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Tag Archives: book review

Book Review: Secular Cycles

I. There is a tide in the affairs of men. It cycles with a period of about three hundred years. During its flood, farms and businesses prosper, and great empires enjoy golden ages. During its ebb, war and famine stalk … Continue reading

Book Review: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Ken Kesey, graduating college in Oregon with several wrestling championships and a creative writing degree, made a classic mistake: he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to find himself. He rented a house in Palo Alto (this was the … Continue reading

Book Review: Why Are The Prices So D*mn High?

Why have prices for services like health care and education risen so much over the past fifty years? When I looked into this in 2017, I couldn’t find a conclusive answer. Economists Alex Tabarrok and Eric Helland have written a … Continue reading

Book Review: The Secret Of Our Success

[Previously in sequence: Epistemic Learned Helplessness] I. “Culture is the secret of humanity’s success” sounds like the most vapid possible thesis. The Secret Of Our Success by anthropologist Joseph Henrich manages to be an amazing book anyway. Henrich wants to … Continue reading

Short Book Reviews April 2019

I. Method of Levels Timothy Carey’s Method Of Levels teaches a form of psychotherapy based on perceptual control theory. The Crackpot List is specific to physics. But if someone were to create one for psychiatry, Method of Levels would score … Continue reading

Book Review: Inventing The Future

I. They say “don’t judge a book by its cover”. So in case you were withholding judgment: yes, this bright red book covered with left-wing slogans is, in fact, communist. Inventing The Future isn’t technically Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams’ … Continue reading

Book Review: Zero To One

I. Zero To One might be the first best-selling business book based on a Tumblr. Stanford student Blake Masters took Peter Thiel’s class on startups. He posted his notes on Tumblr after each lecture. They became a minor sensation. Thiel … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions

When I hear scientists talk about Thomas Kuhn, he sounds very reasonable. Scientists have theories that guide their work. Sometimes they run into things their theories can’t explain. Then some genius develops a new theory, and scientists are guided by … Continue reading

Book Review: Evolutionary Psychopathology

I. Evolutionary psychology is famous for having lots of stories that make sense but are hard to test. Psychiatry is famous for having mountains of experimental data but no idea what’s going on. Maybe if you added them together, they … Continue reading

Book Review: The Mind Illuminated

I. The Mind Illuminated is a guide to Buddhist meditation by Culadasa, aka John Yates, a Buddhist meditation teacher who is also a neuroscience PhD. At this point I would be more impressed to meet a Buddhist meditation teacher who … Continue reading