The science of art On the scientist/artist scale I am far on the side of science. However, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to learn from art. If we think of art as a way to represent an aspect of reality, then the chosen medium will alway impose limitations on this representation. The best art finds new ways to overcome these boundaries, taking in new ideas, thoughts and discoveries. It takes sufficiently elaborate mathe...

Modern economics Economics is stupid, remember? It is modeled on ridiculous assumptions like perfectly rational egotistical actors, or efficient and fully transparent markets. It exists in an intellectual bubble where even the most relevant developments made in other fields are dismissed as mere “externalities” unworthy of recognition within economic theory. And it simply does not work, because it provides econ...

Review – Leading from the roots Ah, nature! A term that instantly generates positive emotions, ideas of wholesomeness and a feeling of belonging. And yet it is a thoroughly undefined expression that can mean anything you want, if you add some context. Some of its inferred meanings include literally everything in existence everything not explicitly created by humans everything that exists outside of human settlements everything that exists o...

Review – When the Monkeys Run the Zoo Early industrial companies were characterized by a strict hierarchy of power and decision-making competency. Giving employees a say in the company’s strategy would be like having the monkeys run the zoo, an indiscretion voiced by Frank Borman, CEO of Eastern Airlines, from which the book derives its title. The modern company is lean, flat, agile, disruptive, kind, regenerative and decentralized. This ...

A good 4% of 2019 have already passed, so it’s about time to have a look back to 2018! I managed to review 14 books (which, annoyingly, is one less than 2017). I managed to gain more readers (thank you so much, how do you keep finding me?). I managed to not break the site, although a lot of improvements didn’t happen. I still have a lot of plans for the site, but plans are cheap. Maybe this year? Best book reviewed in 2018 There were ...

Review – Careers for Dummies Careers for Dummies is a good book. But maybe I should elaborate on this. There is no shortage in how-to-find-a-job books. Some aim to give well-rounded general career advice, other focus on details like the perfect CV or the perfect job interview. In Germany, the benchmark is set by proliferous author duo Hesse/Schrader who alone have over 90 books for job seekers with their name on it, usually with regularly p...

Review – Parkinson: The Law Disclaimer: I have read the German version of this book, which states that the original was published in 1980 as Parkinson: The Law by Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. There seem to be different versions around. In the 1950s, C. Northcote Parkinson published his famous “law”, a half serious and half sarcastic description of the growth of bureaucracy. He found that “Work expands so as to fill the time avail...

Review – The Regenerative Business: What is a Regenerative Business? There are a dozen buzzwords describing the modern, desirable company. It is agile, lean, and nimble, disruptively innovative, robust, resilient, antifragile, sustainable and even kind. So what the hell is a regenerative business supposed to be? In the words of author Carol Sanford “Regeneration is a process by which people, institutions, and materials evolve the capacity...

Review – The Art of Thinking Clearly: The title of The Art of Thinking Clearly may provoke some wrong assumptions about the book’s content. It is NOT a self-help about mental training or concentration techniques. Author Rolf Dobelli collected a lot of logical fallacies – expectations or assumptions people intuitively make that are illogical or unhelpful – with a brief description and some typical examples for each. Originally,...

Review: Bad personal decisions are the leading cause of death, according to a study by Fuqua School researcher Ralph Keeney. So why should you learn making better decisions from a professional poker player, of all persons? In Thinking in Bets, author Annie Duke states that life is a lot more like poker than chess. In chess, both players have complete information. Every piece is visible to both players, and every possible next move is apparent. In...

Review – Homo Deus
Review / June 8, 2017

The End of Strife: The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are Famine, Plague, War and Death – pop culture does not always get this right – and after defeating the first three we might now just continue and conquer Death, too, and see, where this leads us as a species. Homo Deus starts with a rather bold claim: throughout history, famine, plague and war were the central topics of human life, and recently, all three of them have ...

New content coming soon!
Blog News / May 9, 2017

Wow, this blog has been quiet recently. At least I have a logo now! And I continue reading cool (and slightly less cool) books, so at least one new review should be up soon. I also plan to write on some general topics, be sure to check back often! Or you could also subscribe to receive updates and never miss anything (there’s a field somewhere on the right)! Besides that I’m still finding out how to fix some technical and ap...

Review – Die Kunst, ein Egoist zu sein (The Art of Being an Egotist)
Review / April 7, 2017

Review I try to review only books that were published in english, but I got this one for cheap and did not notice its language constraints until after I read it. So I thought, whatever. If the book had an english title it would be something along “The Art of Being an Egotist”. Enjoy. The phrase “egotist” is usually understood as an insult. Kirschner tries to put a positive spin on the word, defining it as a person who understand...

Special Review – 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You A Better Person | Cracked.com
Special Review / April 1, 2017

Key points People need things from you, and will value your ability to provide these things What you are inside is important, but other people can’t see it Learn, train and improve to make your inner qualities shine   Author affiliations David Wong is an executive editor and writer at Cracked.com.   Review copy free online article   Review It’s April Fool’s Day, but instead of a hoax I decided to do some kind of...

Review – The Dilbert Principle
Review / March 25, 2017

Review First of all, I am a huge Dilbert fan, although I have never read the comics at work, especially not during that dozy hour right after lunch.   Maybe you have heard of the Peter principle. People get promoted for being competent at their current position, so it is certain that everybody ends in a job they can no longer fill competently. The Dilbert principle is similar, but postulates an earlier reason for executive incompet...

Review – Tools of Titans
Review / March 13, 2017

Review Success is a vague concept, that everybody has their own definition of. Sometimes it means having a lot of money, or being famous, or just being respected by other experts in your field. Tools of Titans is a collection of success stories of different people, focusing on the daily habits they attribute their achievements to. The author suggests you pick and mix the advice you like while ignoring the stuff you think is stupid (whic...

Review – The Dictator’s Handbook
Review / February 28, 2017

Review There is a difference between the way the world is and the way the world should be. And there are reasons for this gap. Poverty, corruption and inequality all over the world can be explained by the number of people the country’s leader needs to keep power – the essential selectorate. Leaders will do everything to please their essentials, while simultaneously keep the number of essentials as low as possible. This book is a...

Review – I’m OK – You’re OK
Review / February 10, 2017

Review Psychology can be hard to write about. Unlike many other topics I present here, it is almost a science, and thus deserves a lot more attention. Also, I don’t know a thing about psychology or psychoanalysis and evaluating such a book gives me a hard time. Freud postulated the threefold mind: the id (containing desires and urges), the ego (the conscious self) and the superego (the unconscious framework of rules and ethics). Trans...

Review – Phishing for Phools
Review / February 7, 2017

Review Apparently, a good portion of current economic theories and models are based on an idealized model of the free market, where consumers and companies have access to complete market information and only make rational decisions. As a scientist, I believe that models should describe reality in a simplified manner. Models can contain a fair amount of idealization (physicists have their pockets full of infinite rods and frictionless sp...

Review – The Fourth Industrial Revolution
Review / February 7, 2017

Review Have you ever been to an evening event, and during polite conversation somebody suddenly steers the topic towards modern technology? And while everybody else is excitedly discussing the implications of the latest fad, you find yourself standing silently in a corner, because for you “Big Data” is your collection of adult movies on your harddrive? Do you need a shortcut to sounding like a technology “have”? This book got yo...