sway by o & b brafman

I think I wrote in a book survey once that some of the most overrated authors were Lauren Weisberger (Devil Prada), Dan Brown (DaVinci), and  Malcolm Gladwell (Blink).  These authors may also go on that list.  Four stars on Amazon? Eh.  I was quite disappointed with Ori & Rom Brafman’s Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior.  It was very Gladwell-esque where everything is questioned and nothing is answered, and overflowing with mundane anecdotes followed by feeble theories that are left without any explanations.  Okay, perhaps it’s a bit harsh but Sway is nothing more than a time-killer.  It was a bit entertaining but I didn’t learn anything from it.  Based on my judgment, good writers are recognized through their genuine interest and passion to write – which is most often interpreted through their writings.  Then there are those who just want publication, money and fame.   Come to think of it, I honestly don’t know what the purpose of the book was.

It attempts to explain why we act the way we act when we are irrational or unreasonable.  They talk about “diagnose bias” through a story of athletic coaches giving more game time to first draft players even if they suck, just to prove that they’ve made a good decision.  But why?  They also suggest that the standardized format of interviewing for potential employees is probably the most inefficient way of hiring somebody.  The authors claim that candidates are well aware of the set of general questions that would be asked, which are mentally packaged with perfectly scripted answers.  Instead, they say, the hiring process should be based on aptitude tests. What else?  …

They just don’t explain why.  They just make assumptions from the speculations of what could’ve gone through the minds of people through these little stories.  Read it if you have a lot of time… otherwise, don’t expect to learn the rationales behind irrational behavior.

dee’s rec: 1/5