Iman Shabani's Reviews > هنر شفاف اندیشیدن

هنر شفاف اندیشیدن by Rolf Dobelli
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it was ok
bookshelves: non-fiction, self-development, read-in-2018, worth-only-one-read

If you're looking for a book to help you get ahead, or improve you as a human being, don't look here; but if like me, you want to see how a book of such reputation with no scientific ground, or even much common sense, can be so popular among some people, get this book and start reading.

(I tried not to include any spoilers, so read with peace of mind if you have it in your to-read list.)

The fact that this is a terrible book became known to me very early in the book, however I decided to keep reading and finish the book, mainly for this reason, plus interest in some of the short stories in there. One thing that this book had for me, was a short list of some useful books to get to once I'm done with this one.

There's tons wrong with this book, and I don't want you to have to read 5 pages here, so let's just get to a few major reasons and move on:

1. My main issue is the writer himself, read a few of the pages, and you soon come to understand that Rolf Dobelli doesn't know what he's talking about at all. He doesn't have any new knowledge to offer, and he doesn't even offer a better way to understand already known knowledge, regardless of how much he tries.

2. Cynicism is present all over the book, while that might be nice for a pessimist, it definitely isn't for an optimist like me, not even for non-pessimists all over the world. I could understand this if that cynicism was at the very least standing on some facts, but even that is not the case.

3. Plagiarism, if you looked at other reviews, you already know this one. Fortunately I've checked out "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman a long time ago, and could see a lot of the places where Rolf Dobelli used Daniel's examples and researches throughout the book, without even slightest pointer to him, or his best-selling book, that's a big NO in my book. This reason is enough for me to blacklist the writer for life. (Not to mention the long list of stealing that he did from Nassim Taleb, just google it to see what I'm talking about)

4. Lots of the data in the book is incorrect, and gladly we have math and science to back us up on this. My biggest question at these points was, "How this guy can be an investor, and work with money, if he doesn't even understand simplest statistics, and how someone must use math?"

5. And probably the most clear one to every reader, the writer is a hypocrite. He uses at least half a dozen of methods that he explicitly "orders" you (yes, "order", not "suggest" or "recommend") not to use ever. While this is clear at some points in the book, unfortunately some people find a way to overlook it.


I could refer to 40 or 45 pages specifically and show you the problems I had with this book in details, but then no one would read this review, and so this couldn't help anyone avoid it, or be clear enough before reading it, so I decided to just point to a few generic and major issues, and not talk too specifically here.

Why I didn't rate the book 1 star then? Well, the book has a list of errors, 99 to be exact, and while I don't agree with about half of them, the list can still be useful for you, maybe you can't get the required information for each error in this mostly stolen book, but it gives you a starting point to follow from other books, like Daniel Kahneman's book, and start using those points in your life. Just make sure you apply that final step before changing anything in your life based on this book.

The book also had a couple of interesting short stories and pointers that I could use as clues and find more about later on. I wrote all of them on a small piece of paper and will get to at some point.

I guess you have 2 options if you're interested in this book, first of all, you could read the full book, but close off your mind and make sure you don't treat this pile of information as correct until you spent quite some time filtering it; and secondly, you could just look at the list of topics at the beginning of the book and see which ones you can agree with at that very moment, and then jump to the end of the book and check the resources, and start reading the resources instead of the book itself to get to those interesting topics; after all, the writer didn't have anything useful to add here.

I personally don't see the time I put to read this book as wasted, in fact I see it as investment into better filter wrong info in my journey, and also to understand better, the people that base their life on such books, as I believe I can do that a little bit better than before I started reading this.

Thank you for spending time reading my review, will see you on the next book. :)

{برای دوستان فارسی زبان، متاسفانه علاوه بر مشکلات نویسنده، تیم ترجمه نتونسته کار خوبی ارائه بده، و با اینکه به شخصه عادل برام محترمه، از کار ترجمش اینجا اصلا راضی نبودم. کافیه فقط 2 بخش رو با نسخه ی انگلیسی بخونین تا متوجه بشین که توی هر بخش چنتا از جملات کاملا غلط ترجمه . شده، و مهمتر از اون، توی هر بخش 1 یا 2 جمله که هیچ مشکلی ایجاد نمی کنن کلا حذف شدن. سانسور بی دلیل.}
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Reading Progress

June 2, 2018 – Shelved
June 2, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
June 3, 2018 – Started Reading
June 5, 2018 –
page 32
June 5, 2018 –
page 54
June 6, 2018 –
page 78
June 6, 2018 –
page 102
June 6, 2018 –
page 123
June 7, 2018 –
page 150
June 8, 2018 – Shelved as: non-fiction
June 8, 2018 – Shelved as: self-development
June 9, 2018 –
page 168
June 12, 2018 –
page 183
June 16, 2018 –
page 195
June 17, 2018 –
page 213
June 23, 2018 –
page 234
70.48% "The more I read it, the less I'm able to recommend it to another soul in good conscience. This book has its benefits, but you have to be extra careful while reading it, otherwise you can absorb any part of it, right or wrong."
June 26, 2018 –
page 240
June 26, 2018 –
page 240
July 18, 2018 –
page 316
July 19, 2018 – Finished Reading
July 20, 2018 –
page 332
100.0% "Finally, I can put this away, lol."
July 20, 2018 – Shelved as: read-in-2018
July 21, 2018 – Shelved as: worth-only-one-read

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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Iman Shabani دوستان سعی کردم با لحن ساده ای بنویسم، ولی اگر نیاز بود بگین ترجمه ی ریویو رو هم در ادامش بذارم.

Mehrdad Thanks for the comprehensive review.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks for the review Iman!
I'm curious to know if he has actually plagiarised, how come he has not been sued and his book is still legally being sold? Or is it?

message 4: by Iman (last edited Jul 22, 2018 11:07AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Iman Shabani @Sina,

Well for one, he's living in Switzerland AFAIK (not sure how they handle such cases over there), and also he *translated* most of it from books written in other languages, like Taleb's "Incerto", and Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow".

Take a look here for a dozen of the cases he did that from Incerto for instance:

One could easily see how obvious his *copying* is.

Iman Shabani A simple case if one doesn't want to read that page:

Iman Shabani @Mehrdad and @Sina, thanks for your kind words.

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