I wanted to like this book and thought I would correct the previous reviews. Unfortunately this is just bad science and not well researched. Some parts are accurate but lots suffer from the same problems he complains about. Yes predicting the future is difficult. However, anypne can selective cherry pick data to make a point. Yes there are lots of biases that may cause this problem. One which he does not seem to recoginize, despite talking about the origins early in the book is publication bias. People do not buy books that are about happy and cheerful outlooks. People want to read about disasters and problems. There are better books out there, I would pass on this one.
This book is why economics fails. We are to learn about the authors opinions about how he thinks economics works in the real world. To do this he creates a total fictitious land and then translates from the fiction to reality. This does not work. Lets start with some basics. On his island everyone not only does every one have a job this job provides for all the basic needs. Clearly this does not exist anywhere in the real world and with such a base how can you believe all that flows from this world would translate into ours. He also ignores history. He views all regulations as bad. There was a reason regulations are created and often they solve a problem. In our recent history we have deregulated banks and savings and loans both lead to huge bailouts. I could go as with his poor explanation of why the gold standard is so important. After all in his world fish do provide a real benefit to the inhabitants they can eat it and survive. How is gold similar. It only has value because others want it not. How does he explain the tulip bubble or the internet bubble? This occurred with out any government involvement. I would leave his fantasy world in fantasy land and take no useful lessons from such dribble.
The reading is so boring I could not listen to this one. I think this one is a waste of money. Even when I turned the speed up I got bored.
Parts were good but most was over reach. The idea that we create routines and tend to exeecute them is good and interesting. However, the definition of habit and reward get stretched beyond recognition. As an example the use Michael Phelps as an example, He has a set routine he does before a race. It is suggested the reason he wins is he follows this pattern. However, it is clear that there are a lot of swimmers who swim against him with there own habits and probably very similar but who do not win. A better case would be to talk about his habit of training. The book is an example of when you have a hammer everything looks like a nail. In this case everything looks like a habit.
I enjoyed parts of the book which were less science and more trivia. Lots of talk about toxins and measuring these toxins in people. Little science to show any real problem despite all the inuendo. Overall it seemed like some one with an agenda who took the word of research she felt had truthiness. I am not saying it might not be true but a more balanced view would be nice, or at least stating how she tried to find alternate opinions but these views were held by a small fringe.
The book is one big logical fallacy. To do scientific research and find out how the brain functions is great. However, taking this research then going back in time and finding some vague similarities to some artist then giving them credit for the discovery is absurd.
I thought this would be a interesting book but it failed on almost all accounts. Great opportunity to discuss rights of individuals and their genetic code. Rights of Universities to capitalize on research and restrict indivuals. The history of cloning human cells and its implications on future research. Alas the book is mostly about a poor family who loved a family member. Avoids important issues. A complete let down.
I will start off by stating I am a fan of Collins book Good to Great. It was a well research book that found ideas that have been born out by other scientific research. Great by choice is a different story. While his ideas are fun and interesting this is not research or scientific. He chose 7 companies that out performed the stock market by at least 10x. Chance would claim that there would be a small number of these companies. Of the seven none were 10xs for the last 10 years. In fact Microsoft has under performed the market while its control company apple has out performed microsoft by 1400%.
The next problem is interpretation. With no methods to determine before hand how to decide it is easy to make things fit into your preconceived ideas. Bullets then cannons. The example of apple firing bullets with the ipod by creating it for the apple first then going big by developing for windows is just not true. In Isacsons book he states jobs never wanted to make an ipod for windows, he felt it was a way to attract windows users to apple. latter he reluctantly agreed. Yet this is used as an example of bullets before cannons.Simply not true.
Another example is the idea that you can quantify luck. They use the example of Amgen hiring a key employee as an example of luck. If that is true then would you not have to look at ever employee who turns out well to see if it was luck and look at every employee who made a bad decision to see if their hire was luck? The other error inherent in this thinking is the idea that any event occurs independantly. To stick with the same example. They state that the employee hire was luck because he read the ad at a time when he was looking for a new job. Well why was he looking for a new job. Is his reason bad luck for the company he left?
In scientific terms at best this is a derivation set. It shoudl be validated on another era.
The author offers little new info. He seems to lack an ability to realize his own faults. He tries to be like Kitchen Confidential but is a let down. His own ego gets in the way of any real insight. He insists that a patron is lying about getting ill from a meal to get out of a bill she has already paid. His medicine is incorrect. She could have had food poisoning that resolved in the time frame as a result of Staph food poisoning. He spends a page spouting incorrect medical info to bolster his point. Another point is that patron are upset to see a hair in their food. However, I doubt that people see this a a lottery ticket not to pay a bill. Yes bugs and hair happen but show a little respect for your customer.
Overall it is a rant. A rant is an emotional attack often with no prove to its arguments. Clearly this is an egotistical persons comments. It offers as much insight as the author has to his own life, none.
This is my first negative review.
Excellent. Makes learning FUN.
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