Posts tagged `psychology`
Perfect Rigor Perfect Rigor by Masha Gessen
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Year: 2009
Pages: 256

I still remember reading for the first time about Grisha Perelman’s solution to the Poincaré Conjecture on Slashdot back in 2004. I knew nothing about the Poincaré Conjecture other than it was famous—one of those big question marks in mathematics like Fermat’s Last Theorem—and therefore big news.

What generated even more press than the solution to the math itself—which, by most journalistic standards, is a dead end—is the fact that the genius behind the proof is a very odd duck indeed. By the time this review is posted, Grigori “Grisha” Perelman has become a near-total recluse at his apartment in St. Petersberg, Russa, which he shares with his mother. He doesn’t talk to anyone—even his old friends—and has claimed to have left the field of mathematics entirely.

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§4873 · January 19, 2010 · (No comments) · Tags: , , , , ,

Blink Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Year: 2005/2007
Pages: 320

I usually don’t cluster books by the same author together (unless they are a series), and under normal circumstances I would have read Blink so soon after reading Outliers, but I picked the book up for a song and needed a short read during this past week while I was preparing to move.

In short, Blink is a mixed bag.

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§3974 · August 25, 2009 · (No comments) · Tags: , , , , ,

Snoop Snoop by Sam Gosling
Publisher: Basic Books
Year: 2008
Pages: 272

I have a weakness for popular science books, even though that sometimes steers me dangerously close to quacks or shallow popsci frauds (think pretty much all of Oprah’s guests….). I picked up Snoop on the strength of its review on Amazon.

Some of you may be familiar with Room Raiders, a sickly sort of reality television show airing on MTV since 2003. In it, three young men or women have their rooms “raided”—that is, inspected—by a member of the opposite sex; at the end, the inspector’s room is summarily raided by the contestants. Any pictures of the people are covered up: the goal is to surmise as much about the person as possible based on the state, condition, and content of his or her room. It’s actually an interesting premise—as we shall see—ruined in this case by the fact that its stars are about keg stand away from being mentally retarded.

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§3941 · July 27, 2009 · (No comments) · Tags: , , , , , ,

Atmospheric Disturbances Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Year: 2008
Pages: 256

This post may contain spoilers; most of the data it will disclose are easily predictable within the first quarter of the book, and as such I consider them fair game. If you genuinely do not want to know the book’s plot, please do not read this review.

I don’t remember exactly how I came across Atmospheric Disturbances; it was likely an Amazon recommendation, and I can’t say for sure what inspired me to pick it up other than I found it at the library and it’s premise—namely that a man suddenly decides that his wife has been replaced by an identical imposter—piqued that curiosity which is aroused by such things

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§3921 · July 14, 2009 · (No comments) · Tags: , , , ,

Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom
Publisher: Broadway
Year: 2009
Pages: 256

Were you to take seriously Paco Underhill’s forward to Buyology, or the publisher’s jacket press, you’d likely be under the impression that Martin Lindstrom is the second cousin of Jesus in the marketing world. Actually, I can’t dispute or verify that: relatively well-published, Lindstrom very well may be a branding guru among those in the know.

I picked up Buyology because I’m in that kind of mode from my MBA classes, and the premise of the book (buying decisions are largely unconscious) intrigued me. Except for Lindstrom’s penchant for repetition and the “This is going to blow your mind!” hype, I thought it was actually a good book.

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§3841 · June 22, 2009 · (No comments) · Tags: , , , ,