Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein

Filed under:Philosophy,self-help — posted by Randolph on April 5, 2017 @ 3:27 pm


Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein

This book is slow and I find the author demeaning. He isn’t teaching about how to improve your skills, it is more about choice architecture. It itself, that could be interesting, but the author is ‘nudging’ the reader toward libertarian paternalism. He starts arguments with ‘givens’ that the reader is supposed to accept, and I couldn’t accept them. He draws conclusions about medical care and retirement with his socio-political views that I don’t agree with.

He talks down to the reader, it felt like a waste of time. I will not finish this book.

The Art of Storytelling: From Parents to Professionals by Hannah B. Harvey

Filed under:self-help — posted by Randolph on May 16, 2016 @ 7:38 pm

The Art of Storytelling: From Parents to Professionals by Hannah B. Harvey

This lecture covers all aspects of storytelling, such as forming the story, connecting with the audience, the relationship between narrator-audience-storyteller, using the voice, using gestures, preparation, props, character development, and on and on. It seems almost too much, as few topics are covered in much depth, but it is a great introduction to all the material.

The material has a lot of examples. At times, Hannah references gestures or posture – or something in the video. She does acknowledge that this is the CD version and provides some additional information, there are not too many of these instances.

She is a good storyteller, the voice is clear and easily understood, the audio quality is good. There is a lot of information covering many aspects of storytelling and presentation.

Barefoot Walking by Michael Sandler

Filed under:health and fitness,self-help — posted by Randolph on February 10, 2016 @ 11:11 am

Barefoot Walking by Michael Sandler

I was sorely disappointed in this book. Having foot problems, I was hoping for some insights and guidance. The author’s lack of scientific statistical understanding left me wondering what else he might not understand.

For instance, he repeatedly, through anecdote, discusses the advantage of barefoot walking over a sedentary lifestyle. However, he never shows that going barefoot is better than wearing shoes.

He also seems to believe that the ground in electronic devices means there is a wire the is connected to the earth.

The book is more spiritual than it is a solid medical guide. He has some good motivational text and a lot of advice. A lot of this can be validated though other sources. But given the weak buildup of his arguments, I wouldn’t have faith in his advice without backing it up in other sources. So not using this text seems to be a reasonable approach.

If you want the motivation or enjoy the spiritual aspects of the book, it may provide some value for you.

How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren

Filed under:Philosophy,self-help — posted by Randolph on December 8, 2014 @ 9:46 pm

How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren

I was disappointed in this book, it seemed to have promise. It approached reading in a dictatorial style, there are things you must do or you don’t have a right to judge the book. It feels pedagogic and somewhat demeaning, like a teacher instructing young kids. There is no discussion of alternative opinions or ideas, very little argument even in support of its positions.

Most of the book is just common sense. It is slow, the writing is tedious. I won’t say its advice is bad, but if you’ve read much, you already know it.

Will you enjoy it? Many comments are quite favorable, people seem to like it or hate it. I think if you’ve read much, you probably won’t get anything from the book. If you don’t read, why would you be interested?



image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace