Loren's Reviews > Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
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Jan 08, 12

bookshelves: economics, game-theory, psychology
Read from January 07 to 08, 2012

The premise sounded interesting enough. And when I learned this professor of behavioral economics was also a researcher for the Fed, (Translation: He's paid to promote personal failure = personal responsibilty and that capitalism is good for all because the Fed pays me to say so.) I anticipated a very Game Theorist/Freakonomics rhetoric. Benefit of doubt left me undeterred. With discernment, even truth can be discovered amidst lies. I opened to the introduction and read a list of what are obviously rhetorical questions presented to an illiterate non-analytical reader, who before him, unequivocally never fully pondered the likes of these "deep behavioral issues." And then he follows up with arrogantly promosing the reader that by the end of this book "you'll know" obviously with dismissive authority of a fundamentalist zealot "the answers to these questions and many other questions that have implications for your personal life, for your business life, and for the way you look at the world."

Wow, I'm sorry, is this a self-help book? Did I stumble into the land of life coaches who present their own ideology and claim prosperity in following their way, truth and life?

"Understanding the impact of the Ten Commandments in curbing dishonesty might help prevent the next Enron-like fraud."

That doubtfuls in Biblical proportions.

Grab up a sample & refer to the Intro.

Rhetorical Question #1
Answer: From childhood throughout our lives, we are constantly inundated with commercials and advertisements (as well as drugs within our foods) to help you salivate over the most unhealthy foods. And while empty of nuition these foods are, our body's biological need for actual nutrition tricks us into begging for more. On the other hand, there is no cheerleaders for broccoli. There is no one insisting on a wholesome meal made from scratch. If you decide to go outside, turn on the radio, watch television or surf the web, is it really a surprise to you that you cannot keep to a diet? Refer to books Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser and The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan.

Rhetorical Question #2
Answer: Overconsumption is the byproduct of being part of a capitalistic society and does not advocate individuality nor personal responsibility as many economists in the Fed's pocket would like you to believe. Reference Carter's Malaise speech and you will understand the rational foresight in his words. Sustainability is the antithesis of the capitalist creed. All commercials and ads are designed to make you believe true happiness lies in you consuming the next new stupid piece of shit.

Rhetorical Question #3
Answer: Aspirin comes originally from the Bayer Co. Their first marketable product was heroine. They only vilified heroine after it was fully accessible on the black market and no longer taxable. It had nothing to do with the health and well being of U.S. Citizens. So if Bayer doesnt give a rats ass about whether you live or die, of course they would prefer you bought the more expensive version of their aspirin product. Refer to This is Your Country on Drugs by Ryan Grim

Rhetorical Question #4
Answer: There is absolutely no statistical evidence supporting a higher or lower moral aptitude as a result of religiously fundamentalist thinking. Refer to Chaper 6 & 7 of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.
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