I stir-fried some carrot and asparagus today and it turned out to be a pretty good combination. Put some peanut oil in pan and set on medium high until hot. Put a few cloves of crushed garlic in the pan along with some green onion. Let it sizzle in the pan on very low heat while you chop asparagus. Chop the tough parts into thin strips and leave the tops. When the carrots are coated in oil and wilted, dump the asparagus in. Put in some salt and a dash of chardonney and chicken broth. Keep stir frying. Turn the heat back to medium high. Cook until done.
My friend recommended Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions to me and it turned out to be an absolutely great read. The basic premise of this book is that people do not act rationally and certainly not as the rational agents that one assumes in classical economics. Instead, we act in ways that would be considered “irrational” but are often quite consistent (hence the title).
Mr. Ariely is a professor in Behavioral Economics in MIT so his case studies are tested through experiments conducted on various college campuses. For example, one of his case studies examined the appeal of “FREE!”. In the experiment, they put up a concession stand selling chocolates – Hershey’s Kisses at 1¢ and Lindt Truffles at 15¢ a piece (you could only buy one). 73% chose the Truffle over the Hershey’s Kiss, even when they raised the prices a penny. They then took the prices and dropped them a penny. With the Hershey’s Kiss as “FREE!”, only 31% of the folks chose the Truffle. According to rational economics, this total reversal in behavior makes no rational sense (the price difference between Kiss and Truffle remained the same), and yet it does make “common sense”.
The book is filled with other such studies of “common sense” behavior tested empirically through different experiments. He closes each chapter with takeaway concepts which could be applicable in more substantial situations (i.e. if you want people to get preventative health care, it would be much more effective to make it FREE! instead of “really cheap”).
Well written and very readable, it is well worth picking up — not necessarily a classic tome that I must have on my bookshelf (I got my copy at the library) but is definitely worth the time to pick up and read.
So I’ve been in the middle of reading a wide variety of books and Seth Godin’s Meatball Sundae slips into the business/marketing area of the reading spectrum. Its a good read, easily taken in chunks, not surprising since he is a blogger. Actually, when I think about it I could easily imagine that most of his chunks are reformulated blog posts, but they hang together so nicely that it is not noticeable.
Well, its been an interesting period since I got around to starting this website, (weddings, vacations hurricaines). Like many of my other hobbies, I guess this will be going through some changes after an initial push. At $40 its not a big investment so I’m not too concerned if it goes in wierd directions or just stalls out.
In any case, I’m still messing around with the tone and wasting too much of my time following election coverage as opposed to other more productive activities. Its fun to watch and follow all the gulf of opinions and information that can bury you alive. Not much else to say.