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30 December 2009

Pleasure Reading and Biophilia

Yeah, I had a bit of a backlog so I've been binging recently. My list includes:

Superfreakonomics - Good read, I'd recommend it to just about anyone.

Nudge - I'm a little bit disappointed in this one, but for what it's worth the first half of the book focuses almost entirely on basic social psychology (one of my undergrad majors) so I thought it was a bit boring. It gets a lot better near the end. I also commend that they offer so many solutions to everyday problems we all face; paying mortgages, getting hired, saving for retirement. It's a way of thinking that will vastly improve the welfare of humanity.

What the Dog Saw - This is a complilation of stories by Malcolm Gladwell. Great read. I find that I keep going back and rereading articles.

Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters
- I'm almost done with this book and it's blowing my mind. It's a simple collection of evolutionary psychology studies with explanations as to what it all means... essentially. This book is changing my perception of the world in roughly the same way that learning about social psych did. This is not for the faint of heart or those who believe in the magical side of things.

And the three I haven't started yet are: Evolutionary Psychology (it's a textbook), Biophilia (by Wilson, I guess it's considered the bible in this field), and The Biophilia Hypothesis. These plus the one above are my primers for the next book I need to get my hands on which is called Biophilic Design. It's basically a way of designing buildings that responds to the fact that we are humans and that certain things make us happy; light, being near nature, certain shapes and sounds, etcetera. One of my professors, Harry Mallgrave, just so happens to be highly active in this area and it's really exciting because it's a very very new field that almost no one has exploited. Think about it. You need someone who's a psychologist and an architect (economics wouldn't hurt too) to design these studies and put them into practice. That same professor just came out with this book called The Architect's Brain, but it costs almost $100 so I'll be holding out on that one for a bit.

Anyways, that's what I plan to do with my M.Arch. and license.

IIT gave us these the first day of class. A bit presumptuous no?

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