The Hutch Report Picks

There are so many choices of books and articles to choose from these days that it can be tough to pick. The following books are a selection of what we have read and been influenced by or books that have been referenced in our articles. Your time is valuable so to help you out, these are the reads that we think will help you learn, discover and see things from another perspective.

The Art of Thinking Clearly is a 2013 book by the Swiss writer Rolf Dobelli. He describes 99 cognitive biases and social distortions. It is a fascinating look at our most common thinking errors, such as confirmation bias or the paradox of choice. These are cognitive biases that most of us don’t realise are happening but that can seem so obvious when pointed out.

Flow is essentially about the “optimal experience” and what makes an experience satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. In the state of flow, when everything is firing correctly people get a sense of deep enjoyment with life. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled and not just left to chance.

In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz describes the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the Four Agreements presents a code of conduct that can bring us freedom, true happiness, and love. The Four Agreements are: Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, Always Do Your Best.

Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. Although it may seem obvious it is not so easy to accomplish for many. Tolle explains how thoughts and emotions get in the way of a person’s ability to live in genuine peace and happiness.

Jonah Berger shows how entrepreneurs and marketers can make their content more viral and products more shareable. Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 percent to 5o percent of all purchasing decisions. Berger explains how things can be made to go viral. He simplified years of his research into six principles of contagiousness which are: social currency, triggers, emotion, public, practical value and stories.

David Graeber, is an anthropologist, who re-examines the last five thousands of  years of history and provides convincing evidence that story of how money was created as we know it is wrong. Money was created as a way to more easily track something that pre-existed it: debt.

Debt, in fact, is the basis for society and the primary vehicle through which power is exercised.

Here are some additional interesting titles that we have referenced.

Seth Godin’s book is mentioned in our post on The Tribal Echo Chamber. In that post we provide insights on the concept of tribes and provide some tools for being more conscious of the tribes one may wish to join or wish to lead.

James Gleick’s book on Richard Feynman is mentioned in our post on The Illusion of Understanding.  This post, as the title implies, delves into  the topic of understanding and how we can be duped by those we think our experts, as well as how we can dupe ourselves by thinking we understand something better than we actually we do. In the article we also provide some ideas and tools for avoiding this trap.

In our post The Willpower Battery we discuss the concept of willpower and works such as this one written by Stanford University professor Kelly McGonigal. Our post provides a brief overview of some of the tools and techniques for boosting willpower. We recommend diving into books such as this one in order to become well versed on the topic.

Caldini’s book and the term “social proof” which he popularized both get mentioned in our post Bitcoin and the Bandwagon. In this post we discuss influences, such as social proof,  that may affect people as they jump on or off the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency bandwagon.

We are fans of Mr. Taleb and probably reference him and his works in several places. In The 4 Cryptocurrency Opinions we reference this book which presents a convincing case on our inability to predict events with hard-edged analysis.