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Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Steven Pinker
Progress: 54/576 pages
The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction
Neil Gaiman
Progress: 202/502 pages
Jo Nesbø
59 Seconds: How Psychology Can Improve Your Life In Less Than A Minute - Richard Wiseman

Finally read the whole thing, and it is worth more than 5 stars. 

On Happiness
First, he talked about happiness, and getting people to like you, all based on researches and studies. Self-help books are rubbish because they are based on either common sense (which is already not too bad) or completely nonsense (which is based on woo woo). 

Franklin effect is very useful. I always thought if I do people favors, they would like me more. WRONG. Actually, I have to ask for favors, simple and easy to do one, and people would like me more. So, it turned out I like a lot of people by giving out favors, without them liking me back because I didn't ask for favor. 

There are a lot of useful tips. Like smile more and it would affect your mood. Like adding humor when negotiating and you get better result. Likability affect how successful you are in life by giving you a better chance to get the job after interview, and people like to assist you in making life easier. 

Bystanders affects

Kitty Genovese was stabbed and killed in UK, with by standers watching but give no assistance to this poor woman. This incident triggered studies on how people behave and how they could turn away from person that need assistance. 

Studies shown when there are only one individual, the person would feel more responsible toward the person in trouble. But if there are a lot of other people around, the responsible become diffused and it is less likely to have anyone who would come forward to help the person in need.

So, in case you need help. Target on a single person who might offer you help, and turn this person from a bystander into a real human being. 

Positive thinking bullshit

Think positive might not lead to success. I know that already. What I didn't know, and learned from the book, is that when persons visualize, they put less affords into achieving their goals, that make the results less likely to be positive.

So, Professor recommend that we think of a goal, make plan, tell some friends about it, and then write down the progress and give some interim rewards for achievement. 

Tell friends about your goal not only lessen your chance of backing out, but also lead to friends helping you. Also, give interim rewards would motivate your intermediate success to achieve your goal. 

Double think

The concept is introduced by 1984 novel, but it works to improve the chance of achieving goals.

First, visualize and write down the positive reward of achieving your goal. 

Then, visualize and write down the obstacle in achieving this goal. 

Don't stop here. Write down a second positive reward of achieving your goal followed by further obstacle. 

Then elaborate on each point. It is making a person think of the positive reward while facing the reality of how to go about achieving goal, and it works. 

Losing weigh or cut down on drinking

I don't need to do either. I dislike dieting, and I dislike getting drunk so I don't drink much.

But this chapter goes on and on about eating habit that I already had that help a person to eat less.

First, persons actually don't know how much they really eat. Study shows that person would ask this question, "Have I finish my food in front of me?" 

So, if you put less food in front of a person, this person would eat less. 

The same goes for drinking less. Study shows that a person would judge how much is in a drink by the depth of the drink. So, if the glass is tall and thin, then this person would be fooled into thinking there is more to the drink than it is. Even bartenders would do this. Study show that bartenders tend to pour 20% more drink into fat wide glass than tall thin glass. 

Good to know.

On Losing weigh
On reduction of food in take. The advise is to slow down your eating.

But this book recommend another speed that based on study. 

Eat at a normal rate at the start, and low to half the eating rate on the second half of your meal. 

I do that a lot. I usually feel hungry when I eat, so I eat at more normal fast rate. But then, my urge to talk during a meal kicks in, and I start to slow down to half speed. This speed is the best for a person who want to lose weight by eating less.

Also, placing food out of arm reach would reduce the chance of snaking. No wonder I snake so much. I have them all at arm length. Another good to know fact. 

Woman breasts affect on man's brain

The part about women breasts and men brains, speed dating tips and all that, would worth the value of buying this book if he or she managed to get a date out of it. 

Drinking experiment

Giving 2 groups of persons, and gave them tests to do to see if they have symptoms of being drunks. Both groups show symptoms even if only one group is drinking and persons in the second group are only drinking non-alcoholic drinks. Why? If you believe you are drinking, your mind and body could be tricked into acting drunk. 

Good Advise for couples

Good advise for couples. The excitement is gone from relationship? No problem. Just tied your wrists and feet with each other and run some obstacle, you will feel much better about each other afterward. 

Also, there is no love at first sight. But prolong staring into another person eyes would generate the feeling of love and affection. Should try it some time.

Relationship advice

This chapter talks about opposite couples relationships. I do wonder if it works the same way with not so typical relationship, the only kind I know. 

Positive and negative comments, if comments ratio is 5 to 1, with 5 positive outweigh 1 negative, then the couple is more likely to stay together.

It only reinforce the understanding of human, that most could not take criticism even if it is true. 

Decision Making and How to tell a person is lying

Only a few pages each. If you think and think over a decision, and might regret a decision made, even your decision could be the best, you are still going to get anxiety over it. 

Tell me something I don't know.

For telling lies, I've watched "Lie to Me" and already know the basic. 

Big Five

Big 5 personality. Pretty good to get to know yourself. 

Not something new.

Index and Ring fingers ratio

This is pretty interesting. I read it somewhere else, but didn't realize how much this finding is supported by research. 

So, if your Index finger is longer, is more masculine. 

If you really like to know about tips to happiness, but only have 59 seconds to read. Skip to the Conclusion and all 10 best advise is there for you to take up. 

For best result. Read the whole thing. It is really a nice read.