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How We Decide
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Steve Van Slyke (Steve_Van_Slyke) | 258 comments Jim recommended this book on a discussion thread for a past book of the month. I picked it up then and just now finished it. It was excellent--I gave it five stars. Here's my review:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


Jim (Neurprof58) | 129 comments Very nice job, Steve! I just noticed this thread, and unfortunately have still not written a proper review.

But this is certainly one of my favorite books on brain function, as it pertains to the different kinds of decisions that we make in life. And I will certainly post something more substantive here when I get the chance to write a real review.

In the meantime, I highly recommend Steve's review, linked in his comment above.


Aloha | 332 comments Thank you. That is on my list to read. I'll have to move it up.


Jim (Neurprof58) | 129 comments Thanks, Aloha!


Steve Van Slyke (Steve_Van_Slyke) | 258 comments Thanks, Jim. My wife almost never reads the books I read, and I rarely recommend one of mine to her, but in this case I did and she read it, and liked it. For me, that says a lot about the message and the writing.

Will look forward to your post here or your review.


Jim (Neurprof58) | 129 comments Thanks, Steve! I am very glad to hear that your wife read and liked it too. It really is a useful, and very well-written book.

I will do my best to post a cogent set of comments soon, here as well as on my review thread.


message 7: by Steve (last edited Aug 01, 2012 10:43AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Steve Van Slyke (Steve_Van_Slyke) | 258 comments After thoroughly enjoying this book it is very sad to hear the news about the author, Jonah Lehrer, who was forced to resign from his job at the New Yorker magazine for fabricating quotes (Bob Dylan) in his latest book Imagine: How Creativity Works.

Here's a link to one article about the debacle: http://www.theweek.co.uk/books/48238/...

Anyone else have a reaction?


Steve Van Slyke (Steve_Van_Slyke) | 258 comments Here is author Sam Harris' take on the Lehrer news:

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/th...

After his assessment Harris offers his ebook Lying for free for a limited time. I bought it a couple of months back and enjoyed it--a short quick read, and of course, germane to this topic.


Jim (Neurprof58) | 129 comments Steve wrote: "After thoroughly enjoying this book it is very sad to hear the news about the author, Jonah Lehrer, who was forced to resign from his job at the New Yorker magazine for fabricating quotes (Bob Dyla..."

This is shocking news, Steve. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

I have, unfortunately, been tied up with other pressing business and unable to add content to this thread. I do still hope to make detailed comments here on How We Decide. I own, but have not read Imagine: How Creativity Works.


Steve Van Slyke (Steve_Van_Slyke) | 258 comments Hi Jim, glad to know you're still around. I've been very busy with travel and boat projects and have not been able to participate much either.

If you read any of the articles about Lehrer's downfall you might have noticed that Imagine has been recalled. So, I suppose if you wanted to get your money back you could. On the other hand, it could turn out to be a collector's item! And it might still be a good book despite the fabricated quotes, because I still think the guy is a talented science writer. Hopefully he will learn his lesson and make amends.


Jim (Neurprof58) | 129 comments Thanks for the info, Steve, and I think I will await developments on this. My initial impression from sampling Imagine was that How We Decide is a much better book.

I too hope he learns the tough lesson. With his talent, he can surely do better. Aspiring authors should understand that in the age of Google, fakery is pretty easy to discover by those who know how to look.


David | 524 comments Mod
This news is very relevant to me right now. I just started reading The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely. Most "honest" people cheat a little bit, but not enough to destroy their self-image of a basically "honest" character.


Steve Van Slyke (Steve_Van_Slyke) | 258 comments David wrote: "This news is very relevant to me right now...."

That being the case, David, I highly recommend taking advantage of Sam Harris' offer of free downloads of his ebook, Lying. I believe it's available at his website.


Aloha | 332 comments Thank you. Lying is available for free on Amazon.


Jim (Neurprof58) | 129 comments David wrote: "This news is very relevant to me right now. I just started reading The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely. Most "honest" people cheat a little..."

Very nice observation, David. I have only read a small amount of Ariely's work, but I need to read a lot more. He is a really important author.

@Steve and Aloha- thanks very much for the info on Lying. I grabbed the free download on Amazon.


Kathy (Kathy_H) | 75 comments Thanks, I grabbed the free ebook too. Didn't realize the scandal until I read this thread.


Aaron Thibeault (thebookreporter) | 95 comments Steve wrote: "After thoroughly enjoying this book it is very sad to hear the news about the author, Jonah Lehrer, who was forced to resign from his job at the New Yorker magazine for fabricating quotes (Bob Dyla..."

Sad indeed, I was absolutely floored when I heard about this. This man had a dream job, and was very good (and very successful) at what he did. Why he would feel the need to fabricate quotes (from Bob Dylan of all people) is entirely beyond me. From what I understand, these were very minor misquotes, but still, this man is trusted and paid to tell nothing other than non-fiction (that is, non-lies). It’s all very tragic really: he’s destroyed his reputation over a trifle, and it’s quite likely that he will never be able to fully get it back. Clearly, the admission of guilt on the part of Lehrer should make us think twice about the veracity of other aspects of his work, but I’d be very surprised if other instances of exaggeration or deception do turn up. What Lehrer has done is unforgivable, but I would not mistrust the ideas in the book on the basis of what has been uncovered thus far. I've written a full executive summary of the book at newbooksinbrief.wordpress.com for those who are interested.


Jim (Neurprof58) | 129 comments Aaron wrote: "What Lehrer has done is unforgivable, but I would not mistrust the ideas in the book on the basis of what has been uncovered thus far. I've written a full executive summary of the book at newbooksinbrief.wordpress.com for those who are interested."

I appreciate your thoughts on this author and book, Aaron, and definitely agree with your points. I am interested in reading your summary of the book and will look for it very soon.

I wonder if you could post a direct link to your summary here. I think that some of the members would appreciate that convenience and be interested in your work.


Aaron Thibeault (thebookreporter) | 95 comments Sure thing, Jim. Here's the link: http://newbooksinbrief.wordpress.com/...

A podcast discussion of the book is also available at the site. I should note that I do not discuss Lehrer's anecdote about Bob Dylan in either the podcast or the article. The story hadn't yet broken by the time I finished either, and I didn't feel that the anecdote was necessary in order to carry Lehrer's larger point--which is that creativity often comes to us in times of despair, after we've given up on the question or problem we were trying to solve.

Cheers,
Aaron


Jim (Neurprof58) | 129 comments Thanks very much for the link and comments, Aaron. I will read your summary later today. Much appreciated.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Imagine: How Creativity Works (other topics)
Lying (other topics)
The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves (other topics)