Policymakers will welcome this practical guide to overcoming “cultural hangovers” and allowing more Americans to participate...

AMERICA'S MOMENT

CREATING OPPORTUNITY IN THE CONNECTED AGE

An optimistic report on ways to harness the power of the digital age to create jobs for Americans.

In this rich compendium of information on new tools “to rework America, to rebuild the American dream,” a bevy of business, technology, and other experts convened by the Markle Foundation explains that the same modern forces that have erased so many American jobs—technological leaps and globalization—can become the basis for a vast expansion of work opportunities. Data and analytics can help develop new jobs, and the Internet can better match employers and middle-skill workers. Novel ways can be found to categorize and credential talent for an increasingly “no-collar” world. Much of the book focuses on the need to overcome old mindsets and habits that dominate the world of work. Online connections are now making possible an explosive growth in commerce, say participants in the “Rework America” initiative. For example, a Brooklyn-based woman now transmits designs digitally to a shoe store in China, which custom-makes shoes with a 3-D printer. As better online platforms are developed, more American sellers will be able to reach foreign buyers. At home, an outdated labor market system fails to match employers and workers when it comes to fast-changing skills and job categories. Too often, companies engage in up-credentialing, requiring college-level skills for jobs, such as entry-level IT positions, that do not require them. On the other hand, college dropouts get little credit for the college work they have completed. Taking a more nuanced view of skill-to-job matching can generate many more needed middle-skills workers, an area expected to be the largest part of all future job growth. Other topics include the need to anticipate new kinds of training needs and find better methods for sharing data.

Policymakers will welcome this practical guide to overcoming “cultural hangovers” and allowing more Americans to participate in the benefits of our networked era.

Pub Date: June 16, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-393-28513-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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