Perhaps you have noticed that the book icon for Pooping Elephants, Mowing Weeds: What Business Gurus Failed to Tell You does not take you to Amazon. Well, that shall soon be remedied. Pooping Elephants, Mowing Weeds…will be released this March in ebook format for less than two bucks.
This was a fun and gratifying ebook to write. Like many ebooks, it is short at about 7,500 words. I believe it offers some needed perspective, especially for those who are in the business community.
“Sometimes it’s nice to learn that a psychological phenomenon has a name, if only so I no longer have to think of it as Me Being Uniquely Irrational And Self-Defeating. So it is with the Diderot effect – which, I learned recently (via Lifehacker), is the term for when you buy something new, but then it makes your other possessions look timeworn by comparison, so you end up replacing them, too. The inspiration here is Denis Diderot’s 1769 essay Regrets For My Old Dressing Gown, in which he recounts being given a luxurious replacement. “My old robe was one with the other rags that surrounded me,” Diderot laments. But “all is now discordant”. Before long, he’s obliged to replace his furniture and paintings as well: “I was the absolute master of my old robe. I have become the slave of the new one.”
“I think the best psychologists are actually fiction writers,” Konnikova said. “Their understanding of the human mind is so far beyond where we’ve been able to get with psychology as a science.”
The narrow focus required by scientific research can miss the big picture, Konnikova said; researchers often tinker around the edges of wisdom elucidated by novelists a hundred years ago. “You need the careful experimentation, but you also need to take a step back and realize that fiction writers are seeing a broader vista and are capable of providing you with insights or even ideas for studies.”