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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.
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
The second volume of Priscilla Alderson’s popular and renowned book Childhoods Real and Imagined relates dialectical critical realism to childhood. By demonstrating their relevance and value to each other, Alderson presents a practical introductory guide for applying critical realism to research about children and young people. Each chapter summarises key themes from several academic disciplines and policy areas, ranging from climate change and social justice between generations, to neoliberalism, social reform and imagining utopias. Children’s and adults’ views and experiences are reviewed, and whereas the first volume deals with more personal and local aspects of childhood, this volume widens the scope into debates about global politics, which so seldom mention children. Each chapter demonstrates how children and young people are an integral part of the whole of society and are often especially affected by policies and events. This book is written for everyone who is researching, studying or teaching about childhood, or who cares for and works with children and young people, as well as those interested in critical realist approaches.
At last, football has its answer to Freakonomics, The Tipping Point and The Undercover Economist.
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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