- Series: Hacks
- Paperback: 332 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (February 16, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596101538
- ISBN-13: 978-0596101534
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #544,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mind Performance Hacks: Tips & Tools for Overclocking Your Brain Paperback – February 16, 2006
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About the Author
Ron Hale-Evans is a writer and game designer who earns his daily sandwich with frequent gigs as a technical writer. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Yale, with a minor in philosophy. Thinking a lot about thinking led him to create the Mentat Wiki at http://www.ludism.org/mentat, which led to this book. His multifarious and nefarious other projects can be accessed from his home page, http://ron.ludism.org, including his award-winning board games, a list of his Short-Duration Personal Saviours, and his blog. His wife Marty is a better man than he is.
Top customer reviews
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The book is a compilation of seventy-five "hacks" designed to help us "overclock" our brains. Catchy! What it means is that the book is a collection of tips and techniques that speed and enhance our mental abilities. And they do.
The tips deal with memory enhancement, perception, decision making, math applications, and general mental fitness. Most of them aren't really new, but all of them are very clearly explained and illustrated with real-world examples. Every tip has citations for further research, a feature that led me to several hours of surprising and useful reading.
This is not a mental fitness system; that is, the author does not expect the reader to adopt and use every one of the tips. It's a loose collection of tools, and like all tools, the trick is to select the appropriate one for the task. I'm using several of the tools on a regular basis, and that more than justifies the cost of the book for me.
Finally, the book is a very entertaining and very quick read. The author's style is just right. The information is presented in easy-to-digest blocks, and the explanations are very clear. The author clearly has expertise, but he's never condescending. The tone is light and slightly self-deprecating without being cutesy.
I really liked this book. It's rare to find such a finely balanced combination of entertainment and utility. I'm very happy I bought it, and I recommend it highly.
Some (most) of the tips aren't that original mnemonics and linking object to memorable visual images aren't new. Some of the math skills are the sort of thing most people pick up in grade school. Also, the problem solving methods outlined are rather crude.
But; they are the kind of tips we may "know" but don't apply. Some (a few) of the tools / techniques were new to me and very valuable.
OK; after such a critical start why give the book five stars? This book is unusual, it groups useful techniques and tools for creative thinking into one short guide. Although the techniques outlined may be simple they are highly effective.
The writing style is informative without being patronizing. I read this book cover to cover in four sessions; it was as interesting to read as most fiction.
The author references source material very well and provides references for further exploration of the topics covered.
In answer to my original question, "who is this book for?", just about everyone should be able to take away something positive from this book. Good preparation for exams such as GMAT and SATs. Also, good tips for staying sharp into old age (have to wait and see whether they work or not).
Most recent customer reviews
Don't know what that is? That's fine! But if you do, this book packed full of useful and interesting tricks for improving your mental...Read more
I mean only a few stuff were new to me, since I read about these a lot.