Monthly Archives: June 2017

Books that stuck with me

 

Eight years ago, there was a Facebook thing going around about 15 Books in 15 Minutes – write down within 15 minutes 15 books that have stuck with you. I saw it pass through my Memories and started thinking (I didn’t look at what I wrote back then…perhaps I’ll visit after I write this and see…) about what books I would choose, 2017 version. But I’m not playing the time limit, nor, apparently, the 15 limit. Here are books that have stuck with me – mostly fiction, and some background as to why. The first five are in preference order, the rest are sort of fungible…and this has been a chore to format…Wordpress seems to have a hard time with a lot of images, links and whatever… Continue reading

Think Before You Like: Social Media’s Effect on the Brain and the Tools You Need to Navigate Your Newsfeed by Guy P. Harrison – review

Think Before You Like: Social Media's Effect on the Brain and the Tools You Need to Navigate Your NewsfeedThink Before You Like: Social Media’s Effect on the Brain and the Tools You Need to Navigate Your Newsfeed by Guy P. Harrison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was given access to a digital Uncorrected Advance Reading Copy of this, due to be published November 7th, 2017, from Prometheus Books through Edelweiss.

I’ve not yet read any other books by the author, but the titles and descriptions tell me that they appear to be consistent with this book. In one of his bios, he says

I am a human who warns humans about being human. I use my imperfect brain to talk and write about the human brain’s imperfections. I try to overcome my irrational beliefs and subconscious miscues so that I may better teach others about the problems of irrational belief and subconscious miscues.

I think he does that with this book. I requested it based on the title and the brief description, hoping to add another to the critical thinking toolbox I loan out every now and then. Mr. Harrison says in his Introduction

This is not a book aimed at dumb or gullible people. This book is for smart, reasonable people, just like you. [Keep going…the flattery is fleeting…] The social media arena is a place where human minds are manipulated and steered for someone else’s gain with stunning success. […] Those who believe they would never fall for a silly belief already have. Anyone who thinks she can’t be outwitted by thousands of engineers working to hook users, is asking for trouble.

And that is a good start. Continue reading

Standing Naked in the Shower: Life-Enriching Insights That Expose Human Nature by Nathan Bryce – a gentle review

Standing Naked in the Shower: Life-Enriching Insights That Expose Human NatureStanding Naked in the Shower: Life-Enriching Insights That Expose Human Nature by Nathan Bryce

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I know of at least one business entity that has embraced this particular flavor of Jim Jones’ favorite beverage and baptized its leadership team in full immersion. I kept hearing “I’m such an orange…” or “Blues will love this…” from lovely, young and naive acolytes who, to me, didn’t really have any idea what they were talking about, or how parochial they sounded. When I mentioned to one of the corporate leaders that it might be better to identify the personality types by name instead of arbitrary colors, well…I got a well-intentioned talking to about what color I was and that identifying colors would help me understand the people around me.

Please.

I read a lot on management, and have read a lot on and taken at gun point quadrant “theories” (i.e., Myers-Briggs, Wilbur), and color theories (one developed by a local psychologist that administered a year-long management program I was in). This is a repackaging of so much pop psychology. And sadly disappointing. I’m not sure even someone like Gladwell would buy it. But I will be kind. Continue reading