Where have all the good books gone? (and my *new* newsletter)
It’s amazing how little high-quality behavioral science content is out there.
When I first got into the field I thought that it would take a lifetime to consume all of the good stuff out there.
So I got started on my journey, one book and article at a time. I read all of Dan Ariely’s books and devoured the work of Antonio Damasio, Joseph LeDoux, and others.
One night I remember looking up at the ceiling as I did some quick mental math to determine how much I would be able to read before I withered away in old age.
“If I read for 8 hours a day, I can complete 1-2 books… or 2-4 dense journal articles... that means that I can complete 300 to 500 books, or about 1200 journal articles a year…”.
But then I remembered that I had to work, eat, and those other trivialities of life… so I would probably have to cut that number in half.
I came to the conclusion that I would only be able to make it through about 12,500 books or 30,000 journal articles before I passed into the great beyond… and this made me fairly distressed.
Yes—these are the things I think about before sleep kicks in.
But I have to admit: I was wrong.
It wouldn’t take me a lifetime to read the ‘great behavioral science books’.
In fact, it wouldn’t even take 5 years.
It would just take 2-3 years of moderate effort.
And, no—I didn’t learn how to speed read. No tricks required.
So what was my secret? Nothing.
The fact of the matter is that there isn’t all that much good stuff out there… In fact, you could boil down the truly worthwhile books into a list of between 25 and 50 items.
But this is me talking in hindsight. The fact of the matter is that there’s a TON of garbage out there. Figuring out the 50 you should read is a challenging task filled with plenty of trial and error.
The same thing is true of all the content that is churned out by Scientific American, The New York Times (science section), Psychology Today, and the like.
To find a good article with sound research you have to slog through 10-20 boring (and dubious) pieces.
But that’s my job. I do it so you don’t have to.
Which brings me to today’s announcement: I’m going to start doing a semi-weekly “best of behavioral science” newsletter.
It’s going to be pretty simple. Every 2 weeks I’m going to look through all of the new behavioral science content/research I’ve discovered in the nerdosphere and pick ~10 of the best pieces, which I’ll then send to you.
I’ll include a choice quote or quick summary of each piece so that you can stay on top of the most recent research in just 10-15 minutes every couple of weeks.
To receive this newsletter, I ask that you become one of my $10/month supporters on Patreon (which you can do here): https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?c=71757&rid=18689...
The first newsletter will be sent out on August 7th... so, if you’re interested, please sign up this week.
PS: If you want to receive this newsletter AND join a monthly video conversation (and behavioral science Q&A) I’m going to be hosting, you can become one of my $100 $25Patreon supporters here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?c=71757&rid=18689...