Monday, May 25, 2009

Bozo Sapiens, 23/81 - 2nd round

Bozo Sapiens: Why to Err is Human, by Michael and Ellen Kaplan, non-fiction category

First of all - nice title. I probably wouldn't have picked it up if not for the title.

As the subtitle suggests, this is an attempt to explain human behavior, especially DUMB human behavior. Why do we take so many risks? Why do we procrastinate? Overeat? Cheat on spouses? Fall for get-rich-quick schemes? Succumb to mob mentality? There are a lot of reasons, but most of them have to do with the brain.

I enjoyed this book. The part about economics was interesting, in light of the current recession and my own financial bind. It helped me to see money a little differently, in terms of what I am using for and what I really want from my purchases. And the part about nutrition and eating habits was really useful, as I am on a diet - again - and trying to get serious about it this time. Apparently, the normal human condition is hungry. So trying to stuff that down with food every time it surfaces is going to inevitably lead to weight gain, because no matter how much you eat, you will still feel hunger now and then.

I enjoyed the book, and I did learn something from it. One minor quibble is that I would have liked to see an index, but maybe that will be there in the final edition, as I read the advance copy. Overall though, I'm not sure how much this book is as insightful as it wanted to be. It was fun, but I'm not sure it was deep.

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