March Reading Romp

You Are Now Less Dumb.

The cover alone sold me. A monkey smoking a pipe? PLEASE TAKE ALL MY MONEY!

Boy howdy did this book seriously challenge me. Dave McRaney and his book blew my mind in a number of different ways. The entire book is focused on psychological tricks that your brain uses to screw with you.

For example: The Ben Franklin effect states that you don’t actually like people who are nice and hate people who are mean. What’s really the truth is that you like people you do favors for, and hate people you are rude to.

Or the Backfire Effect. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Even if you haven’t, you’ve experienced it in the one place where logical and sensible meet up to have rational discourse: the internet.

The Backfire Effect states that when your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger. You aren’t a rational person capable of forming opinions based on evidence. Ever experience that sort of thing online when arguing with complete strangers?

You Are Now Less Dumb might be my favorite book I read all year. It’s one I absolutely have to come back to so I can fully understand, and full of book references that I must go through and read. All in all, it’s a fantastic book. Feel free to snag it on Amazon.

To Sell Is Human

If you think you’re life isn’t about selling, here’s a reality check: you sell. You sell everyday. It may not be selling in the traditional sense of the word. Your depends entirely on your ability to move people. You spend every single day attempting to move someone to your desires.

Daniel Pink had some really eye opening things to say in his book. 1 in 9 people currently work in a traditional sales role, while the other 8 sell every single day.

I found the book to be an interesting take on traditional sales, and sales tactics. Some of it isn’t necessarily ground breaking, but Pink does offer good stories about sales and examples of ethical ways to move people.

Feel free to pick it up on Amazon here.

Flash Boys

Malcolm Gladwell, a damn good writer who has authored many fascinating books,  called Michael Lewis the best story teller of our generation. This was my first read of his, though I’ve known of Lewis for a long time.

I really enjoyed the book. Lewis did a great job of breaking down a ton of the complex systems that went into your financial collapse, and sheds light on just how little so many people actually knew.

A couple of fascinating points in the book center around the financial industries obsession with speed, and the lengths to which institutions will go to get speed. What kind of difference speed are we talking about compared to competitors? Millionths of a second.

Some of the parts of the book can be somewhat dense, and I needed to go back over them to get a handle of what Lewis was really talking about.

For anyone who wants an entertaining read, and to understand a little bit about the financial crisis, and to see how little we’ve learned since then, I highly recommend picking this book up on Amazon.