Prateek Jain's Reviews > A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink
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M 50x66
's review
Jul 24, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: psychology
Recommended for: No one.
Read from July 15 to 23, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 1

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, by Daniel H. Pink is a text which examines why right brainers or people with more creative and artistic abilities are going to rule the future. His argument is that due to Abundace, Asia and Automation, Left-Brained people or people with technical abilities are going to loose their edge in the job market. The only solution for them to remain relevant is to pick up skills which are more artistic and creative to enhance their skill set and to be more creative/empathetic in their approach to problems and work.

The book definitely raises an interesting point of view and a lot of the things which are mentioned are relevant. Interpersonal skills are becoming more and more relevant in workplace. Social networks are dominating a lot of chatter, which implies communicating more and more (without seeing the person ofcourse!). A lot of technical solutions require creative inputs and cannot be solved without them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these recommendations and solutions. I agree with the issues pointed out by the author which a lot of Left-Brained people suffer from. Disclaimer: I am in the technical field, and at the same time do understand the importance of right brained based creativity in the work place. But I decided to give 2 stars to the book.

My issue with the book are the following
(a) The book reads like, Daniel Pink woke up one day in the morning and decided Left-Brains are not good enough. It almost sounds like a tirade which is highly biased with one side of the coin. He makes examples (book was published in 2006) that there are softwares which will start generating softwares. Thus, software engineer will loose relevance. I work in Software Industry and I can assure him, as of now, the software he has mentioned in the book has not been used in any serious industrial scenarios. Watson which appeared on Jeopardy a few months ago and won, was a creation by a team of Mathematicians and Computer Scientists who were extremely good in their skills. Yes, I feel sad too, at the victory, since humans lost. But at the end of the day, Watson was created by a bunch of humans.

(b) His tirade against work shipped to Asia sounds like he is lobbying to the US Senators for curtailing work being shipped overseas. Yes, I am a foreign national (Indian Citizen) in US. But my opinion has nothing to do with that. Has Mr.Pink analyzed the kind of work which is being shipped overseas? US has its edge in R&D in the Tech Industry and it still holds that. Even if its loosing that edge, its not just because Asia produces more Computer Engineers who work for a fraction of the salary. Its also because unfortunately over here, if you enjoy Math and Science, people label you as a Geek/Nerd and you are the laughing stock of the school. Asia is rising in R&D, but still the number of patents and research papers which US produces is way higher than India. Have you looked at the surveys of salaries? Lemme present it to you, Source: Money and rate the top 100 careers with great pay and growth prospects. This is 2011. 5 years, after this specific edition of the book was published.

(c) He recommends fulfillment in life. Adopting a holistic approach to looking at things. Sure, nothing wrong with that too. He mentions getting married to lead a more happy and fulfilled life. A lot of people find meaning in their life in solitude. Mr.Pink please feel free to search on Amazon, and you will find numerous books with the same assertion some of which have been written by people who teach mindfulness for a living. You talk about giving up materialistic things in the end of the book. Towards the beginning you advocate why I should buy a 15$ toilet brush from Target which was created by a designer. Its going to make me feel better? Isn't that materialistic? Buy designer Patio furniture not normal stuff. See the apparent contradiction?

I can write a much longer review examining the apparent contradictions in the beliefs of the book. I am not debating against the theme of the book. Yes, it is important to have creative skills, but the book is full of opinions which to a larger extend lack basis. Yes, he gives his brain scans, but those are facts. I don't understand how the people who recommended this book including Thomas Friedman says, this is the best book for economics he has read. Really Mr.Friedman?????
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