For better or worse, The Elephant in the Brain helps us all identify the brutally honest reasons behind most human behavior and I find it exceedingly refreshing to really understand and embrace both my own and learn to identify and work well with others.

If you have ever wondered after-the-fact why you did or said something seemingly subconsciously, this book will finally answer that question. Beyond that we learn about self-deception and deliberate ignorance as a strategic advantage, how and why communication (verbal, non-verbal) evolved as it has in humans, and how to identify and accept the selfish motives that drive the vast majority of our day-to-day lives. Why we buy certain things, wear certain clothes, sit a certain way at a meeting at work, or even the food we eat.

The book is a collaboration between Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson which brings a wonderful dichotomy of approach from a first time author and aspiring pseudo-academic, and a career scholar. I found reading (via Audible) this to be very casual and extremely enjoyable; but most importantly I found it incredibly useful in helping to interpret and communicate with others and own my own behavior.

Categories: Reading