Book: A Whole New Mind

Like chatting to a wise man at the bar.
252 pages, ★★ 

The book is a no-brainer but it’s interesting to read. His thoughts are stuffed into sections, then into subsections, with little connection to each other. It’s like reading stories you’d hear at the bar. He recommends dozens of books and websites throughout the book, which look interesting, but not particularly professional.

He writes like a teacher: question—speak—rephrase—repeat. This is just in case you weren’t listening (or didn’t look like you were listening) for the first time. You can therefore skim-read this book without missing anything.

This book isn’t finished. In chapter two, he proudly coins two new terms, which he subsequently uses only once. He deviates wildly from his thesis. There are even punctuation mistakes. It’s also clear that conclusions have been stuck onto otherwise-incongruent chapters.

I think that Daniel H. Pink wanted to call this book, “The Right Mind”, but was told to back down because after the first two chapters, it doesn’t refer to the “right side of the brain” at all.

However, I did learn one thing from this author. I learned never to take an office job:

[after finally getting to sleep at 3am…] “About three hours later, the eighteen-month-old stood up in his crib and began bellowing his traditional morning milk chant. By 7 A.M., the house had erupted into full morning mania. And by 8 A.M., I was back in my office, where I now sit, facing another day of deadlines. I’m tired, really tired. In fact, I just yawned. And as I think about the day before me, I’m yawning again. Despite the three cups of coffee I’ve just guzzled, I could fall asleep in about thirty seconds. But sleep will have to wait. Too much to do. So I soldier on—and I yawn.”

I never, ever, ever, want to do that.

Daniel H. Pink should hire another editor and get this book finished. Under a different title, and a different subtitle (e.g. “6 Skills for the Knowledge Economy—and how to train them”), and a different chapter structure (e.g. delete the parts on brain-scanning and election machines), this book could earn an extra star. ★★

2 thoughts on “Book: A Whole New Mind

  1. Reading this is totally like chatting to one of those people with lots of stories to tell at a bar… At one point, he even jokes, “what would your wife say if you were caught buying Teen Cosmo?” It’s as if he knows that I’m a 30-year-old man (or assumes I’m him!)

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