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Posts tagged "Social Animal"


Hip Replacements, Organ Donations and Free Lunches: Dan Ariely on Predictable Irrationality

A delightful little TED presentation from one of the main researchers behind Brooks’ Social Animal. His endearing conclusion mirrors much of our own hopes in drawing such regular attention to human limitations, ht DT:

The book that Ariely is speaking from is Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.

More 2011 Favorites: Books, Documentaries, Musical Discoveries and Web

More 2011 Favorites: Books, Documentaries, Musical Discoveries and Web

Books and Film Favorite Piece of Fiction (Read During 2011): Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger. Not just a favorite of the year, but a favorite, period. It’s a rare work of art indeed that can shed light on both The Royal Tenenbaums and the Jesus Prayer. Unbelievably wise, delightfully funny and deeply religious (in […]

David Brooks on French Fries and Ineffective Information

David Brooks on French Fries and Ineffective Information

Another priceless passage from The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement, in which Brooks summarizes vast amounts of social science research by stating that “information programs alone are not very effective in changing behavior.” He writes, ht MW: Both reason and will are obviously important in making moral decisions and exercising […]

Rethinking Individualism with David Brooks

Rethinking Individualism with David Brooks

It’s almost too common to read op-ed columns or hear sermons about how individualistic Americans are. Yet a brief remark in David Brooks’ recent book, “The Social Animal”, has implied to me the real absurdity of these diatribes. He said: The United States is a collective society that thinks it is an individualistic one. If […]

Mental Circuitry and Moral Culpability

Mental Circuitry and Moral Culpability

In what has got to be one of the best titles of an editorial in years, “The Human Brain: Turning Our Minds To The Law,” David Eagleman takes up the Social Animal gauntlet in the Telegraph, and runs with it, legislatively-speaking. The connections are fairly self-evident in terms of free will, but in this case, […]

Social Animal Redux

Social Animal Redux

A couple more items in our ongoing ‘coverage’ of David Brooks’ new treatise on human nature, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement. 1. The NY Times Book Review gave some thoughtful if ultimately suspect/predictable ‘pushback’ this past week. That is, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the reviewer, Thomas […]

Character, Achievement and... Limerance

Character, Achievement and… Limerance

Great interview with David Brooks on The Daily Beast, about his brilliantly-titled new book The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement (out Tuesday), worth reading as much for the commentary on Brooks’s peculiar “position” these days – i.e. a man without a country – as it is for the details about […]