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Wallace

Winnetka, IL, United States | Member Since 2014

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 307 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015
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  • The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tim Harford
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (29)

    Life sometimes seems illogical. Individuals do strange things: take drugs, have unprotected sex, mug each other. Love seems irrational, and so does divorce. On a larger scale, life seems no fairer or easier to fathom - why do some neighborhoods thrive and others become ghettos? Why is racism so persistent? Why is your idiot boss paid a fortune for sitting behind a mahogany altar? Thorny questions, and you might be surprised to hear the answers coming from an economist.

    Rebecca says: "enlightening & good fun"
    "Another Gem"
    Overall

    I'm not sure if the title of this book really conveys its coverage. The author shows that a great deal of behavior can be explained by assuming that people take a rational, economic approach to problem solving even though they may not realize it. His first book, Underground Economist, should be read first because it is an incredible introduction to topics in economics for people who hated their first economics course. This book tackles some tougher problems. It is a must read for people with or without prior economics training.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Daniel H. Pink
    • Narrated By Daniel H. Pink
    Overall
    (1963)
    Performance
    (891)
    Story
    (891)

    From Daniel H. Pink, the author of the groundbreaking best seller A Whole New Mind, comes his next big idea book: a paradigm-changing examination of what truly motivates us and how to harness that knowledge to find greater satisfaction in our lives and our work.

    Michael says: "Not as good as A Whole New Mind"
    "Half a review of research, half a how-to-do-it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first half of this book describes research done by other psychologists. It is competently done, although the 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 descriptions become quite annoying after reading Friedman's use of the same system in The World is Flat. The second half attempts to provide a list of do's and don'ts to accomplish everything from running your firm to dealing with your kids. Other than some lab experiments, there is virtually no research that finds that these do's and don'ts actually work in the real world. He even suggests that readers should submit their own ideas to his web site. There are very few examples of how "motivation 3.0" has actually improved performance in the real world outside the software industry. There is no original research. If you are interested in these subjects, then I would skip this book and read Kahneman or Ariely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    Overall
    (481)
    Performance
    (393)
    Story
    (385)

    America has a huge problem. It faces four major challenges, on which its future depends, and it is failing to meet them. In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, analyze those challenges - globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation's chronic deficits, and its pattern of energy consumption - and spell out what we need to do now to rediscover America and rise to this moment.

    Soudant says: "We have met the enemy and it is us.... Pogo"
    "That was never us"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you have already read or listened to "The World is Flat 3.0" and "Hot, Flat and Crowded 2.0", then there is only a small amount of new information in this book. There are new stories that focus on the same themes that are present in the other two books.

    This book begins with the theme that there are areas where the United States used to do a good job but now appears to be lagging ("That used to be us"). However, as the book proceeds, these are mixed up with the authors' views about how we "should" be. For example, there is a chapter on the values of having a diverse military. That diversity is a very recent phenomena and the recent changes in the way gays and lesbians are treated are largely in their infancy. As another example, there are several chapters related to how workers must train and work in order to be competitive in the modern global economy. The authors might be right about their suggestions, but these suggestions are not drawn from how we once were.

    As might be expected, a fairly large amount of the material concerns the problems in our schools. Again, however, none of the proposals really are generated by looking at how we once taught students in the United States. Previous generations were taught all about the explorers of North America and these explorers were largely treated as heroes. There was no mention of the Vikings or of the slaughter of Native Americans. Cowboys were the heroes and Indians were the enemies. Students were "tracked" so that the best students got the best teachers. Students with handicaps were not main streamed. Students ate at home. There were no social workers in the schools and certainly no police. That used to be us. Should we go back to the agenda to make our schools more competitive?

    When you try to solve very difficult problems by picking out certain things from the past while ignoring other important things, then you end up with a book that presents the political views of the authors. If you are 100% behind the choice of antidotes that authors choose, then you will like this book. If you haven't read the two previous books, then there is good information that you should not ignore. If you have read the two previous books and you are skeptical about Friedman's political ideology, then I consider this book a waste of time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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