Monday, October 30, 2017

The Great Escape : Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality (財富大逃亡)

Angus Deaton
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Angus Deaton was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare in 2015.

The world is a better place than it used to be. People are healthier, wealthier, and live longer. Yet the escapes from destitution by so many has left gaping inequalities between people and nations. In The Great Escape, Angus Deaton--one of the foremost experts on economic development and on poverty--tells the remarkable story of how, beginning 250 years ago, some parts of the world experienced sustained progress, opening up gaps and setting the stage for today's disproportionately unequal world. Deaton takes an in-depth look at the historical and ongoing patterns behind the health and wealth of nations, and addresses what needs to be done to help those left behind.

Deaton describes vast innovations and wrenching setbacks: the successes of antibiotics, pest control, vaccinations, and clean water on the one hand, and disastrous famines and the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the other. He examines the United States, a nation that has prospered but is today experiencing slower growth and increasing inequality. He also considers how economic growth in India and China has improved the lives of more than a billion people. Deaton argues that international aid has been ineffective and even harmful. He suggests alternative efforts--including reforming incentives to drug companies and lifting trade restrictions--that will allow the developing world to bring about its own Great Escape.

Demonstrating how changes in health and living standards have transformed our lives, The Great Escape is a powerful guide to addressing the well-being of all nations.

(Excerpt from amazon.com)

不當行為 : 行為經濟學之父教你更聰明的思考、理財、看世界 (Misbehaving)

理查.塞勒 (Richard H. Thaler)
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2017年諾貝爾經濟學獎得主,行為經濟學之父,理查‧塞勒半自傳性代表作!

‧ 美國亞馬遜、《紐約時報》暢銷書排行榜冠軍
‧ 《經濟學人》年度選書
‧ 《金融時報》、麥肯錫年度最具影響力 6 本書之一
‧ 諾貝爾經濟學獎得主 丹尼爾‧康納曼、羅伯‧席勒 共同推薦
‧ 台大經濟系副教授馮勃翰 審定.導讀

人類會做出不符經濟學預測的行為?當我們談到經濟時,真該把自己擺進算式裡!

行為經濟學無所不在,諸如國家政策、企業管理,以及逛超商要不要買「第二件半價」等思考模式,皆與這門學科有密不可分的關係。英美各國政府、世界頂尖大學、金融界已將行為經濟學應用在政策執行與規畫管理上。

傳統經濟學假設經濟人是理性的,以追求最大利益為前提,但是行為經濟學之父塞勒博士指出,人類並非完全理性,我們不如愛因斯坦聰明,也沒有苦行僧的自制力,而是有熱情有偏見有衝動的人類。我們會在發薪日去大血拚,還會因為股市短期獲利而影響判斷,所做的決定反而與經濟學家假設的標準性模型相去甚遠,更有甚者,這種不合理行為會造成嚴重的後果。因此,經濟的核心是人──可預測卻易犯錯的個人,我們需要的是以真實人類為主體的經濟模型,才能幫助個人、企業,以及政府做出更好的決定。

本書行文幽默風趣,塞勒博士的研究貼合現實,能夠引導讀者在日趨複雜難懂的世界中做出更聰明的決定,並且將行為經濟學應用在生活各個層面中,包括理財、購物、投資等,將會徹底改變讀者對經濟學、自己,以及整個世界的看法。

我們每一天都在應用行為經濟學:

◎ 300元購入的紅酒現增值為3,000元,收藏家不願賣出,只偶爾開一瓶來喝,也不想花3,000元買酒。為何他寧願喝現值3,000元的酒,卻不想花同樣金額買酒或賣掉原先的收藏?

→ 這就是「機會成本」。無論喝掉藏酒或買新酒,機會成本是一樣的,可是一般人很難在機會成本和掏出現金之間畫上等號。放棄賣出賺錢的機會,感覺不像從皮夾裡拿出錢來那麼難受,相較於親手奉上實實在在的現金,機會成本既模糊又抽象。

◎ 黎妮雅願意開十分鐘的車去買原為500元,折價後少100元的鬧鐘,卻不願意為了定價5萬元的電視機,開十分鐘的車買折價100元的同樣商品。

→ 儘管這十分鐘都價值100元,但是我們較願意為了定價500元的鬧鐘多跑一趟,正是因為電視機省下的錢算不上是「最小可覺差異」。一般人對於獲得和損失皆呈現敏感度遞減,面對獲得,我們抱持著風險規避態度,面對損失,卻抱持風險偏好態度。

◎ 文斯付了3萬元的室內網球場會員費,他罹患網球肘後依然忍痛繼續打了三個月,只因不想浪費已繳的會員費,直到疼痛變得完全無法忍受才決定放棄。

→ 繼續打球對財務有助益嗎?或只是覺得「浪費錢」而有罪惡感?傳統經濟學家認為應該忽略沉沒成本,偏偏人們無法忘懷。如果花錢買了卻沒用,感覺很像實際損失那些錢。我們應該要知道忽略沉沒成本是完全符合理性,甚至是必要的。

◎ 學校在數學大考前五天傳簡訊通知家長,此作法提升數學測驗成績的程度相當於額外多上一個月的課。家長與學生們都說他們希望該作法能持續下去,顯然他們挺樂意被輕輕推一把。

→ 「推力」是吸引我們注意力和影響行為環境的某些小功能。人會犯下可預測的錯誤,如果我們能夠預期這些錯誤,就能先想辦法以減少錯誤發生,或提醒人們可能會忽略的事情,發簡訊就是方法之一。

(摘錄自博客來網路書店)


Monday, October 23, 2017

A Strangeness in My Mind

Orhan Pamuk
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From the Nobel Prize winner and best-selling author of Snow and My Name Is Red: a soaring, panoramic new novel—his first since The Museum of Innocence—telling the unforgettable tale of an Istanbul street vendor and the love of his life.

Since his boyhood in a poor village in Central Anatolia, Mevlut Karataş has fantasized about what his life would become. Not getting as far in school as he’d hoped, at the age of twelve he comes to Istanbul—“the center of the world”—and is immediately enthralled by both the old city that is disappearing and the new one that is fast being built. He follows his father’s trade, selling boza (a traditional mildly alcoholic Turkish drink) on the street, and hoping to become rich, like other villagers who have settled the desolate hills outside the booming metropolis. But luck never seems to be on Mevlut’s side. As he watches his relations settle down and make their fortunes, he spends three years writing love letters to a girl he saw just once at a wedding, only to elope by mistake with her sister. And though he grows to cherish his wife and the family they have, he stumbles toward middle age in a series of jobs leading nowhere. His sense of missing something leads him sometimes to the politics of his friends and intermittently to the teachings of a charismatic religious guide. But every evening, without fail, Mevlut still wanders the streets of Istanbul, selling boza and wondering at the “strangeness” in his mind, the sensation that makes him feel different from everyone else, until fortune conspires once more to let him understand at last what it is he has always yearned for.

Told from different perspectives by a host of beguiling characters, A Strangeness in My Mind is a modern epic of coming of age in a great city, a brilliant tableau of life among the newcomers who have changed the face of Istanbul over the past fifty years. Here is a mesmerizing story of human longing, sure to take its place among Pamuk’s finest achievements.

(Excerpt from amazon.com)

我是馬拉拉 : 一位因爭取教育而被槍殺的女孩 (I Am Malala)

馬拉拉.優薩福扎伊 (Malala Yousafzai)
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2014年 諾貝爾和平獎得主

馬拉拉,一位年輕的女孩,為了倡導受教育的基本權利,發出了連子彈都無法穿透的堅定力量。

本書是一部卓越非凡的故事,關於一個家庭因全球恐怖主義而遭到連根拔除的內容;一個奮力爭取女孩受教育權利的過程;一個關於一位父親,他身為學校校長,倡導並鼓勵他的女兒寫作和參與學校事務;與一對勇敢的父母親,在當地重男輕女的傳統社會之下,珍愛他們的女兒如同兒子。這將會讓你相信由一個女孩所發出的聲音,這個力量將激發改變全世界。

(摘錄自博客來網路書店)

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy

Chris Bailey
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A fresh, personal, and entertaining exploration of a topic that concerns all of us: how to be more productive at work and in every facet of our lives.

Chris Bailey turned down lucrative job offers to pursue a lifelong dream—to spend a year performing a deep dive experiment into the pursuit of productivity, a subject he had been enamored with since he was a teenager. After obtaining his business degree, he created a blog to chronicle a year-long series of productivity experiments he conducted on himself, where he also continued his research and interviews with some of the world’s foremost experts, from Charles Duhigg to David Allen. Among the experiments that he tackled: Bailey went several weeks with getting by on little to no sleep; he cut out caffeine and sugar; he lived in total isolation for 10 days; he used his smartphone for just an hour a day for three months; he gained ten pounds of muscle mass; he stretched his work week to 90 hours; a late riser, he got up at 5:30 every morning for three months—all the while monitoring the impact of his experiments on the quality and quantity of his work.

The Productivity Project—and the lessons Chris learned—are the result of that year-long journey. Among the counterintuitive insights Chris Bailey will teach you:
· slowing down to work more deliberately;
· shrinking or eliminating the unimportant;
· the rule of three;
· striving for imperfection;
· scheduling less time for important tasks;
· the 20 second rule to distract yourself from the inevitable distractions;
· and the concept of productive procrastination.
In an eye-opening and thoroughly engaging read, Bailey offers a treasure trove of insights and over 25 best practices that will help you accomplish more.

(Excerpt from amazon.com)

優質大學生的學習指導書 : 第一本由學生寫給學生的學習教戰守則 (How to Become a Straight-A Student)

卡爾.紐波特 (Cal Newport) 
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學習,並不需要精疲力竭,也並非只有天才和書呆子才能拿最高分!
本書幫助你在不犧牲健康、快樂、社交生活的前提下快樂學習、得高分,讓你的大學四年生活更加豐富、多彩。
學習習慣決定你的學習成就!
掌握學習技巧,你便能開始超越大多數競爭者。
送給大學新鮮人、想要提升學習效率的學生們最完美的禮物。
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學習並不只是意味著反復閱讀筆記和作業;
寫論文也不一定要在電腦鍵盤上進行熬夜馬拉松,
請立即拋棄書呆子似的學習習慣,因為效率低得驚人;
也不必當個可憐蟲蜷縮在圖書館裡,熬通宵K書,隔天雙眼視線模糊,
本書個案研告訴你如何根據自己的實際情況調整學習方法,
是一本提供詳盡的、高效率學習方法的指導書,
教你繪製聰明學習的路線圖,
讓你找到更有效、耗時更少的方法。
當你將這些觀念應用於實踐,並開始感受它們的好處時,
你就能在學習過程中如魚得水、怡然自得。

絕大部分現存的學習指導書中的建議,大都由「專家」所撰寫,
因此往往不切實際,太費時間。
而本書是第一本以大學生經驗為基礎的指導書,
可滿足大學生日常學習生活所需要的原創策略,
不僅簡單易行,並且行之有效。
更棒的是,
只要你開始實踐、應用書中的策略,
就能感受到立竿見影的效果。

(摘錄自博客來網路書店)