Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Life and Death of Superman by Roger Stern

Novelization of the comic series in the 1990s that I read so many years ago. A nice little escape but might as well stick with the pictures.

Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin & Robert B. Cialdini

Great little book examining psychological/marketing research about influence. I burned through the audio version and thought it was a good refresh on Cialdini's earlier work, Influence. I do recommend it.

I thought this review on summarized everything nicely:

If you haven't read "Influence" by Robert Cialdini then I would strongly recommend skipping this one for now and starting with that one. Cialdini's original book was one of the best psychology books I have ever read. This one is more like a sequel and like most sequels, it is not as good. In Cialdini's "Influence", he talks about 6 weapons of influence:

1) Reciprocity
2) Liking
3) Social Proof
4) Authority
5) Scarcity
6) Commitment and Consistency

This book consists of 50 short chapters where these weapons are at work. Very entertaining and insightful, but I felt that the authors violated some of their own advice by having so many chapters and not organizing them in any particular way. For example, the chapters each demonstrated one of the weapons of influence at work and perhaps the book should have been organized more formally into 6 parts with each part representing one of the weapons. I was very entertained but I am not sure if the book will have any long lasting educational value unlike "Influence".

This is a quick read and I highly recommend it AFTER you have read Cialdini's "Influence".

Friday, December 02, 2011

New New Rules by Bill Maher

A collection of short, satirical social commentary culled from his tv show. Bits on politics, US foreign policy and America's excess were highlights. Maher's disdain and smarmyness are mostly amusing (but rarely off-putting). Great light fodder for the lefty.