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Author Topic: Books I Have to Hold my Nose and Read
Irami Osei-Frimpong
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It shouldn't be too much of a shock to hear me admit that I'm a snob. There are a class of books I've always felt are beneath me. I'm trying to generate a list of books which, left to my own devices, I'd never read, but they are books that seem to exert an awful lot of influence on the metaphysics of WASPs and social climbers. Since this world is lousy with them, and they'll probably be dropping these books next all over the world once we are done bombing, I figure that I have to suck it up and get in the know. Here we go:

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
A Purpose Driven Life
The Celestine Prophecy
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Guns, Germs, and Steel
Who Moved My Cheese
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
And maybe a yet to be determined Dr. Phil and Deepak Chopra book.

Is there an order? Should just go for a bender and read them all one after another. There are dangers in this approach. It's possible that after a month of reading this, I'll become such a misanthrope that I'll throw myself out of a window from disgust for my fellow man.

Or I could go the way of reading them sparingly, one a month, so while it may take a year, I'll be done and still preserve my respect for humanity. Are there any I've left off of the list?

I know I'll be the better for it at the end, as I'm sure that there are pearls of wisdoms. Heck, I did get something from the Da Vinci Code.

[ August 02, 2006, 01:35 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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Rakeesh
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Guns, Germs, and Steel beneath you?

Seriously, the irony in that statement is incredible-and a big part of that is because of the conclusions it makes-or hints at, anyway-about 'lousy WASPs' and social climbers.

Let's not even go into the hilarious irony of deeming a book to induce misanthropy and disgust before even reading it.

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BaoQingTian
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What exactly do you find so offensive in say, the first book on your list, 7 Habits? Could you be specific, since I've heard you gripe about this particular book before.
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Noemon
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I'm repeating Rakeesh, but Irami, if a person were playing "which one of these books is not like the others" with your list, Guns, Germs, and Steel would be the obvious answer. What's your rationale behind including it on your list?
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Uprooted
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I haven't read most of them, but from what I can tell Guns, Germs, and Steel is a case of "which of these things is not like the others?" (ETA: ok, Noemon, you beat me!)

As for 7 Habits and Who Moved My Cheese, the basic principles can be applied to just about any situation and don't need to be limited to social-climbing and WASPy endeavors. I would think that either would help you be a better Che Guevarra, were that your aim in life.

I think that several of them are pretty light reads (Cheese for sure), so it shouldn't be too much of a strain. Read one, then two heavy, philosphical books more to your taste, then another . . . ;-)

I did start 7 Habits but never finished it. If anything is offensive about it it's that some of the basic concepts (ie, mission statement) have turned into corporate lingo. Basically, it tells you to identify what matters most to you in your life and then helps you plan how to spend your time on those things rather than on "putting out fires" or whatever. I stopped reading it because I was so not at the point in my life where I could implement all that that it was making me depressed. But I still think the ideas are worthwhile, and will probably pick it up again someday.

Having not read most of them, I can't comment on which would be most important.

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King of Men
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I would strongly encourage you to read these books one after another.
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Uprooted
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KoM [No No]
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Teshi
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quote:
I know there are people in the world that do not love their fellow human beings and I hate people like that.

...Step up and shake the hand
Of someone you can't stand.
You can tolerate him if you try.

- Tom Lehrer.

<3

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Noemon
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If Guns, Germs, and Steel makes the list, you'll probably want to include Jared Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal, Why is Sex Fun: The Evolution of Human Sexuality, and Collapse: How Societies Choose or Fail to Succeed. Other books that I find interesting in the same way that I find Dimond interesting, and which you would apparently also find contemptible include Frans De Waal's The Ape and the Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections of a Primatologist and Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals. You'll probably want to include all of Stephen Jay Gould's essay collections, as well as his The Mismeasure of Man, just for good measure.
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KarlEd
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I, too, was surprised to see Guns, Germs, and Steel in your list. The others, not so much. I have a visceral negative reaction to those and almost all other "self help" type and "be successful" types of books. Mainly this is because my father read them, digested them, and spewed them back out with every breath of his being, and he's the most F'ed up person I know.
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Noemon
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I have a fairly instinctual negative reaction to those types of books also, Karl, although I've overcome it to a degree with self help books (many of them are crap, but there are also some solid titles that can be very helpful for a person working through problems that they know they have). I've never given the "you too can be successful in the workplace" type books a chance, but I expect that there are some of them that would be worthwhile too. Sturgeon's law and its corollary apply to pretty much every genre, I think.
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TheGrimace
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I may be wrong about what is offending Irami about these, but here's my thoughts on why I'm hesitant to read some of them such as 7 habits.

It's always been presented to me and described as a book that in my mind just elaborates on common sense and would therefor be a waste of my time to read. I may be mistaken, but that's the feeling I get from everyone who has suggested it to me.

It's more a matter (in my mind) of being sad that people feel the need to reccomend it to others (assuming my preconceptions are correct).

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Dan_raven
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What? You left out all the "Chicken Soup for the...." books?
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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Guns, Germs, and Steel is the outlier, but for some reason, everytime I almost read it, I get repulsed and put it right back down. I don't know why. But take this title Collapse: How Societies Choose or Fail to Succeed.

That's a creepy, pregnant title to me. What does that presume about the nature of success and failure? Is Athens a failure because it was defeated by Sparta? Would you call Adlai Stevenson a failure because he lost twice to Eisenhower? Would you call Bush a success because he garnered the most votes ever?

As to the other books, I think it's the emphasis on strategy. Some strategies involve God, some don't, but they all smell of strategy at the expense of thinking.

The Chicken Soup for the Soul books get a free pass. I don't know why. They seem nice. I'm not rushing out to buy them, but they don't evoke the image of some sweaty 55 year-old MBA/pastor telling me to praise God, look out for number 1, and be efficient in business and worship. Not so much the Celestine Prophecy, that just seems like weak philosophy.

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Farmgirl
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quote:
but they all smell of strategy at the expense of thinking.
Certainly don't know how you can have any strategy without first thinking..
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Dagonee
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quote:
What does that presume about the nature of success and failure? Is Athens a failure because it was defeated by Sparta? Would you call Adlai Stevenson a failure because he lost twice to Eisenhower? Would you call Bush a success because he garnered the most votes ever?
Whatever it presumes about the nature of success and failure is utterly unrelated to any of the follow up questions in this quote.

Seriously, you've got entirely the wrong idea about this book and likely the entirely wrong idea about GG&S.

As for the others, Who Moved My Cheese and Don't Sweat the Small Stuff are utter crap. Cheese is a worthwhile one-page fable whose moral gets stretched so far beyond the breaking point that the shrapnel is still flying through space. Small Stuff is simply a collection of principles that are sometimes useful when used in moderation that have been reduced to ridiculous profundities, especially the title essay.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is very good, but only if you read it as a thinking person - as it is intended to be read. It is very common in this country for people not to even stop to determine what's important to them, and this book encourages it. It is unfortunate that it has been adopted by the corporate quality fadsters, but it's good in spite of this.

I haven't read enough of Rich Dad, Poor Dad to declare it utter crap, but the two chapters I read in Borders convinced me not to buy it. I haven't read the other two.

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MightyCow
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I tried reading a Deepak Chopra book once, and it really wasn't for me. I'm sure a lot of people love him, but it was a big whatever for my taste.


An interesting book, which isn't directly related to the others, but is worth a read is Freakanomics. I don't make any claims to its value, nor the validity of its findings, but it brings up some interesting points to ponder, and encourages thinking of seemingly simple problems in a different way.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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Farmgirl,

Trust someone to do the thinking for you. There isn't much of a difference between a commanding officer telling his troops that they need to blow-up the bridge, figure out how, and a mother telling her children that they need to go to college, figure out how. The figuring out how is hard work, so hard that the questions of why are we blowing up the bridge or going to college don't get sufficiently addressed. An example of this is the standardized test craze. We are so busy coming up with strategies to raise our test scores to compete with the Chinese millions that most of the debate about what we are testing and why has gone out the window. It's reducing the whole world to aspects of game theory, which I find to be a shame.

Not thinking is a common problem, and procedural bureaucracies invite it, and when you throw that on top of all of the goals we assume heedlessly, it becomes even a bigger issue.

MightyCow,

Freaknomics is exactly the type of book I'm going to have to suck up and read, just the right mix of insight and drek.

[ August 02, 2006, 03:23 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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Strider
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
If Guns, Germs, and Steel makes the list, you'll probably want to include Jared Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal, Why is Sex Fun: The Evolution of Human Sexuality, and Collapse: How Societies Choose or Fail to Succeed. Other books that I find interesting in the same way that I find Dimond interesting, and which you would apparently also find contemptible include Frans De Waal's The Ape and the Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections of a Primatologist and Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals. You'll probably want to include all of Stephen Jay Gould's essay collections, as well as his The Mismeasure of Man, just for good measure.

Thanks Noemen, having loved GGAS, I just added all of your suggestions to my reading list.
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Dagonee
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quote:
Trust someone to do the thinking for you. There isn't much of a difference between a commanding officer telling his troops that they need to blow-up the bridge, figure out how, and a mother telling his/her child that they need to go to college, figure out how. The figuring out how is hard work, so hard that the questions of why are we blowing up the bridge or going to college don't get sufficiently addressed.
If you object to this type of thing, then you should like 7 Habits, because most of it's point is that the "why are we doing X?" questions of everyday life aren't addressed.

You have leaped to some incredibly faulty assumptions about the books you've pre-condemned.

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mr_porteiro_head
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I've read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and found it almost completely worthless. I can believe that people with other goals and priorities might find it useful, though.

What I've seen Irami say about GG&S and Collapse look like he's talking about some other books with the same titles.

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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by Irami Osei-Frimpong:
But take this title Collapse: How Societies Choose or Fail to Succeed.

That's a creepy, pregnant title to me. What does that presume about the nature of success and failure? Is Athens a failure because it was defeated by Sparta? Would you call Adlai Stevenson a failure because he lost twice to Eisenhower? Would you call Bush a success because he garnered the most votes ever?

You're making the mistake of letting the context of the way you've been thinking about terms like success and failure, coupled with your (incorrect, I would submit) presumptions about what kind of author Diamond is color your perception of what he talks about in this book. Take a look at the book's table of contents and you'll probably come away with an inkling that your assumptions are incorrect.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I stand corrected. The Diamond books definitely seem to be a class above the rest. As to 7 Habits, we'll see, but "we'll see," is the reason I'm reading all of them to begin with.
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Kasie H
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quote:
... sweaty 55 year-old MBA/pastor telling me to praise God, look out for number 1, and be efficient in business and worship.
Is this the part where I stay calm, cool and collected in defense of my 50-year-old, MBA-holding WASP father?

[Wink]

Granted, he's no pastor. And he would never say anything remotely close to "look out for number 1." Though I think he values efficiency.

__

If you're going to read Freakonomics, you *must* read both The Tipping Point and Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, if you haven't already. And The Long Tail, the new book by Wired editor Chris Anderson (Andersen?).

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Samprimary
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Malcom Gladwell made the most jaw-droppingly stunning commentary on American healthcare that I have ever seen, and I've since wanted to read those two books.
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Noemon
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[Smile] Glad I could help change your mind. We have similar taste in fiction, and I suspect that it generally extends to non-fiction as well, so I do think that you'll find Diamond's books worth reading. If you feel like posting them, I'll be interested to read your thoughts on all of the books on the list as you read them.
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Sharpie
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I second (fifth? sixth?) this; Diamond is really really really not in that group.

Really!

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Kasie H
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Gladwell's analyses are generally jaw-droppingly, stunningly on target.
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dkw
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The Celestine Prophecy is last decade's weak philosophy and Catholic conspiracy theory disguised as profound truth but published as fiction so nothing needs to be backed up crap. You can take it off the list -- if you've read the Davinci Code you've covered the current expression of the phenomenon.

[ August 02, 2006, 04:27 PM: Message edited by: dkw ]

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I'll substitute Blink for the Celestine Prophecy.

quote:
Is this the part where I stay calm, cool and collected in defense of my 50-year-old, MBA-holding WASP father?
Your father is a big boy. He can take care of himself, and he has the whole American upper tax bracket to lean on if I get too much in the way by offending his sensibilities.

This is where you tell me the scoop, the buzz, you know, the next little idea for a beltway journalistic piece you've got bubbling in your brain. What's cooking?

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Allegra
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Having a 50-year-old, MBA-holding, WASP father myself, I am a little curious about your statement that he has the whole American upper tax bracket to lean on. Would you care to elaborate?
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HollowEarth
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Personally I didn't think Blink could live up to the hype.
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Kasie H
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*shrug* I don't think Blink belongs on that list much more than Diamond's books do.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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For moral support, Allegra, to lean on for moral support. I'm sure 50 year-old MBA WASP fathers are well-represented across this wide internet land, and if I start getting too bad, after the golf game, they'll come together and draw up a RFP to outsource the execution of my disappearance.
___


Aside:
I had a date a few weeks ago. We were chatting, and because I'm good at that, she used the word "synergy. " The word makes sense in Greek and I didn't take issue with it, then she mentioned something was "value-added," and I made the nervous joke about, "Ha, you sound like an MBA."

She is an MBA and an oil executive for British Petroleum, as hot as anyone in the world, but when she told me what she did, and I couldn't shake it out of my head that I was dating Eichmann, the guy who didn't actually kill Jews, he just organized the transportation of the Jews to the death camps, and what could be the harm in that? So she was explaining to me her job, and I'm thinking "isn't the smell of her shampoo nice," and Mary Matalin and James Carville probably have really steamy sex for the political rift, but I don't want to sleep with the devil and would you look at those perfect teeth. The whole enterprise broke my heart, leaving me walking away feeling like Job. If she would have quoted the wisdom of Covey, I would have had to stick a knife in my throat.

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Allegra
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You seem to be making a lot of assumptions about MBA WASPs. They occupy many positions in a variety of fields, and although some are slightly demonic, I think you might be suprised to find many that have not sold their souls. Just my 2 cents.

Aside: My Father doesn't like golf.

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BaoQingTian
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What a terrible, shallow assessment of another person. You know virtually nothing about her except her job yet you've proceeded to judge her. If she was that shallow in judging you by your job, she probably wouldn't have even gone out with you.
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jeniwren
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I don't think I'd bother with the Purpose Driven Life. I tried on two seperate occasions to read it the way it's supposed to be read (over the course of 40 days), with a small group of people who were also reading it and discussing it every week and I couldn't do it. It just didn't have any impact for me.

So scratch the Purpose Driven Life and substitute The Road Less Travelled. You have to love any book that starts off essentially saying "Life is difficult. Deal with it." [Smile]

*****

I wish my former employer's website was still up. It would either make you puke or laugh hysterically. It was so full of corporate bizspeak that it meant absolutely nothing. Even the company name came from the word synergy, mixed with a few other buzz words and ending in x, so it would look chic. I found it to be very funny after a while, especially knowing how hollow we were underneath.

******

As for 7 Habits, I read it on recommendation from my systems analysis instructor, who said it is excellent for learning how to break down problems (important in systems analysis...). I read it and agree and have read it many times since, though I admit, I have never finished it. I just read the beginning and the first 4 habits. That is generally more than plenty. The whole sharpening the saw idea is probably great, I just never got the point.

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Kasie H
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quote:
I'm sure 50 year-old MBA WASP fathers are well-represented across this wide internet land, and if I start getting too bad, after the golf game, they'll come together and draw up a RFP to outsource the execution of my disappearance.

... but when she told me what she did, and I couldn't shake it out of my head that I was dating Eichmann, the guy who didn't actually kill Jews, he just organized the transportation of the Jews to the death camps, and what could be the harm in that?

This is a little harsh, isn't it?
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MightyCow
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Dude, if a hot lady wants to make the moves on you, you should let her. If she's rich, all the better.

Damn, you make it sound like she kills babies on the weekends and rubs puppies faces in drayno.

If you're going to denounce an oil executive, may as well say that everyone who drives a car or uses electricity is a mass murderer.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
This is a little harsh, isn't it?
Not for Irami it isn't.
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Tatiana
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Irami, I resist "popular" books because I usually don't much like them when I do read them. I don't care for self-help books much because they are usually not much use. But 7 Habits is actually good. It's not about becoming a more effective cog in the machine but rather about transforming your life in order to become who you want to be and achieve what is important to you.

I have read it 2 or 3 times, and each time I come away realizing that I am in total control of who I am and who I want to become. It's very inspiring for me. You already realize you can become anyone you want to be, so that won't be the appeal for you, and yet there are some excellent techniques described that really bear putting into practice. The chapter I love most is the "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." I think it's the lesson that I need to learn most, and I should practice it constantly until it's completely a part of who I am.

I found, as well, that it gave me tools to rewrite the failed scripts I learned in my dysfunctional family. I've used that concept to great success, turning around my family relationships totally in the last year or so with my new scripts I've written and learned. An example would be when my mom starts in on me about something like my becoming a Mormon that is not under her stewardship. Whereas before I would become defensive and argue the reasons with her, and hurt badly from the total hostility and contempt she would show for my personal choices and decisionmaking ability, I decided to take it as well-intentioned but unhelpful advice from a supportive bystander instead (though that was quite a stretch. [Smile] ) Anyway, I thank her kindly now and politely listen and nod and don't worry about it. If she grows angry and yells at me, which she often does when I refuse to rise to her bait, I smile and apologize and tell her I have to leave now, and to take care and I'll see her soon. Then I stay away, don't call, or visit, for a time commensurate with how angry she got. In just a few short months, this has completely changed her attitude toward me, and now she treats me with respect and affection most of the time. So our relationship has become peaceful and happy and loving. It's such a change. I wish I had known how to effect that change 30 years ago. We would have had a very different family life, perhaps.

Anyway, I just want to put in a plug for 7 Habits, despite the fact that I am bored by most self-help books.

Also, Miss Manner's Guide to Excrutiatingly Correct Behavior is a book that is hilarious and delightful to read, and taught me some extremely important things about human relationships, including what decisions fall under whose stewardship. You will thank me profusely when you finally read it, I believe, and wonder why we hid that information from you for so long, and why I didn't force you to read it earlier. [Smile]

As for the rest of your list, it sounds like a bunch of popular junk to me and you can safely skip it. [Wink]

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Kwea
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Irami, while you are not a stupid person at all, your posts always show me that it is possible to be very, very smart and very very dumb at the same time.


I love how you making value judgments about someone because they work for an oil company is ok, but anyone making judgments about people in a bad neighborhood is a racist WASP....or brainwashed by racists WASPS.


GGaS is a great read, and I think you will actually agree with most of it's basic presumptions. I thought it was over simplistic in many ways, but it was a fascinating read that explained very difficult subject matter to laypeople very well, without talking down to them...a skill that you will find invaluable talking to your hated WASP counterparts.

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Boris
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I don't think "Who Moved My Cheese" is really something about ladder climbing at all. I read it several years ago. It's a really good book for helping you to understand that you need to be ready for life's changes rather than getting comfortable and then sitting there complaining when that comfort disappears.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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Tatiana, if it were merely popular junk, I'd skip too, but a great many people are moved by it.

My worry about 7 habits, and again, I haven't read it, I can only judge by what the people who have recommended it to me say, is that it is a holistic approach to community, family, and business, that starts with business as its calibration point. I don't mind holistic approaches, I just don't think that business is the right lodestone to orient ones view's on effectiveness.

I did see the damnedest thing. Do you know that there is a book out there called, Love Smart. I don't think I've ever been so upset in a bookstore. I was seething. I'm pretty sure that anyone who titles his book, "Love Smart," in the imperative no less, doesn't know what love is to begin with.

Kasie,

She is a bit of a hippie, and I'm a bit of a hippie and that's why we got to dinner in the first place. She is a policy analyst and it turns out her job is contriving a business argument to support or deny federal legislation, work the company board for a company line, then give the marching orders to the washington lobbyist. Since has a little hippie in her, her papers are usually environmental friendly. My problem, and this is a big one for me, is this whole business argument. She slips a moral stance in the back door, changes the language, then through an act of jargon and prestidigition, shows that it's going to produce a bottom line profit. I have an issue with the sway of "business arguments" to begin with. It's only a contingent fact that environmental arguments agree with business arguments. It could very well be the case that the bottom line demands BP to pollute and ignore moral safety standards. And her work strengthens the appearance of legitimacy of basing public or private decisions on "business arguments." Moral arguments need to affect business and public discourse as moral arguments. If you want to know more about how I feel on this issue, we can start a new thread.
_________


I flipped open The Purpose Driven Life, and I can see why it's sold so many copies. You can say what you want about WASP pathological problems with sympathy and imagination, and I can say quite a bit, but this guy makes up for it in spades with naked conviction. I was wrong in my estimation of Warren. He is a believer. I respect the Pope. I respect the Dali Lama, and I respect Rick Warren. The guy writes about God as the seat of everything in unambiguous prose. There is not a lick of poetry here, just hard detailed prose. This will be a good read for me.

I do take issue with the Russell quote he excerpted for the beginning. The quote, taken out of context, doesn't convey the complexity of Russell's thought. When Russell says that human life without God doesn't have a purpose, it simply means that there is no grand plan, if anything, it's a call for us to take responsibility more seriously because we are working without a net. If we get into a nuclear war, there is no grand plan that's going to save society, we'll simply blow up. When people get addicted to substances, if humans don't step and do something, God doesn't have a plan, the person whithers and dies, and that's it. So while Warren is right to say that, according to Russell, without God, there is no purpose, Warren also has a narrow construal of purpose that does not agree with the spirit of Russell or me.

In short, just because you don't have a purpose mandated by God, doesn't mean that the realized duties we have to each other as humans are any less serious.

[ August 03, 2006, 10:29 AM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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Kwea
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If anything, they are greater.
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Tatiana
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Actually, I found 7 habits applied more to my personal and family life than it did to work. So I don't think your advance feeling about it is correct. It's equally useful in all arenas, I think. It just depends on where you choose to apply it. For anything good to happen, you definitely have to put forth some effort to apply it to your life.

It's really hard to decide in advance what books are worth reading. I understand this well. You can't possibly read all the books people say are good, and so you have to try to guess whether you will like a book or not with imperfect information. Anyway, for what it's worth, I found 7 habits to be very good. You would laugh if you read my personal goals and mission statement I wrote in response to it. But they make me so happy. [Smile] I'm just as pleased as can be with them.

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Shigosei
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I'm not really familiar with the books on your list except for Guns, Germs, and Steel and Purpose-Driven Life. Pretty much everyone else has shared my opinion on the former, so I'll leave that alone. Purpose-Driven Life has been popular at some of the churches that I've been to, so I tried to read a few chapters. It didn't really click with me, particularly because I don't believe that God takes the sort of active role in the world that Warren believes in. I read the part where he said that God foreordained my genetic code, and that pretty much turned me off right there. Not only do I not believe in that kind of interference, but it implies (unintentionally, I'm sure) that God is in the business of breeding people.

You might also consider the Prayer of Jabez, although I think that one might have been more of a fad than a lasting influence.

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katharina
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quote:
My worry about 7 habits, and again, I haven't read it, I can only judge by what the people who have recommended it to me say, is that it is a holistic approach to community, family, and business, that starts with business as it's calibration point. I don't mind holistic approaches, I just don't think that business is the right lodestone to orient ones view's on effectiveness.
As a point of curiosity, I have heard Matt say something almost identical. He is not at all misanthropic and thereby avoids the harshness of your condemnation (which is not expressed in this quote, but in others of yours in this thread), but it's not the first time I've heard this sentiment.

I have read none of the above books (except GGAS), but that's because I haven't felt the need. I think life is a tricky business, and I would hate to condemn anyone or any books that people write in their attempt to negotiate it.

7 Habits, as I understand it, teaches skills for a good life. I think your distaste for it comes from thinking it is also teaching the desirable attributes for a good life. I don't know if it claims to, and I know it occasionally lauded as if it does, but maybe it would be easier to get through if you think of it as a manual for your motorcycle. It can teach you how to ride, but not why.

I think the key to understanding why people read self-help books is knowing that they are feeling in need of help. Blasting someone for seeking it is kicking sand in the face of a dying man crawling towards an oasis.

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Will B
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Collapse defines societal failure as "massive population reduction." Examples include medeival Greenland (everybody died), the Marquesas (everybody died on 2 islands), and Easter Island (over half of them died).
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Farmgirl
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Well, I have read almost every book that Irami originally posted. Whether I would have at any other given point in my life, I don't know, but at this point, those types of readings are heavily encouraged by my corporate employer -- to the point that our company offers courses in the 7 Habits ways of thinking, and one in "Who Moved My Cheese" (which I have also taken).

While I don't consider myself a "dying man crawling toward an oasis" -- I do instead find it uplifting and encouraging to ocassionally read a positive-attitude book, because sometimes it is easy to get discouraged toward life in general.

As I don't have a mate, and don't have anyone around that is regularly giving me any kind of feedback or pats on the back or encouragement, I find books like these can be a breathe of fresh air, just for general life outlook. I don't use them as a "bible" on how to live my life, but I can garner tips on ways of thinking that help me get along with others better.

FG

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