By Blake Masters, co-author of Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future (Crown Business, September 2014)
What important truth do very few people agree with you on? It sounds like an easy question. It isn’t. Wrestle with it for a few moments and you may be tempted to give up, but don’t. Every great business—indeed, every way in which the future will be different and better than the present—is rooted in a good answer to this question. Contrarian truths may be hard to find, but in a world in which so much of what we do is to simply repeat what’s been done before, creating new value means thinking from first principles, not following the crowd. (more…)
This semester, students taking “Social Scientific Perspectives on the Family and the Market”, a History course at the Catholic University of America, read Alison Wolf’s The XX Factor as a core text for the class. In the book, English economist and journalist Alison Wolf examines why educated women are now working longer hours and how feminism has actually created a less equal world. Professor Jerry Z. Muller, who incorporated the book into his curriculum, remarked that the book “not only draws together research from a wide range of social sciences, but combines it with well-grounded speculation and sound judgment.” To read an excerpt from the book, click here.
Alison Wolf is an academic and writer living in London. She is currently the Sir Roy Griffiths Professor of Public Sector Management at King’s College, London. She also advises the UK government on education policy.
The Origins of Global Interdependence, an anthropology class at the University of California at Irvine, will be using Michuel Leon-Portilla’s The Broken Spears during the fall 2013 semester. Examining the Aztec perspective of the Conquest of Mexico, Leon-Portilla’s book expands the Conquests history to include the voices of the indigenous peoples, and includes accounts from native Aztec descendants across the centuries. All 300 students enrolled will be required to read the book.
The Broken Spears, called “[a] moving and powerful account” by the Los Angeles Times, will allow UC Irvine students to bear witness to the extraordinary vitality of oral tradition.
The 300-pound Gorilla in the Room: University of Arizona Philosophy Class Selects The Invisible Gorilla
The University of Arizona has selected The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons as a required text for their Philosphy Department’s Logic & Critical Thinking Course. Based on the authors’ “Gorillas in Our Midst” study, The Invisible Gorilla highlights the work of Chabris and Simons, as well as other researchers, as they investigate attention, perception, memory, and reasoning. The authors ultimately show students how and why the perception of the mind is often at fault.
Both Chabris and Simons, have received PhDs from Harvard and Cornell respectively.
“A fascinating look at little-known illusions that greatly affect our daily lives…offers surprising insights into just how clueless we are about how our minds work and how we experience the world…Bound to have wide popular appeal.”—Kirkus Reviews
Roughly seventy-five students in the University of Texas at San Antonio’s anthropology department will soon be using Frans de Waal’s The Age of Empathy to investigate shifting human behavior. The book, which examines how empathy comes naturally to a great variety of creatures, including humans, studies social behaviors in animals, such as bonding, the herd instinct, the forming of trusting alliances, expressions of consolation, and conflict resolution. The author uses these findings to assert that, contrary to popular belief, human beings are not inherently selfish and can work together toward a more just society.
Stephen Hawking’s The Universe in a Nutshell will be a core component of UVA’s Astronomy 1270: Unsolved Mysteries in the Universe course this upcoming fall. The approximately 140 students will augment classroom material on theoretical physics topics such as Quantum mechanics, General relativity and Black holes with content from the book. The students will ultimately follow Stephen Hawking’s attempt to explain the Theory of Everything, which studies the links between all physical phenomena.