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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of Subliminal and The Drunkard's Walk, a groundbreaking new look at the neuroscience of change - and how elastic thinking can help us thrive in a world changing faster than ever before.  

With rapid technological innovation leading the charge, today's world is transforming itself at an extraordinary and unprecedented pace. As jobs become more multifaceted, as information streams multiply, and as myriad devices place increasing demands on our attention, we are confronted every day with a plethora of new challenges. Fortunately, as Leonard Mlodinow shows, the human brain is uniquely engineered to adapt. 

Drawing from cutting-edge research in neuroscience and psychology, Mlodinow takes us on a fascinating and illuminating journey through the mechanics of our own minds as we navigate the rapidly shifting landscapes around us. Out of the exploratory instincts that allowed our ancestors to prosper hundreds of thousands of years ago, humans developed a cognitive style that Mlodinow terms elastic thinking, a collection of traits and abilities that include neophilia (an affinity for novelty), schizotypy (a tendency toward unusual perception), imagination and idea generation, pattern recognition, mental fluency, divergent thinking, and integrative thinking. These are the qualities that enabled innovators from Mary Shelley to Miles Davis, from the inventor of jumbo-size popcorn to the creator of the modern grocery store, and from Nike to Pokémon Go to effect paradigm shifts in our culture and society. And they're the qualities that will enable each of us to succeed, personally and professionally, in the radically changing environments of today. 

With his keen acumen and rapid-fire wit, Mlodinow gives us the essential tools to harness the power of elastic thinking in an endlessly dynamic world.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 Leonard Mlodinow (P)2018 Random House Audio

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very different Mlodinow

Mlodinow is scouting different fields of science in his books and this one is again quite different. It has Mlodinow's style of interesting, easily digestible reading about science. This time it's about brain and our thinking.

I was reading this book right after Thinking fast and slow where we are shown how irrational our thinking and behavior often is due to 'system number one', the fast thinking. Mlodinow is basically talking about the same system, fast thinking, but he is showing how important it is. How its irrational properties can help our lives in different aspects. What problems arise without it.

He talks about novelty seeking, how it became a big thing only recently, how is it connected to our brain and its reward system and how reward system even works.
He talks about thoughts, what they are and how can you be aware of them and observe them - suggests 3 basic mindfulness practices.
He talks about computers and their lack of anything that would be reminiscent of elastic thinking. How information is processed in brain, how it relates to what computers do, how it relates to behavior of social insects.
He suggests interesting thinking exercise for challenging our strong beliefs in order to make our minds more open and elastic. Also suggests some practices for simple relaxing to let our brain be curious and continues describing frozen thinking and how it affects experts in their fields. And how you can use it to cheat when playing board games with friends :-)
Then he goes through some interesting examples of different people and their thinking.
The book closes with yet another set of suggestions of how to elastize your own thinking.

Mlodinow was narrating this audiobook himself and it was great, as I always like authors reading themselves.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Enlightening book, I enjoyed it immensely...

The Narrator was great. So like himself...
The information was powerful and very though provoking for the reader.

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Good book. Not his best

Pretty good book on elastic thinking. I prefer his Physics books, but it is interesting and well written.

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Interesting Content -- audio could be better

Would you listen to Elastic again? Why?

This is one of those times when I wish that I had the actual hard copy book because the content is very interesting and I would refer to the hard copy book. I don't think I could listen to the book again because the narration felt choppy and was distracting. Tough to listen to in the car because it tended to make me drowsy.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Leonard Mlodinow?

I think a professional narrator would have been a better option. I don't think Mr. Mlodinow aided his cause.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

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First time reading Mlodinow

What made the experience of listening to Elastic the most enjoyable?

I always enjoy when the author narrates, even if they're not as "great a performance" as some other narrators. I enjoyed the personal anecdotes and I feel that Mlodinow could have used these moments more often. He uses the clause, "In today's society," a bunch and this is where I felt that he was forcing the academic thesis of the book whereas his summation of case studies and personal experiences fully elucidated his argument.

What did you like best about this story?

The exploration of schizotypy: I feel an entire book could be written on schizotypy and elastic thinking.

What about Leonard Mlodinow’s performance did you like?

He is the author.