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“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”
― Voltaire

Currently reading

Magic Breaks
Ilona Andrews
The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel
Helene Wecker
How We Decide - Jonah Lehrer 7/14/13 Update. What to do, what to do, what to do. The book is being pulled by the publisher and refunds offered. Clearly, something's wrong. I loved the ideas, even if they weren't Lehrer's, but now I'm afraid he deserves a permanent ban from my to be read pile. I find myself questioning how much was fabricated because he wanted it to be true rather than because there was support for it being true.Self-plagiarism isn't a problem to me as much as the blatant made-up quotes (see link on Bob Dylan), quotes suspiciously congruent to other authors (see Malcolm Gladwell connection), using Wikipedia as a source and furiously lying through his teeth when discovered. Thanks to Carly's review for awareness of the issue.**********************************************Very fascinating book. Lots of insight into the human mind written in very accessible language. Does not commit the cardinal sin of listing many case studies and then drawing conclusions; instead Lehrer helps make neurobiology and scientific studies accessible by explaining the study and then giving a case study in action. I plan on purchasing this book at some point so that I can think more about the concepts covered and their implications in my own life. He covers basically, how we make decisions, using an emotional brain, a logical brain (aka prefrontal cortex) as well as other areas of the brain. Ultimately by providing more insight into the decision making process, he is hoping to empower us to make better decisions for ourselves. The first part on emotional brain helped me understand even more why clicker training is so powerful, another area of interest for me. He later makes the interesting point that it is the rational brain we should consult for small, less global decisions (his "which jam" examples) because it is well equipped to parse out the small number of variables needed to decide. This is opposed to the emotional brain, which is actually better equipped to make large global decisions (new couch? which car?) that have multiple areas of data of varying importance. He shows us a little about our desire to find patterns, and how this leads us into decision making traps in finances and gambling. Aversion to loss and our desire to be certain are also fascinating concepts in this book. I also liked that he gave a short chapter at the end summing up the different chapters, and how this information can be integrated into the reader's life. Occasionally some of the examples are too detailed or too long to make his point as well as they could. The section on gambling, for instance, contained an explanation of a kind of poker. Not being a gambler, I had a hard time following the technical terms he used throughout the pages of the example. I suspect, however, that many examples of sports figures and gambling are meant to attract male readers.