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VOTE NOW! Vote Now, Next Book Discussion August

Which Book for Next Book Discussion

  • The Go Giver, Bob Burgg

    Votes: 4 4.9%
  • The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday

    Votes: 21 25.9%
  • Thinking Fast and Slow, D. Kahneman

    Votes: 24 29.6%
  • The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt

    Votes: 8 9.9%
  • The Untethered Soul, Singer

    Votes: 1 1.2%
  • The Chimp Paradox, Peters

    Votes: 7 8.6%
  • Start With Why, Simon Sinek

    Votes: 16 19.8%

  • Total voters
    81
  • Poll closed .

awsamro

New Contributor
May 28, 2019
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Let's hear your nominations for this month's book discussion!

Don't forget to give us your take on July's book, Never Split the Difference, by Voss. (I'm half way done with it.)

I nominate The Chimp Paradox which continually comes in 2nd place in our voting! I haven't read it, but many folks here have recommended it.

Also, Why We Sleep (our Insider giveaway drawing this month)...

How does the book club work? Where do you discuss the books and when? I voted for the Chimp Paradox. It seems cool.
 

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Frank H.

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Comrades, these recommendations are incredible! All of these books share valuable wisdom and are dirt cheap. The Obstacle Is the Way is my choice because it talks about the resilience and adversity of brave men and women. My second choice would be The Untethered Soul because I've read "The Surrender Experiment".
 

Primeperiwinkle

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Ok I’ve dug deep into the reviews for every book but two, The Obstacle is the Way and the Go-Giver, because I’ve already read those.

I’m thoroughly unimpressed with the reviews for Untethered Soul and The Righteous Mind.

Did you all read these reviews?

Anyhoo... I went back and looked at both The Obstacle is The Way and The Go-Giver and.. they’re both phenomenal but The Go-Giver makes you humble.

What do I mean?

Out of all the books I’ve read on success it’s the only book that lays out an entirely different perspective on getting rich. By giving. The more I spend time with successful ppl the more I realize just how incredibly UNselfish they are.


It’s a ridiculously simple book. Almost stupid simple in its storytelling way and yet...

If Aesop can explain wisdom in fables and Solomon can explain wisdom in a four sentence proverb... hmm.

The Obstacle is The Way made me feel stronger and fired up but I don’t know if it really changed me. The Go-Giver did. Because by the end of it I wanted to help ppl and focus on my clients needs. It’s time I read it again.
 

ChrisV

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Go Giver was good. I think I was one of the first people to recommend that here a while back


Short with good lessons.
 

Matthew Hinton

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I’ve made it about a 1/2 of the way through The Righteous Mind. So far so good. It has been a little hard for me to follow at times. I was thinking a discussion on it would help break it down.

I just read the reviews on Go Giver and it sounds great.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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It takes someone with really high intellect to understand them.

Maybe so... this is two of the reviews for The Righteous Mind.

Cave Man Ethics

I purchased this book because I am interested in the idea that morals may be inborn -- part of human nature -- and that each culture shares certain basic values. I started reading the book enthusiastically, but by the end I was skimming pages and dismayed that the author had so seriously failed to provide any solutions to our political problems.



Haidt starts by dividing the human mind into what he calls the elephant and the rider. The rider is the reasoning, rational mind, whereas the elephant is the irrational, impulsive and intuitive mind. He argues that human moral decisions are guided by the elephant, and that the rider just comes up with a rationalized, post-facto "reasonable" justification after the decisions have been made by the elephant. Of course, anyone who has been alive for more than a couple decades may have noticed this kind of "logic" in his fellow humans. It goes like this: "Here are my biases, now how do I make an argument to justify it."



Later in the book, he goes into more detail and lists the specific intuitions that may bias people towards certain moral conclusions: care/harm, liberty/oppression, fairness/cheating, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, sanctity/degradation.



However, he doesn't call them biases (that's my own terminology). He describes them as something like the taste buds of morality, whereupon one may develop certain "tastes" over a lifetime that cause one to be liberal (progressive) or conservative. Just like we may have a preference for sweet food, we might also have partially inborn and partially acquired intuition for, to make an example, loyalty, which may lead one to make statements like "My country, right or wrong" in the face of unethical behavior by one's government.



Haidt rejects rational thinking entirely. Indeed, he goes so far as to label those who engage in systematic rational thinking as "autistic" (pg 136). He labels modern, civilized countries as WEIRD (an insulting acronym he made up). He also has no interest in individual rights, such as America's Bill of Rights. Rather, he finds solace in the ignorance of impoverished villagers in northeast Brazil and primitive people of India who wipe their butts with their hands (really! see pg 122). He praises studies which show that ignorant people prefer collectivism and use their intuitions (prejudices/biases) when making moral decisions. Critical thinking? Rights? To Haidt, they're irrelevant. He's openly hostile to critical thinking. He disparages psychological studies of advanced ("WEIRD") countries as "statistical outliers" (pg 112).



Essentially, his ethics can be summarized as "cultural relativism", except that Western cultures are always wrong and those on the upper half of the bell curve (advanced, civilized societies) are WEIRD. Since humans are incapable of reason (according to Haidt), we can only navigate ethical and political decisions by intuitions. Whose intuitions should we follow, you ask? Well, that's unclear, although he does provide some helpful graphs of the intuitions of different political views towards the end of the book. I guess whoever shouts the loudest gets to make the rules.



I don't actually disagree with any of Haidt's psychological studies. I just come to entirely different conclusion. When Haidt finds ignorance and prejudice, he wants to build a code of ethics out of it. Where I find ignorance and prejudice, I want to educate people and help them to understand the points of views of others. How can this come about? Well, first one must accept that there is a real, physical reality out there, and that certain actions make sense in the real world and others don't. If you compare today's political discussion with that of previous generations, you can see how far we've fallen. For example, read "The Federalist Papers" and compare that to any modern day politician's anti-intellectualism, and you can realize how much America has lost since our founding in terms of critical thinking and honest debate.



The Enlightenment-style system of individual rights has advanced society enormously. Unfortunately, there are still pseudo-intellectuals like Haidt who want to drag us back into the stone age, or worse, towards fascism, religious fundamentalism, or communism. I find this book disturbing and could go on and on about problems I have with it, however I think I've said enough to get my point across.



Pseudo-Intellectual Snow Job or Narcissistic Jerk-Off?

Either way, I continued to plow through this mish mosh of mixed (and poorly conceived) metaphors on the strength of its title until Haidt quoted James Hare on psychopathy being wholly genetic without any reference whatsoever to the concept of sociopathy and environmental conditioning. Then it went in the trash.



To a reader of more than 600 books on human behavior (95% written by Ph.D.-level researchers and/or licensed mental health professionals) with over 30 years' experience on the MHP front line, the title looked to be useful with respect to the interpersonal and political manifestations of narcissistic personality disorder. I was already well into the largely unconscious, perception-blinding beliefs of the far left and far right, and supposed that Haidt might fill in some remaining voids. What I ran into was page after page of ill-founded or already disproven assertions (e.g.: Hare's).



People will get out of this whatever they want, given what they bring to the book store. But it will include neither insight nor clarity: This mess reads like the work of an ambitious undergrad on speed with a case of verbal diarrhea trying to tackle a relatively simple subject (say for Aaron Beck, Vincent Ruggiero, Albert Ellis or Wayne Dyer) that's way over his head and over-populated with the very rationalizations he ostensibly seeks to illuminate.
 

ChrisV

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Maybe so... this is two of the reviews for The Righteous Mind.

Cave Man Ethics

I purchased this book because I am interested in the idea that morals may be inborn -- part of human nature -- and that each culture shares certain basic values. I started reading the book enthusiastically, but by the end I was skimming pages and dismayed that the author had so seriously failed to provide any solutions to our political problems.



Haidt starts by dividing the human mind into what he calls the elephant and the rider. The rider is the reasoning, rational mind, whereas the elephant is the irrational, impulsive and intuitive mind. He argues that human moral decisions are guided by the elephant, and that the rider just comes up with a rationalized, post-facto "reasonable" justification after the decisions have been made by the elephant. Of course, anyone who has been alive for more than a couple decades may have noticed this kind of "logic" in his fellow humans. It goes like this: "Here are my biases, now how do I make an argument to justify it."



Later in the book, he goes into more detail and lists the specific intuitions that may bias people towards certain moral conclusions: care/harm, liberty/oppression, fairness/cheating, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, sanctity/degradation.



However, he doesn't call them biases (that's my own terminology). He describes them as something like the taste buds of morality, whereupon one may develop certain "tastes" over a lifetime that cause one to be liberal (progressive) or conservative. Just like we may have a preference for sweet food, we might also have partially inborn and partially acquired intuition for, to make an example, loyalty, which may lead one to make statements like "My country, right or wrong" in the face of unethical behavior by one's government.



Haidt rejects rational thinking entirely. Indeed, he goes so far as to label those who engage in systematic rational thinking as "autistic" (pg 136). He labels modern, civilized countries as WEIRD (an insulting acronym he made up). He also has no interest in individual rights, such as America's Bill of Rights. Rather, he finds solace in the ignorance of impoverished villagers in northeast Brazil and primitive people of India who wipe their butts with their hands (really! see pg 122). He praises studies which show that ignorant people prefer collectivism and use their intuitions (prejudices/biases) when making moral decisions. Critical thinking? Rights? To Haidt, they're irrelevant. He's openly hostile to critical thinking. He disparages psychological studies of advanced ("WEIRD") countries as "statistical outliers" (pg 112).



Essentially, his ethics can be summarized as "cultural relativism", except that Western cultures are always wrong and those on the upper half of the bell curve (advanced, civilized societies) are WEIRD. Since humans are incapable of reason (according to Haidt), we can only navigate ethical and political decisions by intuitions. Whose intuitions should we follow, you ask? Well, that's unclear, although he does provide some helpful graphs of the intuitions of different political views towards the end of the book. I guess whoever shouts the loudest gets to make the rules.



I don't actually disagree with any of Haidt's psychological studies. I just come to entirely different conclusion. When Haidt finds ignorance and prejudice, he wants to build a code of ethics out of it. Where I find ignorance and prejudice, I want to educate people and help them to understand the points of views of others. How can this come about? Well, first one must accept that there is a real, physical reality out there, and that certain actions make sense in the real world and others don't. If you compare today's political discussion with that of previous generations, you can see how far we've fallen. For example, read "The Federalist Papers" and compare that to any modern day politician's anti-intellectualism, and you can realize how much America has lost since our founding in terms of critical thinking and honest debate.



The Enlightenment-style system of individual rights has advanced society enormously. Unfortunately, there are still pseudo-intellectuals like Haidt who want to drag us back into the stone age, or worse, towards fascism, religious fundamentalism, or communism. I find this book disturbing and could go on and on about problems I have with it, however I think I've said enough to get my point across.



Pseudo-Intellectual Snow Job or Narcissistic Jerk-Off?

Either way, I continued to plow through this mish mosh of mixed (and poorly conceived) metaphors on the strength of its title until Haidt quoted James Hare on psychopathy being wholly genetic without any reference whatsoever to the concept of sociopathy and environmental conditioning. Then it went in the trash.



To a reader of more than 600 books on human behavior (95% written by Ph.D.-level researchers and/or licensed mental health professionals) with over 30 years' experience on the MHP front line, the title looked to be useful with respect to the interpersonal and political manifestations of narcissistic personality disorder. I was already well into the largely unconscious, perception-blinding beliefs of the far left and far right, and supposed that Haidt might fill in some remaining voids. What I ran into was page after page of ill-founded or already disproven assertions (e.g.: Hare's).



People will get out of this whatever they want, given what they bring to the book store. But it will include neither insight nor clarity: This mess reads like the work of an ambitious undergrad on speed with a case of verbal diarrhea trying to tackle a relatively simple subject (say for Aaron Beck, Vincent Ruggiero, Albert Ellis or Wayne Dyer) that's way over his head and over-populated with the very rationalizations he ostensibly seeks to illuminate.
That's one review. The average reviews sit at 4.5 stars from 1400 reviewers. That book was paradigm-shifting. Haidt is one of the most respected social psychologists alive and his experiments were fundamental to almost everything we know about morality.
 
Last edited:

Primeperiwinkle

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That's one review. The average reviews sit at 4.5 stars from 1400 reviewers. That book was paradigm-shifting. Haidt is one of the most respected social psychologists alive and his experiments were fundamental to almost everything we know about morality.
Actually that was two reviews, I just copied and pasted them together. That’s why there are two bolder headings.

Obviously the book has some merit or ppl wouldn’t be arguing about it but the reviews are WILDLY different. Maybe I’ll like it if I read it but based on this? I’m not gonna be reading it unless y’all make me.
 

ChrisV

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Actually that was two reviews, I just copied and pasted them together. That’s why there are two bolder headings.

Obviously the book has some merit or ppl wouldn’t be arguing about it but the reviews are WILDLY different. Maybe I’ll like it if I read it but based on this? I’m not gonna be reading it unless y’all make me.
Maybe check out the corresponding TED talk on the topic to see if it's up your alley. It's only a 20 minute investment.

An entire book is a big investment to me. It usually takes ~8hr to get through your average book.

This is typically my reading work flow:

When someone recommends a book, I try to find the corresponding TED (or similar) talk, which generally outline the book's key points. YouTube book summaries work well too. If I like that, I maybe find a longer Google Talk (~1 hr) to listen to while driving. If I really like that and want to dive deeper into the subject, I find the book.

That way I don't invest too heavily unless I'm sure it's something I'll benefit from. I think of those talks as 'idea samples.' If I like the sample, I can get the whole product.

The book is political in nature, but he's a business ethics professor, so a lot of his stuff actually intertwines with what we talk about here:

 

Andy Bell

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Feb 10, 2019
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The obstacle is the way is probably one of the first books I have every been against the popular opinion about with regards to ratings. It feels like its a mind dump of truisms with famous quotes sprinkled in all over to give it legitimacy, got 0 notes out of it.

After listening to the Tim Ferris podcast where Holliday himself says writing a book is easy just put in famous quotes every chapter, I could imagine what the book would be like but still read it and eughhh. At least if its this months book ill have a chance to catch up on the other months i missed :)
 

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AlexCornila

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Aug 12, 2018
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my book recommendation with Audible or amazon links

1. Alchemy by Rory Shuterland


2. Blackswan 2nd Ed by Nasim Taleb




3. Range by David Epstein


4. The Great Mental Models by Shane Parrish


5. Book of Why by Judea Pearl
 
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MJ DeMarco

MJ DeMarco

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Bump, voting is about to end, voting is nearly tied.
 

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