well, i was hoping for much more philosophy. turned out to be mostly about product design.
also, the register was often annoyingly sort of oprahish. ex...morewell, i was hoping for much more philosophy. turned out to be mostly about product design.
also, the register was often annoyingly sort of oprahish. explaining to the reader why certain objects make them feel certain emotions, with the implication that if you follow these instructions and buy objects satifying the following guidelines, you'll soon be feeling better emotions.
that said, i actually really liked most of the 10 laws, and just wish that in the exposition he'd had more examples about buddhist monks and education, and less about ipods and google. also, i liked that he consciously applied his laws to his own efforts, limiting the book to 100 pages, etc. i'll always give you a star for taking things to the next meta-level.(less)
i listened to this. i probably would have retained more if i had read it instead. it's a bit dated, but i was happy with the summary of kant, descarte...morei listened to this. i probably would have retained more if i had read it instead. it's a bit dated, but i was happy with the summary of kant, descartes, and hegel, and a nice discussion of induction vs. a priori knowledge.
- "The man who has fed the chicken every day throughout its life at last wrings its neck instead, showing that more refined views as to the uniformity of nature would have been useful to the chicken. The mere fact that something has happened a certain number of times causes animals and men to expect that it will happen again. Thus our instincts certainly cause us to believe that the sun will rise to-morrow, but we may be in no better a position than the chicken which unexpectedly has its neck wrung."(less)
inspiring. socrates defends himself against his accusers with irresistible logic, virtue, and humor. on trial for his life, he remains both mental gia...moreinspiring. socrates defends himself against his accusers with irresistible logic, virtue, and humor. on trial for his life, he remains both mental giant and smartass. his sarcasm cuts and his courage pours salt in the wound.
"the unexamined life is not worth living"
"So I left him, saying to myself, as I went away: Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is,—for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows; I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him."
"I am a sort of gadfly, and the state is a great and noble steed who is tardy in his motions owing to his very size, and requires to be stirred into life. I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you. You will not easily find another like me, and therefore I would advise you to spare me."
every human should read this book. the content is five stars. six stars. seven stars. really really important stuff about how (known) facts are relate...moreevery human should read this book. the content is five stars. six stars. seven stars. really really important stuff about how (known) facts are related to (unknown) truth in the present and the prospects of predicting the future. if you care about being honest with yourself and others when assessing the importance of (nearly all realistic) decisions to employ one policy or strategy over another, this book will help you think soberly about these situations. it's not a matter of how to make the right decision, but an honest admission of how often the available data is inadequate by several orders of magnitude to make the correct choice with confidence. one may like to think that all right choices were made out of wisdom and diligence, while all wrong choices were made out of ineptitude and negligence. this is completely false, as this book shows.
"a mistake is not something to be determined after the fact, but in the light of the information available until that point."
"mild success can be explainable by skills and labor. wild success is attributable to variance."
but i can't give the book five stars, because this guy, nassim taleb, is probably the most pompous, conceited, self-aggrandizing, condescending cock of an author i've ever read. it would be one thing if all he did was heap piles of well-deserved scorn upon pundits, journalists, politicians, MBAs, etc. etc. i'm not really into endlessly snide writing, but at least his targets are guilty as charged. but on top of all the insults he pours on others, his endless compliments to himself get so bad as to be wince-inducing. he refers to himself as "sophisticated", an "asthete", and i don't know how many times he reminds us that he is a "voracious reader". he actually goes off topic to tell this ridiculous, patently bullshit story about how he lived in an apartment with no furniture, food, or utensils, because every time he tried to go to the furniture or grocery store, he would pass a bookstore and "haul bags of books" back instead. he probably has to haul his ego around with a forklift. minus one star for that.(less)