PROFIL

Georg Michna

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How to Break, or Save, an Organization

Gesamt
5 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
5 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 22.02.2020

A succinct and convincing account of the internal decay that leads large companies into self-inflicted downfalls. This is the kind of material that could save billions in losses and wasted resources if the right people knew it before making big decisions.

The Real Face of Self-Made Wealth

Gesamt
5 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
5 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 16.02.2020

This book is not just a great insight into wealthy peoples' lifestyle; it is also another strong reminder to not allow media prejudice to shape one's world view.

While the news are filled with the excesses of high-rollers and cronies, here you get a view behind the curtain of how the millions of everyday millionaires live their disciplined, organized, and – maybe most of all – frugal lives.

While the content is slightly dated, the message is not outdated at all. A very informative and refreshingly real account of the life of wealth-builders and wealth-wasters, and how your decisions shape your future financial [in]dependence. Highly recommended!

Stay for the Data!

Gesamt
5 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
4 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 29.01.2020

Asks a very interesting question, and stays for a detailed study to answer it. You dive into the mindset that created great progress, and how it was evident in subtleties that many overlook. This makes for a not just fascinating, but also very instructive experience.

In the interpretation, some places smelled of a correlation-causality fallacy; the author is often implying causality in places where the exact mechanisms aren't obvious, at least to me as a reader. This includes the causal interactions between the presented concepts, also not spending much time on the question how much they vary independently. I also found terminology like "Level 5 Leader" and "The Three Circles" to bring associations that don't seem an especially great fit for the described concepts.

However, the well-presented results easily make up for this. Going through Good to Great feels like a very, very insightful visit to some of the greatest organizational transformations stock market history can offer.

So overall, this is a definite must read.

Ghetto Buddhism vs Entitlement

Gesamt
3 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
3 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 29.01.2020

Well, it was fun and the advice seemed generally sound.

But much of it was a generic rehash of various well-known principles, awkwardly patched together in an attempt to form a coherent topic. At its heart, it is mostly about the messages of Buddhism on desire and traditionalist concepts of responsibility. "Not giving a fuck" is redefined as seen fit per situation. So the title is more clickbait than related to the actual core statements of the book.

This isn't bad, but at this point, it may have trouble competing with other responsibility-based advice books, like Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life.

Answering the Why Questions

Gesamt
4 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
5 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 18.12.2019

A comprehensive and entertaining presentation of the reasons for the obesity epidemic.

Highly recommended if you or those close to you are affected by any form of metabolic syndrome.

Only thing to nitpick is that there is a lot more time spent on dispelling wrong approaches than establishing precise data on correct ones, and so some descriptions on the latter feel short and rushed.

Overall, I still very much enjoyed reading this, even though I'm not directly affected. The information also helped my neighbor improve his T2 diabetes, and I appreciate the nutritional advice. Totally worth it.

Old Work, New #1 For My Recommendations

Gesamt
5 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
5 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 18.12.2019

It is difficult to choose between the many reasons why this essay is exceptional beyond compare.

In the continuing conflicts between liberty and authority, its ideas and influences can be seen on the world stage to this day. John Stuart Mill displays a level of intelligence and educational competence that is now, 160 years later, still almost impossible to find. Rationally examining the principles of liberty, he builds a framework for directing societal rules, as well as for classifying the adverse effects of ignorantly chosen rules.

The predictions and notions are outright prophetic! Naming Newtonian Physics as an extreme but applicable object for criticism, to allow a new truth to be found. Describing the properties and effects of socialism. Describing the exact ways that would plague both the Soviet Union and China much later, addressing the downsides of their specific societies and how they cause these developments.

He derives and proposes highly progressive changes that have only seen broader implementation in recent times, such as toleration for atheists and Mormons, or giving wives equal rights to combat despotic husbands. He even encodes the legality of homosexuality into the work, in a way an ignorant reader of his time would not detect, further demonstrating how his intellect was able to bridge what otherwise takes humanity centuries to establish.

And of course, last but not least, he explains the ways by which freedom of opinion, argument, and personal choice can serve as the cornerstones of a productive and cooperative society.

As I sit here, pondering over the downsides of current education – for which Mill offered both an explanation and a solution – I can't help but wonder what the world would be like had he, or someone as well versed in liberal principles, ever been allowed to define the legal framework of a large country.

I very highly recommend "On Liberty" as a crucial philosophical, historical, and political education, and as the best piece of writing I have ever come across.

Yes, But Myelin Is Not a Silver Bullet Explanation

Gesamt
3 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
4 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 12.12.2019

Split between "ooh, cool" and "ARRGH STOP!"

The core message here is very important and very useful. So if the choice is between skipping the topic and listening to this, go and buy it. Typically, when people talk about talent, it's a trick to throw unfavored children under the bus, a highly immoral practice that this book beautifully exposes.

However, Daniel Coyle has a bit of a weird problem: he's a myelin junkie. He is apparently unable to talk about any adaptive response of the human brain without focusing on myelin and myelin ONLY. This creates a silly, reductionist experience in which mind-opening examples of effective teaching and learning are suddenly interrupted by a mindless tirade of how axons somewhere were surely being myelinated!

While he goes in some detail to justify this – mainly the brain's ability to calibrate timings by adjusting myelin thickness – most of the time he just goes completely off the rails and makes it sound like a brain baked solid into myelin would solve all our problems. These passages become very unscientific and hard to listen to.

The observational parts, on the other hand, are beautiful. And they do indeed show off the routine-training of the brain, and different methods to effectively interact with it.

Would I recommend this? Yes, but with a word of caution. If you can mentally replace the myelin hyping with a more general appreciation of the brain's adaptivity, overall, it should be an enjoyable and educating experience.

A Perspective on Innovation and Competition

Gesamt
4 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
5 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 12.12.2019

This gives a nice insight into Peter Thiel's viewpoint as the creator of market-dominating products.

The inside-view of a monopolist position concentrates on how to create something new and profit from it. Doing this, it also touches on questions concerning competition, and how it drives prices and profits down, but is also a double-edged sword as it reduces actors' funds available for further innovation.

I especially liked some parts on the philosophy of tackling hard problems, and how to approach an uncertain future constructively.

A weak point is a number of wild, unfounded predictions and projections that were given with no reasoning whatsoever. It almost seems like part of a squabble when Thiel rejects Elon Musk's guarded position on AI, but with an almost medieval repetition of non-argument statements. In my opinion, the book would work better if this part, and similar parts that involve wild projections that merely extrapolate trends, had been cut. They are not necessary for the book's message.

Overall, I can recommend this. It's short, to the point, and gives an unusual vantage point which I think could plausibly be useful in growing projects nobody has attempted before. It is also useful to distinguish true innovation from participants in hype waves, which can be very important in investment. For less than five hours, this is time well spent.

Experienced Advice, Questionably Conveyed

Gesamt
4 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
5 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 01.12.2019

If you are here, there is a good chance you are wondering whether you should read (or, listen to) the legendary book. For an early-out answer: I can't think of a reason not to.

Graham gives a large-scale, long-term, empirical overview over the behavior of securities markets, as well as various examples of the results and pitfalls investors must expect. He repeatedly warns about the gambling allure of wild speculation – and for very good reasons, which stay every bit relevant today. The meticulous analyses convey not only many real world examples, but also Graham's approach of making cool-headed, quantitative decisions, the merits of which have by now been enshrined into the public mind by his student, Warren Buffet. If this is not enough of a recommendation, I am not sure what else could be.

That said, the audiobook has some presentation issues. It is very number-heavy, making it difficult to convey in sound. Explanations seem to come out of order at times which, combined with the excessively US-centered world view, creates needless obstacles for a modern, international audience. And the commentary chapters by a different author make for a strange, overly flashy half-imitation of Graham's style, often reiterating exceptionally insane examples from the .com bubble. The book also stops asking why on a medium level of abstraction, using arbitrary rules rather than ultimate, mathematical explanations for its risk profile recommendations. These rules are not bad per se, but an inquiring reader might have preferred references to statistical theory.

If you pick this book to listen to the words of an old master, you probably expect some quirks like this, and will enjoy the wisdom of a great investor, taken from many decades of experience.

Enthralling Experience, Important Implications

Gesamt
5 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
5 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 01.12.2019

A multifaceted package, combining a story that puts fictional thrillers to shame with an insight into the cronyist inner workings of the Silicon Valley elites. The colorful rooster of characters gives an insight how various personalities interact with the main cast of cold-hearted fraudsters and greedy enablers. Detailed reconstructions of events show how the various institutions and their internal power dynamics shape the flow of events. John Carreyrou has woven all of it into a seamless, perfectly executed narrative. Unconditional recommendation!