As some other reviewers have mentioned, there isn't much new here. But though I've come across most of what is within these pages in other books it doAs some other reviewers have mentioned, there isn't much new here. But though I've come across most of what is within these pages in other books it doesn't hurt hearing it again with the specific focus upon what captures our attention.
One random and curious note, unlike every other author I've read on similar subjects, instead of constantly saying how evolution designed, developed, optimized, created, fashioned, shaped or caused this or that, he just simply says the brain developed or was hard-wired for x, y and z. You could hand this book to a creationist without them being constantly made uncomfortable. ...more
A very interesting and well told story, it is clear from this tale that Psychiatry has gone a long, long ways since the days of Freud. Lieberman is hoA very interesting and well told story, it is clear from this tale that Psychiatry has gone a long, long ways since the days of Freud. Lieberman is hoping the remove the stigma that haunts his profession and keeps people from seeking help for mental disorders. He did this by honestly sharing his professions dark and bumbling past, with it's multitude of misadventures, red-herrings, travesties and eventual serendipitous discoveries which finally open some doors where Psychiatrist could actually help those suffering from serious mental illnesses. By the end of the book Lieberman actually does give one a sense of confidence, that despite their past, they're now as respectable as any of medical profession. After talking with my dad, however, who worked in a mental hospital and is now a professional counselor, I do think Lieberman in his attempt to praise modern psychiatry, maybe did underplay the serious problems that plague the field today. Especially those concerning how its customary nowadays for patients to receive a liberal amount of drugs after a cursory appraisal of symptoms from a brief impersonal visit. The most frightful thing is some of the drugs have severe side-effects, sometimes worse than the original symptoms, which than of course merit further medication and further profit for the suppliers. My dad mentioned horror stories that resulted from pill pushers and also a story of a man who became a normal functioning human being again after a friend wouldn't let him take the large cocktail of brain altering drugs which had kept in a zombie like state for a plethora of years. Lieberman also didn't mention the issues concerning the conflicts of interest, due to Psychiatrist being in bed with the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies. There are just so many unconscious incentives which are likely to corrupt the most noble psychiatrist that are not in the interest of the patient, of course, this is true with all medical professions....more
What I loved about this book is the very thing that many other reviews complained about. Gretchen doesn't strictly adhere to the popular regurgitatedWhat I loved about this book is the very thing that many other reviews complained about. Gretchen doesn't strictly adhere to the popular regurgitated studies and single interpretations which have been repeated ad-nauseam in every other book out there on habits. Gretchen shares personal observations and experiences similar to my own (which I've never heard anyone else make mention of), this was affirming to me--to hear her speak of curiosities I've noticed in my struggles with change--was music to my ears. Judging from the multitudes of books I've read on the subject, and how many of them pretty much say the same thing that everyone else said, I suspect there is a fear among authors of stepping outside of the box and sharing more personal insights and the anecdotal. And no wonder, to do so attracts criticism which Gretchen has received here share on goodreads.
Gretchen spoke about the "Lightening bolt" (I think that is what she called it), when suddenly the switch is flipped and we go from struggle and consistent failure, to effortless commitment. There is a lot of mystery surrounding this for me, I so wish I could make it happen. I remember several years ago, I gained 30lbs and just kept gaining weight, for 3 months I was my own worst enemy sabotaging every attempt, breaking every commitment and killing each attempt at changing my bad habits. This was until I went and visited my parents and my mom had me watch some videos by Michael Gregor (President of the humane society) on the plethora of problems with animal products and how they're linked with all the western disease, and it clicked, I became a vegan health nut, wasn't even tempted by junk food and I lost a lot weight. What is funny is Gretchen lighten bolt of change was for a diet on the other end of the spectrum: the high fat, low carb and animal saturated diet, where bacon is the staple. This is the one thing she is quite the evangelist for in the book. Interestingly enough, I and my parents have lost a lot of weight by cutting out animal products and consuming a mostly carbs diet; full of potatoes, rice and beans. My mom has managed her high blood pressure, rid her self of fibromyalgia and my dad has kept his diabetes under control and was able stop his medications, by switching to a whole food high carb diet low on animal products. I can't necessarily doubt Gretchen testimonials of all those she has converted, but I also can't doubt mine and my parents objective results either. But yeah, this is one area where Gretchen has drunk the flavor-aid, her world is completely black and white, with no shades of grey, for me I don't know who believe, I know reality must be more complex, but I know my consistent experience is that the fat I eat is the fat I wear.
I liked how Gretchen mention for her, she must cut things out completely--she can't do moderation. Sadly, it is the same for me. If I rule something out absolutely, often I am not even tempted, but if I give an inch, I consistently take a mile. I have no off switch when it comes to junk food, other than my stingy nature keeps me from buying it, because I can't stomach the price.
I thought her reflections on Upholder, Questioner, Obliger and Rebel was interesting. I suppose, my tendency would be to oblige, my desire however is to be the upholder, when it comes highway laws and other stupid rules I guess I am a questioner. :) I am definitely not the rebel and Lord forbid I ever have a child who is!!!...more
I loved Carr's book "The Shallows" about how the internet is changing the brain, "The Glass Cage" isn't as good (in my opinion) but overall it was welI loved Carr's book "The Shallows" about how the internet is changing the brain, "The Glass Cage" isn't as good (in my opinion) but overall it was well-written and made some interesting points.
Carr made the case that automation is and will continue to lead to greater unemployment. Though this is no doubt true, my hope is for society to continue to use it's creativity to continue to dream up new ways and different avenues of making a living. Advancements have often resulted in certain industries going under; I am sure a lot of horse buggy makers lost their livelihood when the automobile came into popularity. It just doesn't really seem we can say no to automation in order to save jobs anymore than we should forbid other new inventions in hopes to save jobs.
Much of the book was spent on the effect of Automation in aviation, he covered a lot of interesting history from the mastery of pilots in the cockpit to the now passive pilot being carried by autopilot. Carr mentions with Pilots, certain skills grow rusty without use, so since autopilot does pretty much everything and can even override the pilot, in those rare moment that something goes wrong, pilots are now much more likely to make fatal mistakes.
Carr mentioned the tragic effect of lack of meaningful involvement in work. Once machines required skilled machinist who could take pride in their work, now the machines merely require bored babysitters. Once tools were an extension of a skilled hand in our brain map, now the tools no longer need us. It seems we are always seeking the easy way; striving to make it where we can lazy and exert little effort, but the more we get what we want, the more life seems empty, boring and listless.
But yeah, there was plenty more, he definitely has some legit concerns ...more
As many others have mentioned, the first half was simply excellent; lots of food for thought, a little later on, his reflections on love, though maybeAs many others have mentioned, the first half was simply excellent; lots of food for thought, a little later on, his reflections on love, though maybe a little too harsh, did jive with my own observations. But, my Alanta, as he started getting into his new agey religious philosophy--declaring how our unconscious is god and all, uhh... hmm... I tried to give it a positive metaphorical spin, but yeah, it still seemed like he tried to set himself up as a guru of a religion of his own making and I guess I wasn't drinking the kool-aid. So I give the book 5 stars for the first half and 1 star for the last, bringing it to 3 stars....more
"How we learn" has much of the same information as the excellent book "Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning", but Carey had a different e"How we learn" has much of the same information as the excellent book "Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning", but Carey had a different emphasis and also gave the history of the studies that resulted in the latest science, which was interesting....more
Part of this book was rather convicting, bringing to light how simple and quick a little e-mail or message can be and yet how often I procrastinate anPart of this book was rather convicting, bringing to light how simple and quick a little e-mail or message can be and yet how often I procrastinate and thus never get around to responding to people in online communication, so yes, this is something I am already attempting to change. There was lots of excellent advice and thoughts throughout this book, I definitely need to have more folks over to my house for dinner, games and just to hangout.
The main thing I didn't care for in the book is the authors love of lying, it is interesting broadcasting such a thing in a book that her friends might read. If I was her friend and when I wanted to hangout, she told me something like "I have to pick someone up from the airport" or "I have an appointment" I now would know she was more likely than not lying, this wouldn't make me feel good. For me honesty is huge in a relationship....more
The book started off well enough, grabbing my interest and convincing me that libertarian paternalism has a lot going for it. If the masses are goingThe book started off well enough, grabbing my interest and convincing me that libertarian paternalism has a lot going for it. If the masses are going to be influenced by their unconscious to make irrational and stupid choices, some minor tweaks could be made, that result in the unthinking majority mindlessly do positive things for their health, wallet, humanity and the planet, though they're still free to do otherwise (thus the Libertarian part). An example given was how the amount of dessert eaten can be increased or decreased based only on the placement of the dessert in the cafeteria. Everyone still has the choice, the sweets are assessable, but Schools can reduce the amount of bad calories on average eaten by students merely by were they put the cake.
I do think Libertarian paternalism seems to be one of the best middle-ground positions between the Left and the Right that I've heard. Liberal's can fulfill their life ambition of being Big Brother or the benevolent Nanny, but do it in such a way that doesn't cost trillions nor takes away people's liberty. For example politicians may want more people to donate their organs when they die, but instead of making this mandatory, they can merely make this the default option, people still can opt out, but if they don't opt out, their organs will be donated upon their death.
But yeah, as the book continued, my interest begin to wane, it was hard to finish--it just seemed dry and i suppose the authors were suggesting polices that were not relevant to myself, considering my line of work.
But my word, once I got to the global warming chapter and I learned that according to the authors "Cap and trade" is an excellent example of libertarian paternalism, and something they support, that I found great reason to be concerned. Obama himself mentioned before he was president that cap and trade would cause already high electricity prices to "skyrocket", but he was for it, even though it would make it so energy companies could no longer make a profit, even though it would cause chaos and nation wide black-outs, he favored this, because it would FORCE the USA to discover new alternative energy sources, which he acknowledged yet exist. THERE IS NO Libertarianism in this, not a spec....more
This book was short and sweet. I liked his example of the butcher shop that has a sign that reads “Today meat is at regular prices, tomorrow all meatThis book was short and sweet. I liked his example of the butcher shop that has a sign that reads “Today meat is at regular prices, tomorrow all meat is free” and when people come in tomorrow, the Butcher than just points to the sign and tells the person to come back tomorrow, only for them to return and the Butcher again points to the sign. This captures our regular experience of thinking “I don't feel like doing it now, I'll to it tomorrow” only for the morrow to come, and again we think “I don't feel like doing it now, I'll feel like it later”.
When we begin to think this way, we should acknowledge that if we don't feel like doing something today, we will most likely not feel like it later. Therefore, we should just get started. Often when we get started, we gradually get into the work. But once we get started, of course, distractions could come, and thus it is good to create some “if ----- then -----” scenarios, to help us not get derailed, and also try to separate ourselves from Facebook, e-mail and text, and recognize that “It will just take a minute” logic often leads us to doing something, and than suddenly two hours later.... ...more
This is a tome of the moral failings, lies and hypocrisies of some of the secular saints and heroes of the left. I think it was a bit long and repetitThis is a tome of the moral failings, lies and hypocrisies of some of the secular saints and heroes of the left. I think it was a bit long and repetitive, because, we'll most of these liberal intellectuals were gifted individuals who were also vain, egotistical, hedonistic, addicts, freeloaders, pathological liars, thieves, violent, sexually immoral and cruel jerks who "loved humanity" but hated and treated every human being they came in contact with like garbage.
Occasionally Johnson points out how their wretched life-styles seemed to influence their ideas that wrought so much harm, suffering, bloodshed and poverty into our world when they were followed by their admirers. I do wish Johnson actually spent more time writing about some of their philosophy and making more connections and more commentary. There was just simply too many details concerning these intellectuals sordid love (or I should say lust) lives, it was a bit too gossipy. It got old.
Not long ago I read "A Philosophical Treatise on the Weakness of Human Understanding" by Pierre Daniel Huet (written in the late 1600s), where Huet argues that because of the weakness of our understanding, we need to put our trust and aline ourselves with revelation that comes from a perfectly good God who sees reality as it truly is. Huet notes how even then we will only see in part and haven't room for complete certitude, but at least we will be closer to reality than if we just grope blindly in the dark, or confidently stagger and make claims of absolute certainty while in a state of pure delusion. What is interesting is most of the intellectuals Johnson wrote about were atheist and sought to rely upon their own wisdom, understanding and sense of right and wrong, and my word... the results of the lives and ideas are definitely proof of their folly. They were people whose lives were completely out of sync with reality and surely the root of it was their rebellion against the only absolute Standard.
Books on temperament and personality theories, love languages, birth order, etc... have always been interesting to me, because they offer a new perspeBooks on temperament and personality theories, love languages, birth order, etc... have always been interesting to me, because they offer a new perspective, a new set of spectacles by which we can better understand people, so I was glad to come across this book that looks relationships through lens of attachment theory. Within attachment theory we have the secure, anxious and avoidance form of attachment, these can be seen in babies and though ones attachment style is somewhat plastic, often ones attachment style will remain with one their whole life. I myself seem to be a mix of secure and anxious, it does seem to me that I only become extremely anxious when I am experiencing the mixed signals of someone I like possibly has an avoidant attachment type.
But yeah, I finished the book last week and I was walking this morning and it dawned on me how much attachment theory fits within a Christians concept of relationship with God. Sure, I know plenty likely think Christians are merely experiencing a pseudo-relationship with a figment of their imagination, but even if this is the case, it is rather bizarre how well it fits. Some people are completely secure in their attachment to God, in Him they find comfort, encouragement and unconditional love, within this security they have more freedom to truly live in this world with confidence and vitality. Other people, though they consider themselves Christians, may have some spiritual highs and meaningful experiences, they have the avoidant attachment style and fear intimacy and want to remain independent, so for the most part they're Christians in name but atheist in lifestyle. And finally we have the anxious, often for them it seems like God himself has an aviodant attachment style, occasionally there is intimacy, but this is mixed with copious amounts disinterest, distance and coldness, and thus the anxious can be an emotion wreck, filled with spiritual angst and uncertainty, this eventually leads to protest behavior, maybe even leaving the faith all together. ...more
I am an audiobooks junkie and often soon after I finish a book, I go to the computer to write a review, but my mind feels completely void—it seems likI am an audiobooks junkie and often soon after I finish a book, I go to the computer to write a review, but my mind feels completely void—it seems like I completely forget all I just heard, even the fascinating tidbits. All I feel left with is an impression concerning whether I liked the book or not. Since there is this mental blockage, most of the time I just don't write much of a review and consider those things I wanted to share, lost. Most of my life it has seemed the majority of what was imprinted in my mind was written with disappearing ink.
But thank heaven, I download this audiobook “Make it Stick”!! The authors taught me that my initial blankness and difficulty recalling, is actually normal and is an import part in the learning process. That is, if I am diligent to search the recesses of my mind until I recall some of the content. Indeed it's this difficult act of retrieving, that will help cement it in our brain. An example a teacher gave her students was how our mind is like a forest, and the information is lost somewhere in it. The first time we go looking for it can be frustrating and difficult. But the next time will be easier and also will begin to form a trail, making it easier to find our way to the information in the future.
One of my biggest hindrances to learning has been my foolish wish that learning might be easy—a stroll through a park. I've wanted to be able to be passive recipient, merely reading or listening, exerting no effort beyond this. But indeed, as the authors point out, merely listening or reading and re-reading material, though giving a sense of familiarity with it, will only result in the illusion of knowledge. We will feel like we know something, but there is no way to know what we actually don't know, unless we're quizzed or questioned. The authors make it clear that re-reading, listening again to a lecture and reviewing our notes, though it may help up past a test the following day, will not result in long term knowledge or mastery. So yes, as I mentioned, if we want it to stick, we must recall, recall, recall. When we find it difficult, we must resist the temptation to just going back and glancing again at what we previously read, for this would be merely re-reading. We must first try hard to remember and only after this go back to the book/answers/notes and fill in the blanks and make sure we recalled correctly. But it's not merely searching the crannies of the mind and located something, we must reflect on it after finding it. We need to elaborate on the concepts, expressing them in our own words and thinking up examples and analogies, also we should seek to relate and connect the material with our past knowledge. All of this may seem like hard work, but the authors mentioned if learning ain't hard, it's like writing in the sand, it will all be washed away.
Even though this requires effort. It is exciting to know that one of the best ways of learning is to actual seek to recall and reflect on the material. And just think, this can be done anywhere, it's like I can be learning and encoding things I had read, throughout the day.
The authors point out, how testing, is not so much merely for making sure we learned the material, but testing is an excellent way to learn it. There was a study they mentioned in which one group spent an amount of time cramming, and another spent the same amount of time recalling and quizzing themselves, and then after an extended period of time, when tested, the crammers lost 50% while the recallers only lost 13% of the information they learned. The same amount of time was spent and recalling was obviously far more effective. This is encouraging.
They also wrote a good deal about interweaving (I think that is what they called it.) examples would be things like the batter in baseball will do better if he practices with all kinds of pitches, rather than mastering curve balls, fast balls, etc... one at a time. Though the latter will seem more productive, it will give the illusion of mastery. The authors gave the example of those learning to associate artist names with their paintings, and how it's best to skip around, instead of spending much time on anyone. I suppose learning is in school is often like A-B-C-D-E-F-G, but real life is F-A-C-D-G-B-E.
The Authors wrote on the importance of understanding the growth mentality, instead of thinking intelligence is static. If kids are told they're smart or that they're “a natural” it can have disastrous results, but if they're praised for diligence and hard work, this will often bear good fruit. People need to understand the brain is plastic and no matter the amount of intelligence we were endowed with, we can through tons of practice and work, master many, many things.
But yeah, there is more, but the review is long enough. I will mention I employed the concepts they taught me as I went through the book. I likely spent almost as much time reflecting on it (out loud) while on walks, as I did listening to the book. And yes, I think reflecting on it several hours benefited me much more than merely re-listening to the audiobook....more