Ben's Reviews > Nudge

Nudge by Richard H. Thaler
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Jun 06, 10

Read in October, 2009

Our last camping trip gave me a chance to finish up Nudge, a social economics book by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein. The first part of the book lays out the subject of choice architecture and ways that influence can, or even has to be asserted by system designers and policy makers. The authors promote "libertarian paternalism," which seeks desirable results using nudges that largely maintain freedom of choice for participants. The remainder of the work presents numerous examples and ideas for implementing the authors' beliefs. Overall, I liked this book quite a bit. Even though it was not as fun a read as similar styled books, the theories were interesting because they could be applied to endless arenas of life. (Or for that matter, even beyond life, as it left me wanting to write a book that explored their ideas as might be applied to the theological paradox of predestination and free-will.) Also, reading Nudge will open up your eyes to so many ways your life is orchestrated for you no matter how how free you try to be. As you ruminate the meat of the book, you soon find that the roots of their ideas begin to reach into problems, concepts, and even beliefs that you thought settled and jump-start a fresh perspective.
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