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Black-and-White Thinking

Author : Kevin Dutton
Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release : 2021-01-05
Category : Psychology
ISBN : 9780374717759

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Book Black-and-White Thinking Description/Summary:

A groundbreaking and timely book about how evolutionary biology can explain our black-and-white brains, and a lesson in how we can escape the pitfalls of binary thinking. Several million years ago, natural selection equipped us with binary, black-and-white brains. Though the world was arguably simpler back then, it was in many ways much more dangerous. Not coincidentally, the binary brain was highly adept at detecting risk: the ability to analyze threats and respond to changes in the sensory environment—a drop in temperature, the crack of a branch—was essential to our survival as a species. Since then, the world has evolved—but we, for the most part, haven’t. Confronted with a panoply of shades of gray, our brains have a tendency to “force quit:” to sort the things we see, hear, and experience into manageable but simplistic categories. We stereotype, pigeon-hole, and, above all, draw lines where in reality there are none. In our modern, interconnected world, it might seem like we are ill-equipped to deal with the challenges we face—that living with a binary brain is like trying to navigate a teeming city center with a map that shows only highways. In Black-and-White Thinking, the renowned psychologist Kevin Dutton pulls back the curtains of the mind to reveal a new way of thinking about a problem as old as humanity itself. While our instinct for categorization often leads us astray, encouraging polarization, rigid thinking, and sometimes outright denialism, it is an essential component of the mental machinery we use to make sense of the world. Simply put, unless we perceived our environment as a chessboard, our brains wouldn’t be able to play the game. Using the latest advances in psychology, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology, Dutton shows how we can optimize our tendency to categorize and fine-tune our minds to avoid the pitfalls of too little, and too much, complexity. He reveals the enduring importance of three “super categories”—fight or flight, us versus them, and right or wrong—and argues that they remain essential to not only convincing others to change their minds but to changing the world for the better. Black-and-White Thinking is a scientifically informed wake-up call for an era of increasing extremism and a thought-provoking, uplifting guide to training our gray matter to see that gray really does matter.

Black-and-White Thinking

Author : Kevin Dutton
Publisher : Picador USA
Release : 2022-01-18
Category : Psychology
ISBN : 9781250829450

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Book Black-and-White Thinking Description/Summary:

A groundbreaking and timely book about how evolutionary biology can explain our black-and-white brains, and a lesson in how we can escape the pitfalls of binary thinking. Several million years ago, natural selection equipped us with binary, black-and-white brains. Though the world was arguably simpler back then, it was in many ways much more dangerous. Not coincidentally, the binary brain was highly adept at detecting risk—the ability to analyze threats and respond to changes in the sensory environment was essential to our survival as a species. Since then, the world has evolved—but we, for the most part, have not. Confronted with a panoply of shades of gray, our brains have a tendency to “force quit”: to sort the things we see, hear, and experience into manageable but simplistic categories. We stereotype, pigeonhole, and, above all, draw lines where in reality there are none. In Black-and-White Thinking, the renowned psychologist Kevin Dutton pulls back the curtains of the mind to reveal a new way of thinking about a problem as old as humanity itself. While our instinct for categorization often leads us astray, encouraging polarization, rigid thinking, and sometimes outright denialism, it is an essential component of the mental machinery we use to make sense of the world. Using the latest advances in psychology, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology, Dutton shows how we can optimize our tendency to categorize and fine-tune our minds to avoid the pitfalls of too little—and too much—complexity. He reveals the enduring importance of three “super-categories”—Fight versus Flight, Us versus Them, and Right versus Wrong—and argues that they remain essential not only to convincing others to change their minds but to changing the world for the better. Black-and-White Thinking is a science-based wake-up call for an era of increasing extremism and a thought-provoking, uplifting guide to training our gray matter to see that gray really does matter.

Black and White Thinking

Author : Kevin Dutton
Publisher : Random House
Release : 2020-08-27
Category : Psychology
ISBN : 9781473558311

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Book Black and White Thinking Description/Summary:

A Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Daniel Pink and Adam Grant NEXT BIG IDEA book club read about how to avoid the pitfalls of too little, and too much, complexity. 'Essential insights into the character of human choice and decision-making.' ROBERT CIALDINI, bestselling author of Influence ________ In this groundbreaking exploration of how our brains work, psychologist Dr Kevin Dutton explains that by understanding the nature of our hardwired black and white thinking we are better equipped to negotiate life's grey zones and make subtler and smarter decisions. Our brains are hardwired to sort, categorize and draw lines. It's how we navigate the kaleidoscope of everyday information. Yet imagine failing an exam by a mere 1 per cent. Or being caught speeding at just 1 mph over the speed limit. We have to draw the line somewhere, we say. But lines can be unhelpful or even dangerous when drawn where they aren't wanted, or in too thick a hand. By thinking in terms of ' 'them' or 'us' and 'this' or 'that' we isolate ourselves from ideas we don't agree with and people who are not the same as us. We fail to listen to the other side of the argument and beliefs become polarized. Intolerance and extremism flourish. The human race has survived by making binary decisions, but such thinking might also destroy us. We may be programmed to think in black and white but rainbow thinking is the key to our cognitive future. __________ 'Fascinating, important and entirely convincing.' SIR PHILIP PULLMAN

Split-Second Persuasion

Author : Kevin Dutton
Publisher : HMH
Release : 2011-02-03
Category : Psychology
ISBN : 9780547545233

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Book Split-Second Persuasion Description/Summary:

An “entertaining” look at the psychology and neuroscience behind the act of influencing others (Kirkus Reviews). People try to persuade us every day. From the news to the Internet to coworkers and family, everyone and everything wants to influence our thoughts in some way. And in turn, we hope to persuade others. Understanding the dynamics of persuasion can help us to achieve our own goals—and resist being manipulated by those who don’t necessarily have our best interests at heart. Psychologist Kevin Dutton has identified a powerful strain of immediate, instinctual persuasion, a method of influence that allows people to disarm skepticism, win arguments, and close deals. With a combination of astute methods and in-depth research in the fields of psychology and neuroscience, Dutton’s fascinating and provocative book: Introduces the natural super-persuaders in our midst: Buddhist monks, magicians, advertisers, con men, hostage negotiators, and even psychopaths. Reveals which hidden pathways in the brain lead us to believe something even when we know it’s not true. Explains how group dynamics can make us more tolerant or deepen our extremism. Illuminates the five elements of SPICE (simplicity, perceived self-interest, incongruity, confidence, and empathy) for instantly effective persuasion. “[Split-Second Persuasion] offers some powerful insights into the art and science of getting people to do what you want.” —New Scientist

The Wisdom of Psychopaths

Author : Kevin Dutton
Publisher : Doubleday Canada
Release : 2012-10-16
Category : Psychology
ISBN : 9780385677196

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Book The Wisdom of Psychopaths Description/Summary:

Psychopath. The word conjurs up images of serial killers, rapists, suicide bombers, gangsters. But think again: you could probably benefit from being a little more psychopathic yourself. Psychologist Kevin Dutton has made a speciality of psychopathy, and is on first-name terms with many notorious killers. But unlike those incarcerated psychopaths, and all those depicted in movies and crime fiction, most are not violent, he explains. In fact, says Prof Dutton, they have a lot of good things going for them. Psychopaths are fearless, confident, charismatic and focused--qualities tailor-made for success in today's society. The Wisdom of Psychopaths is an intellectual rollercoaster ride that combines lightning-hot science with unprecedented access to secret monasteries, Special Forces training camps, and high-security hospitals. In it, you will meet serial killers, war heroes, financiers, movie stars and attorneys--and discover that beneath the hype and popular characterization, psychopaths have something to teach us. Like the knobs on a mixing deck, psychopathy is graded. And finding the right combination of psychopathic traits, sampled and mixed at carefully calibrated volumes, can put us ahead of the game.

The Black-and-White Thinking Christian: Moving Beyond the 'All Or Nothing' Mindset to Become Like Christ

Author : Fred Jacoby Ma
Publisher : Fred Jacoby
Release : 2019-09-30
Category : Family & Relationships
ISBN : 1734031204

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Book The Black-and-White Thinking Christian: Moving Beyond the 'All Or Nothing' Mindset to Become Like Christ Description/Summary:

Black-and-white thinking is a common form of thinking with individuals. All or nothing. Good or bad. Right or wrong. With black-and-white thinking, there is rarely any middle ground or gray area. While many people see this as a negative pattern of thinking, there is reason to see black-and-white thinking as reflecting God, who presents himself as being black-and-white in the Old Testament. Created in His Image, many reflect God's black and white thinking in their interpretations, perspectives, and speech. Yet God is also relational, as emphasized in the New Testament. The Black-and-White Thinking Christian is a resource for black and white thinkers (BWTs) and those who are in relationship with them. This book helps the reader see black and white thinking through a biblical lens and offers practical wisdom for marriage, emotions, and daily living.

The Nocturnal Brain

Author : Dr. Guy Leschziner
Publisher : St. Martin's Press
Release : 2019-07-23
Category : Health & Fitness
ISBN : 9781250202710

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Book The Nocturnal Brain Description/Summary:

A renowned neurologist shares the true stories of people unable to get a good night’s rest in The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep, a fascinating exploration of the symptoms and syndromes behind sleep disorders. For Dr. Guy Leschziner’s patients, there is no rest for the weary in mind and body. Insomnia, narcolepsy, night terrors, apnea, and sleepwalking are just a sampling of conditions afflicting sufferers who cannot sleep—and their experiences in trying are the stuff of nightmares. Demoniac hallucinations frighten people into paralysis. Restless legs rock both the sleepless and their sleeping partners with unpredictable and uncontrollable kicking. Out-of-sync circadian rhythms confuse the natural body clock’s days and nights. Then there are the extreme cases. A woman in a state of deep sleep who gets dressed, unlocks her car, and drives for several miles before returning to bed. The man who has spent decades cleaning out kitchens while “sleep-eating.” The teenager prone to the serious, yet unfortunately nicknamed Sleeping Beauty Syndrome stuck in a cycle of excessive unconsciousness, binge eating, and uncharacteristic displays of aggression and hypersexuality while awake. With compassionate stories of his patients and their conditions, Dr. Leschziner illustrates the neuroscience behind our sleeping minds, revealing the many biological and psychological factors necessary in getting the rest that will not only maintain our physical and mental health, but improve our cognitive abilities and overall happiness.

One Decision

Author : Mike Bayer
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2020-12-29
Category : Self-Help
ISBN : 9780593296011

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Book One Decision Description/Summary:

A New York Times Bestseller From Dr. Phil show regular and author of the New York Times bestselling Best Self: Be You, Only Better, a plan for taking immediate steps to improving your life Foreword by Dr. Phil McGraw It is estimated that we make 35,000 decisions every day. Right now, at least one decision we make will have a powerful ripple effect across all aspects of our life. But One Decision isn't about taking one overwhelming big step; it's about starting with a single, important choice we can make every day: the decision to be authentic. It is the decision to know who you are, to be who you are, and express yourself authentically. Whether you find yourself up against a new challenge, deciding on a change in direction, or in need of a total reinvention, Coach Mike has created a powerful blueprint to help you connect with your authenticity so that your life reflects who you truly are. With the tools in this book, you can transform what the obstacles in your life into new opportunities. He shows you how to stop constantly over-thinking the "big" decisions and reconnect with your gut instincts and make all of your decisions with confidence and peace of mind. And, this book helps you navigate the forces that routinely drive your decision making, ensuring that you're motivated by facts instead of fears, clarity over confusion, and evidence over emotion. One Decision is an inspiring and practical action plan to help you improve your life, find your purpose, improve your mental health and relationships, work on your physical health, and even make more money. Drawing on twenty years of experience helping individuals from all walks of life make real and lasting change, Coach Mike has a refreshing approach for motivating you to take a risk, be bold, and take real action toward a better life. A PENGUIN LIFE TITLE

The Glass Castle

Author : Jeannette Walls
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2006-01-02
Category : Biography & Autobiography
ISBN : 9781416544661

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Book The Glass Castle Description/Summary:

Journalist Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary and their four children lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family. When the money ran out, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town Rex had tried to escape. As the dysfunction escalated, the children had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they found the resources and will to leave home. Yet Walls describes her parents with deep affection in this tale of unconditional love in a family that, despite its profound flaws, gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life. -- From publisher description.

Stress Less, Accomplish More

Author : Emily Fletcher
Publisher : HarperCollins
Release : 2019-02-19
Category : Body, Mind & Spirit
ISBN : 9780062747525

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Book Stress Less, Accomplish More Description/Summary:

USA Today Bestseller | Publishers Weekly Bestseller Foreword by Mark Hyman, MD Preface by Andrew Huberman, PhD You know you should be meditating, so what’s stopping you? This entertaining and enlightening book by the founder of Ziva Meditation—the favorite training for high achievers—will finally take meditation mainstream. “We meditate to get good at life, not to get good at meditation.”—Emily Fletcher In our high-stress, overworked lives, we think the answer to accomplishing more is to do more. But the best advantage we can give ourselves is to take a mental break—to spend a few minutes of the day giving the body and brain rest. Did you know that a brief meditation can offer rest that’s five times deeper than sleep? When you make time to practice the Z Technique this book teaches, you’ll actually be more productive than if you took an hour-and-a-half nap or had a cup of coffee. A leading expert in meditation for high performance, Emily Fletcher has taught meditation at numerous global corporations, including Google, Barclays Bank, and Viacom, to help their employees improve their focus and increase their productivity levels. With Stress Less, Accomplish More, anyone can get the benefits of her 15-minute twice-daily plan. Emily specifically developed the Z Technique for working people with busy lives. Now, you can learn to recharge anywhere, anytime—at home or at your desk. All you need is a few minutes and a chair (no apps, incense, or finger cymbals required). This is not just another meditation book. In Stress Less, Accomplish More, Emily teaches a powerful trifecta of Mindfulness, Meditation, and Manifesting to improve your personal and professional performance, clarity, health, and sleep. You’ll learn how to cultivate Mindfulness through brief but powerful exercises that will help you stop wasting time stressing. Plus, you’ll get Manifesting tools to help you get crystal clear on your personal and professional goals for the future. Filled with fascinating real-life transformations, interactive exercises, and practical knowledge, Stress Less, Accomplish More introduces you to a revelatory daily practice and shows you how to make it work for your modern life.

It's Complicated

Author : Danah Boyd
Publisher : Yale University Press
Release : 2014-02-25
Category : Social Science
ISBN : 9780300166316

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Book It's Complicated Description/Summary:

Surveys the online social habits of American teens and analyzes the role technology and social media plays in their lives, examining common misconceptions about such topics as identity, privacy, danger, and bullying.

Black Skin, White Masks

Author : Frantz Fanon
Publisher : Unknown
Release : 2017-05-09
Category : Uncategorized
ISBN : 0745399541

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Book Black Skin, White Masks Description/Summary:

Black Skin, White Masks is a classic, devastating account of the dehumanising effects of colonisation experienced by black subjects living in a white world. First published in English in 1967, this book provides an unsurpassed study of the psychology of racism using scientific analysis and poetic grace.Franz Fanon identifies a devastating pathology at the heart of Western culture, a denial of difference, that persists to this day. A major influence on civil rights, anti-colonial, and black consciousness movements around the world, his writings speak to all who continue the struggle for political and cultural liberation.With an introduuction by Paul Gilroy, author of There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack.

Mental Immunity

Author : Andy Norman
Publisher : HarperCollins
Release : 2021-05-18
Category : Psychology
ISBN : 9780063003002

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Book Mental Immunity Description/Summary:

Astonishingly irrational ideas are spreading. Covid denial persists in the face of overwhelming evidence. Anti-vaxxers compromise public health. Conspiracy thinking hijacks minds and incites mob violence. Toxic partisanship is cleaving nations, and climate denial has pushed our planet to the brink. Meanwhile, American Nazis march openly in the streets, and Flat Earth theory is back. What the heck is going on? Why is all this happening, and why now? More important, what can we do about it? In Mental Immunity, Andy Norman shows that these phenomena share a root cause. We live in a time when the so-called “right to your opinion” is thought to trump our responsibilities. The resulting ethos effectively compromises mental immune systems, allowing “mind parasites” to overrun them. Conspiracy theories, evidence-defying ideologies, garden-variety bad ideas: these are all species of mind parasite, and each of them employs clever strategies to circumvent mental immune systems. In fact, some of them compromise cultural immune systems – the things societies do to prevent bad ideas from spreading. Norman shows why all of this is more than mere analogy: minds and cultures really do have immune systems, and they really can break down. Fortunately, they can also be built up: strengthened against ideological corruption. He calls for a rigorous science of mental immune health – what he calls “cognitive immunology” – and explains how it could revolutionize our capacity for critical thinking. Hailed as “a feast for thought,” Mental Immunity melds cutting-edge work in science and philosophy into an “astonishingly enlightening and productive” solution to the signature problem of our age. A practical guide to spotting and removing bad ideas, a stirring call to transcend our petty tribalisms, and a serious bid to bring humanity to its senses.

When Einstein Walked with Gödel

Author : Jim Holt
Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release : 2018-05-15
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780374717841

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Book When Einstein Walked with Gödel Description/Summary:

From Jim Holt, the New York Times bestselling author of Why Does the World Exist?, comes an entertaining and accessible guide to the most profound scientific and mathematical ideas of recent centuries in When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought. Does time exist? What is infinity? Why do mirrors reverse left and right but not up and down? In this scintillating collection, Holt explores the human mind, the cosmos, and the thinkers who’ve tried to encompass the latter with the former. With his trademark clarity and humor, Holt probes the mysteries of quantum mechanics, the quest for the foundations of mathematics, and the nature of logic and truth. Along the way, he offers intimate biographical sketches of celebrated and neglected thinkers, from the physicist Emmy Noether to the computing pioneer Alan Turing and the discoverer of fractals, Benoit Mandelbrot. Holt offers a painless and playful introduction to many of our most beautiful but least understood ideas, from Einsteinian relativity to string theory, and also invites us to consider why the greatest logician of the twentieth century believed the U.S. Constitution contained a terrible contradiction—and whether the universe truly has a future.

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

Author : Ocean Vuong
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2021-06-01
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780525562047

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Book On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous Description/Summary:

An instant New York Times Bestseller! Longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction, the Carnegie Medal in Fiction, the 2019 Aspen Words Literacy Prize, and the PEN/Hemingway Debut Novel Award Shortlisted for the 2019 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize Winner of the 2019 New England Book Award for Fiction! Named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Oprah.com, Huffington Post, The A.V. Club, Nylon, The Week, The Rumpus, The Millions, The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, and more. “A lyrical work of self-discovery that’s shockingly intimate and insistently universal…Not so much briefly gorgeous as permanently stunning.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post Poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is a shattering portrait of a family, a first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard. With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years. Named a Best Book of the Year by: GQ, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal, TIME, Esquire, The Washington Post, Apple, Good Housekeeping, The New Yorker, The New York Public Library, Elle.com, The Guardian, The A.V. Club, NPR, Lithub, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue.com, The San Francisco Chronicle, Mother Jones, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal Magazine and more!

The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success

Author : Andy McNab,Kevin Dutton
Publisher : Random House
Release : 2015-02-12
Category : Psychology, Pathological
ISBN : 9780552171069

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Book The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success Description/Summary:

An enlightening and entertaining look at how to use your inner psychopath to get the most out of LIFE. What is a good psychopath? And how can thinking like one help you to be the best that you can be? Professor Kevin Dutton has spent a lifetime studying psychopaths. He first met SAS hero Andy McNab during a research project. What he found surprised him. McNab is a diagnosed psychopath but he is a GOOD PSYCHOPATH. Unlike a BAD PSYCHOPATH, he is able to dial up or down qualities such as ruthlessness, fearlessness, conscience and empathy to get the very best out of himself -- and others -- in a wide range of situations. Drawing on the combination of Andy McNab's wild and various experiences and Professor Kevin Dutton's expertise in analysing them, together they have explored the ways in which a good psychopath thinks differently and what that could mean for you. What do you really want from life, and how can you develop and use qualities such as charm, coolness under pressure, self-confidence and courage to get it? The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success gives you a unique and entertaining road-map to self-fulfillment both in your personal life and your career.

The Sciences of the Artificial, third edition

Author : Herbert A. Simon
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 1996-09-26
Category : Computers
ISBN : 9780262264495

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Book The Sciences of the Artificial, third edition Description/Summary:

Continuing his exploration of the organization of complexity and the science of design, this new edition of Herbert Simon's classic work on artificial intelligence adds a chapter that sorts out the current themes and tools—chaos, adaptive systems, genetic algorithms—for analyzing complexity and complex systems. There are updates throughout the book as well. These take into account important advances in cognitive psychology and the science of design while confirming and extending the book's basic thesis: that a physical symbol system has the necessary and sufficient means for intelligent action. The chapter "Economic Reality" has also been revised to reflect a change in emphasis in Simon's thinking about the respective roles of organizations and markets in economic systems.

Pushing Ice

Author : Alastair Reynolds
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2007-05-29
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781101664070

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Book Pushing Ice Description/Summary:

“A thrilling ride in the new era of well-written space adventure”(The Denver Post) from the author of the Revelation Space series. 2057. Bella Lind and the crew of her nuclear-powered ship, the Rockhopper, push ice. They mine comets. But when Janus, one of Saturn’s ice moons, inexplicably leaves its natural orbit and heads out of the solar system at high speed, Bella is ordered to shadow it for the few vital days before it falls forever out of reach. In accepting this mission she sets her ship and her crew on a collision course with destiny—for Janus has many surprises in store, and not all of them are welcome...

Against the Day

Author : Thomas Pynchon
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2012-06-13
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781101594667

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Book Against the Day Description/Summary:

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year Spanning the era between the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, and constantly moving between locations across the globe (and to a few places not strictly speaking on the map at all), Against the Day unfolds with a phantasmagoria of characters that includes anarchists, balloonists, gamblers, drug enthusiasts, mathematicians, mad scientists, shamans, spies, and hired guns. As an era of uncertainty comes crashing down around their ears and an unpredictable future commences, these folks are mostly just trying to pursue their lives. Sometimes they manage to catch up; sometimes it’s their lives that pursue them.

Nonsense

Author : Jamie Holmes
Publisher : Crown
Release : 2015-10-13
Category : Psychology
ISBN : 9780385348386

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Book Nonsense Description/Summary:

An illuminating look at the surprising upside of ambiguity—and how, properly harnessed, it can inspire learning, creativity, even empathy Life today feels more overwhelming and chaotic than ever. Whether it’s a confounding work problem or a faltering relationship or an unclear medical diagnosis, we face constant uncertainty. And we’re continually bombarded with information, much of it contradictory. Managing ambiguity—in our jobs, our relationships, and daily lives—is quickly becoming an essential skill. Yet most of us don’t know where to begin. As Jamie Holmes shows in Nonsense, being confused is unpleasant, so we tend to shutter our minds as we grasp for meaning and stability, especially in stressful circumstances. We’re hard-wired to resolve contradictions quickly and extinguish anomalies. This can be useful, of course. When a tiger is chasing you, you can’t be indecisive. But as Nonsense reveals, our need for closure has its own dangers. It makes us stick to our first answer, which is not always the best, and it makes us search for meaning in the wrong places. When we latch onto fast and easy truths, we lose a vital opportunity to learn something new, solve a hard problem, or see the world from another perspective. In other words, confusion—that uncomfortable mental place—has a hidden upside. We just need to know how to use it. This lively and original book points the way. Over the last few years, new insights from social psychology and cognitive science have deepened our understanding of the role of ambiguity in our lives and Holmes brings this research together for the first time, showing how we can use uncertainty to our advantage. Filled with illuminating stories—from spy games and doomsday cults to Absolut Vodka’s ad campaign and the creation of Mad Libs—Nonsense promises to transform the way we conduct business, educate our children, and make decisions. In an increasingly unpredictable, complex world, it turns out that what matters most isn’t IQ, willpower, or confidence in what we know. It’s how we deal with what we don’t understand.