting jerked around by corrupt Chinese manufacturers but then you remember the American importer's astonishment that anyone could produce their goods so cheaply. Even before the American learns just how defective their shampoo really is, when asked if he personally ever uses his own product his reaction was incredulity. Of course he wouldn't use such an inferior product.
Being in the manufacturing business and being able to relate to these scenarios, I feel that it is clearly not a "Chinese" problem but simply one of a developing country with 1st world capacity. In my opinion, the only thing that will ever bring the Chinese industrial sector up to developed world standards is when they have enough of a domestic market for their own products. This is the only thing I can see that will provide enough internal accountability.
Just a really good book. I was wishing he would have had exposed more the negative effects of government involvement in farm policy, but all in all it was a very good book.
Too much conjecture and speculation laid out as fact. Of course this is the nature of evolutionary science so that much is to be expected, but this goes beyond the norm.
It may be too that I expected too much from this book. This is of course a very well known book of great critical acclaim, but it just doesn't measure up to the reputation.
I'm still scratching my head as to how this book came to be so highly regarded. I made it through the first half but I was just getting so little out of this I had to try and salvage my time and just push stop.
What's to say? By this point you either love or hate Taleb, though I have yet to read or hear of any good refutations to his points.
For those who hate him, all I seem to hear is that they don't care for his personality. Oh well. I obviously think very highly of his writing even though I wouldn't agree with every opinion or view. Overall though he's a breath of fresh air in a world otherwise given over to bread and circuses.
I too am concerned with what the industrial food system is doing to our health, our society and my own individual ability to choose exactly what I want to eat. This author however is more agenda driven then objectively driven.
One of the more interesting aspects of the real-food community is its overlap between people of differing ideologies. Go to a raw milk pick-up point and you'll meet old hippies and homeschooling Christian families all chatting and sharing in their passion for the natural, healthy way of life.
This author wouldn't enjoy such a crowd. He's subjective, dogmatic and terribly wrong on many details. It's still a readable book because he is taking on the Monsantos and Walmarts of the world, but I cringe to think of anyone that might accidentally pick this book up as their introduction to the subject as a whole.
For the newcomer to this larger subject I would suggest the obvious "Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan and of course Wendell Berry and Joel Salatin both. Really, read both, not just one of them.
If you're interested in where your food comes from but not in a lot of preachy, unsolicited advice on how you should behave yourself, this is a fantastic read.
I'm pretty well versed on the whole food subject, but I was not aware of how bad the slavery issues in Florida had gotten.
All in all a very good read.
Great read. I only gave it 3 stars but the overall subject is still good, and it can serve as an eye opener for the uninitiated or just an interesting read for those already schooled on the "food" movement.
Taubes has made quite a stir with this and its more technical predecessor "Good Calories, Bad Calories" but he's not going away. Instead his arguments and logic only get stronger.
This book is perfectly accessible as it lacks the excruciating detail of "Good Calories" but still contains the meat of the information (no pun intended).
It is not a diet book, and Taubes is not selling a diet plan. And he's not a research scientist or a doctor with some academic dog in the fight. He's a renowned science writer with a history of credibility. He presents the history of how we came to the place where we're at now - an epidemic of obesity compounded by some very, very bad advice from the highest ranks of the medical community.
Anyone wanting an objective view on how the current economic crises came about - minus the political biases of course - this is a great book to start with. It's not an exhaustive study, but a good primer that will lead the curious truth seeker to other good research as well.
It's a long book, but it doesn't wander or get lost in its own prose. You get the history of the political machinations that existed in the background, the history of Brooklyn, New York, and all things relevant that made the bridge not just a fantastic feat of engineering for the day, but quite an accomplishment for all of the difficult people and circumstances involved.
Boss Tweed, world renowned engineers, the Gilded Age, etc. The story is very broad but easy to read.
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