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Farsighted

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Description

A groundbreaking book about making once-in-a-lifetime decisions, from the best-selling author of How We Got to Now and Where Good Ideas Come From 

Plenty of books offer useful advice on how to get better at making quick-thinking, intuitive choices. But what about more consequential decisions, the ones that affect our lives for years or centuries to come? Our most powerful stories revolve around these kinds of decisions: where to live, whom to marry, what to believe, whether to start a company, how to end a war.

Full of the beautifully crafted storytelling and novel insights that Steven Johnson's fans know to expect, Farsighted draws lessons from cognitive science, social psychology, military strategy, environmental planning, and great works of literature. Everyone thinks we are living in an age of short attention spans, but we've actually learned a lot about making long-term decisions over the past few decades. Johnson makes a compelling case for a smarter and more deliberative decision-making approach. He argues that we choose better when we break out of the myopia of single-scale thinking and develop methods for considering all the factors involved.

There's no one-size-fits-all model for the important decisions that can alter the course of a life, an organization, or a civilization. But Farsighted explains how we can approach these choices more effectively and how we can appreciate the subtle intelligence of choices that shaped our broader social history.

©2018 Steven Johnson (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Commentaires

“Riveting.... As a deep thinker and gifted storyteller, Johnson is the right author to tackle the topic. He’s at his best when analyzing impossibly complex decisions.... One of Johnson’s thought-provoking points is that [people who excel at long-term thinking] read novels, which are ideal exercises in mental time travel and empathy. I think he’s right.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“Johnson is explicitly focused on real-life decisions that (ideally) involve serious deliberation.... [He]reminds us that, fundamentally, choices concern competing narratives, and we’re likely to make better choices if we have richer stories, with more fleshed-out characters, a more nuanced understanding of motives, and a deeper appreciation of how decisions are likely to reverberate and resound.” (The Wall Street Journal

“Johnson is well-placed to dig into these dilemmas of decision-making, as he gracefully serves up examples ranging from 17th-century urban planning to contemporary artificial intelligence.” (Financial Times

Ce que les auditeurs disent de Farsighted

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • William Coppage
  • 08/10/2018

Enjoyed it - Not what I was expecting

I did enjoy this book. It wasn't what I thought. I thought it was going to be more "leadership" style narrative. i did really enjoy the use of the military references to show a point.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim Haynes
  • 15/09/2018

Best of Johnson

I wish I had read this book years ago. Steven stimulates the brain. Personal stories are a welcome extra.

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  • Robert Z
  • 30/09/2018

Powerful Book for Business and Personal Decisions

This was an excellent book on how to make decisions. I’m taking away parts to influence my business life, others to influence my personal life and another part to help an 8yr old get ready faster in the morning.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • PS
  • 21/11/2019

Not Johnson's best

I have listened to a few books by Steven Johnson. I like his storytelling - but, for me, this book showed that I don't like his analyses and guidelines.
To me, the lessons the book teaches are few and could be accommodated in a much shorter work. Yes, creating diversity and fostering disagreement are very important for decision-making, and there are some good examples of those (and other) techniques in the book. But soon the examples start becoming very similar to each other, and the same technique is brought forward again and again with slightly altered wording, sometimes within a single paragraph or two.
This might not have been as big a problem for me if the storytelling was compelling - but I don't feel it is. There are a few arc stories, like the Bin Laden raid, which the books comes back to again and again, and some others which appear just as an illustration of a particular idea. But I feel that the book has none of the flow which I so liked in, say, "How We Got to Now".

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  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Bonny
  • 05/12/2018

Decisions are hard.

Farsighted is an interesting book, but it seems to mainly illustrate just how very complex decision-making can be. These are not the single-variable, binary, yes or no type of decisions, but instead the complex and complicated type where changing types of variables are considered. Many of these decisions that matter the most are group or societal ones; I had hoped for more focus on individual decisions.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • lates sorin ionut
  • 03/11/2019

listen 2 times to it. considering buying print

listen 2 times to it. considering buying print copy. the review system is weird, requiring 15 words minimum

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 28/09/2019

first half of the book is great

strong start, boring finish. the book teaches you about formal structures around long term decisions.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • RealMan24/7
  • 06/08/2019

Great start with a lackluster finish

awesome capture of the science and history of decisions. The last few chapters get political and pretty far out leading to Steve not following his own earlier wisdom of considering alternatives and uncertainty of current doomsday predictions.

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  • Timo
  • 06/02/2019

The Complexity of Making A Decision

The somewhat dry yet informative narrative in the first half of the book dealing with methodology and examples kindly reconciles in the later half with more broad views while continuing on already considered examples. It is scholarly and entertaining to the curious mind.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21/01/2019

extremely interesting and thought provoking

the discussion around decision making at a variety of levels makes for an excellent follow on to Daniel K's book