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Recommended Reading

These books most nearly capture our viewpoint:

  • The Happiness Hypothesis: This book is well-written, and is an excellent overview of many of our themes such as the predominantly unconscious nature of mind and decision making, the prevalence of rationalization, major findings of happiness research and the evolutionary psychology/game theory interpretation of social cooperation. A particular contribution of this book is the use of ancient truths from different cultures as a point of departure. This is all combined in a package with simple (but not necessarily easy) ways to optimize your happiness. Furthermore, we like the voice, which is humanist and spiritually informed.
  • The Tangled Wing offers a compelling yet humane argument that there are biological constraints on the human spirit. This is the Evolutionary Psychology position, but without the smarty pants attitude common in popular books on this subject.
  • Not by Genes Alone: This book is the primary source for our Cultural Evolution model.
  • The Black Swan: This is a quirky book that doesn't offer much of a big picture, but has a lot of puzzling evidence, especially about the weakness and fallibility of human decision-making and prediction. There is excellent discussion of how the impossibility of prediction arises from Physical Chaos even in systems much simpler than a human, let alone a culture.
  • Gut Feelings: This book argues that rational decision-making isn't as effective in the real world as theorists suppose and that intuition and rules of thumb serve us well. He offers an excellent version of our argument that cognitive biases which have been criticized as irrational in fact work well in a highly uncertain world.
  • Phantoms in the Brain: A very entertaining book telling us how, by looking at people with brain damage, neurologists have discovered many nonintuitive things about the ways that our brains implement our minds.

To see all book reviews, click on “books” in the sidebar.

books/0main.txt · Last modified: 2011/09/16 08:34 by ram