Warning: Do not read this book. A study* has shown that reading this book increases your chance of developing depression by 70% and you will be twiceWarning: Do not read this book. A study* has shown that reading this book increases your chance of developing depression by 70% and you will be twice more likely to develop a headache and losing your belief in mankind.
So, for example, the next time one of your smoker friends tells you that they saw a news story about a study that proves smoking doesn’t cause cancer, don’t ask them what kind of study it was, who did it, how it was carried out, or who financed it. Instead, admit your obvious ignorance, since you’re not a scientist and the people who did the study are, and even they can never seem to agree on anything, judging from all the studies you see in newspapers. Besides, you have a friend whose coworker’s grandmother smoked her entire life and she’s healthy as horse, so that proves cancer has nothing to do with smoking. High-fives all around.
Whatever you do, just don’t read this book.
*This study had a total of one (1) depressed subject being tested. Methodology included smacking this depressed person in the head with this book. The subject reported no improvement in his condition, but did show clear signs of annoyance and anger and appeared to feel pain in his head. The subject did not know he was being tested, therefore the placebo effect was nullified so there was no need for a control subject. This study was conducted on a well-respected medical research institute (on their parking lot) and included a highly-respected, published scientist in its team (the subject being smacked)....more
Background: I was given this book by a friend on Christmas, and I started reading it soon afterward, but unfortunately had to stop fPosted on my blog.
Background: I was given this book by a friend on Christmas, and I started reading it soon afterward, but unfortunately had to stop for a couple of months and just recently finished it. This is unfortunate, since I recall a lot of things I thought about the book while I was reading it, but didn't mark any of the pages for quoting. Oh well.
Review: This book in a nutshell: humans can be very irrational at times. The book goes on to try to explore, explain and offer solutions to the various forms of human irrationality, always relying on studies to back up the conclusions. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it just fell short of what it was trying to do.
Be warned. This book was written in 1992, and it shows. I noticed right away some very strange factual errors that, at times, by light of new evidence that has since been gathered, completely defeat the points being given by the author. I noticed this particularly with medical studies - having been in medical school myself I spotted the, at times, glaring mistakes, which didn't impress me at all. I guess I was using one of the irrational thought processes he described - the "halo effect", which when applied to this, means that when I saw that he was completely wrong in some thing he vehemently defended, it made me look at the rest of his book in a negative light. It probably means this review is tainted by irrationality as well.
I wish I had marked the exact quotes to back up what I'm saying. I recall at least that at some point in the book he goes on and on about how doctors were wrong to think that blood cholesterol levels had anything to do with what you eat, because a study had proven they had no correlation. Yeah. This reminded me of all the smokers who will quote one study that says that smoking is not bad for you at all and has nothing to do with lung cancer. Let's not ignore the rest of the studies who say otherwise. please.
I also had a problem with the tone of this book. It was too patronizing, and the author seemed to have personal vendettas against some members of society, namely feminists, members of the medical profession, and psychologists who do social experiments.
There were some positive aspects to it, and I found a few pearls of wisdom, but overall, the book was simply not worth it.
What's Next: If anything, reading this book made me wish there was a better one on the subject that I could read....more