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'Ranging expertly across business, politics and the arts, Tim Harford makes a compelling case for the creative benefits of disorganization, improvisation and confusion. His liberating message: you'll be more successful if you stop struggling so hard to plan or control your success. Messy is a deeply researched, endlessly eye-opening adventure in the life-changing magic of not tidying up' Oliver Burkeman The urge to tidiness seems to be rooted deep in the human psyche. Many of us feel threatened by anything that is vague, unplanned, scattered around or hard to describe. We find comfort in having a script to rely on, a system to follow, in being able to categorise and file away. We all benefit from tidy organisation - up to a point. A large library needs a reference system. Global trade needs the shipping container. Scientific collaboration needs measurement units. But the forces of tidiness have marched too far. Corporate middle managers and government bureaucrats have long tended to insist that everything must have a label, a number and a logical place in a logical system. Now that they are armed with computers and serial numbers, there is little to hold this tidy-mindedness in check. It's even spilling into our personal lives, as we corral our children into sanitised play areas or entrust our quest for love to the soulless algorithms of dating websites. Order is imposed when chaos would be more productive. Or if not chaos, then . . . messiness. The trouble with tidiness is that, in excess, it becomes rigid, fragile and sterile. In Messy, Tim Harford reveals how qualities we value more than ever - responsiveness, resilience and creativity - simply cannot be disentangled from the messy soil that produces them. This, then, is a book about the benefits of being messy: messy in our private lives; messy in the office, with piles of paper on the desk and unread spreadsheets; messy in the recording studio, the laboratory or in preparing for an important presentation; and messy in our approach to business, politics and economics, leaving things vague, diverse and uncomfortably made-up-on-the-spot. It's time to rediscover the benefits of a little mess.
Globalization, the Internet and an era of mass travel have combined to produce a world with a language mix on a huge scale. Linguanomics explains this multilingualism in a material, economic and cultural sense. What is the effect of this multilingualism on society, organizations and individuals? What are the economic benefits and drawbacks? Should we invest in language skills? Should there be interventionist policies, and if so, at what level? Should there be a global lingua mundi? The debate surrounding multilingualism is often clouded by emotion and misconception. With an analysis devoid of rhetoric, Gabrielle Hogan-Brun takes an objective look at this charged area. The result is Linguanomics: a major step towards a clearer understanding of the market potential of multilingualism, its benefits, costs and points of contention. Asking significant questions of profound concern to the future of global collaboration, Linguanomics is an essential guide to students, teachers, policy makers and politicians and anyone who cares about the role of language in the modern world.
At last, football has its answer to Freakonomics, The Tipping Point and The Undercover Economist.
The Freakonomics of math—a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do—the whole world is shot through with it. Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer? How Not to Be Wrong presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many more, using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon. Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God. Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.
A pioneering urban economist presents a myth-shattering look at the majesty and greatness of cities America is an urban nation, yet cities get a bad rap: they're dirty, poor, unhealthy, environmentally unfriendly . . . or are they? In this revelatory book, Edward Glaeser, a leading urban economist, declares that cities are actually the healthiest, greenest, and richest (in both cultural and economic terms) places to live. He travels through history and around the globe to reveal the hidden workings of cities and how they bring out the best in humankind. Using intrepid reportage, keen analysis, and cogent argument, Glaeser makes an urgent, eloquent case for the city's importance and splendor, offering inspiring proof that the city is humanity's greatest creation and our best hope for the future. "A masterpiece." -Steven D. Levitt, coauthor of Freakonomics "Bursting with insights." -The New York Times Book Review
This book is a selection of the best articles from Game Theory Tuesdays, a column from the blog Mind Your Decisions. Articles from Game Theory Tuesdays have been referenced in The Freakonomics Blog, Yahoo Finance, and CNN.com.Game theory is the study of interactive decision making--that is, in situations where each person's action affects the outcome for the whole group. Game theory is a beautiful subject and this book will teach you how to understand the theory and practically implement solutions through a series of stories and the aid of over 30 illustrations.This book has two primary objectives.(1) To help you recognize strategic games, like the Prisoner's Dilemma, Bertrand Duopoly, Hotelling's Game, the Game of Chicken, and Mutually Assured Destruction.(2) To show you how to make better decisions and change the game, a powerful concept that can transform no-win situations into mutually beneficial outcomes. You'll learn how to negotiate better by making your threats credible, sometimes limiting options or burning bridges, and thinking about new ways to create better outcomes.As these goals indicate, game theory is about more than board games and gambling. It all seems so simple, and yet that definition belies the complexity of game theory. While it may only take seconds to get a sense of game theory, it takes a lifetime to appreciate and master it. This book will get you started.

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