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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

A gift from the Central Intelligence Agency

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Our inimitable CIA has released the full text of its book, “Psychology of Intelligence Analysis,” in HTML and PDF. From the author’s preface:

This volume pulls together and republishes, with some editing, updating, and additions, articles written during 1978-86 for internal use within the CIA Directorate of Intelligence. Four of the articles also appeared in the Intelligence Community journal Studies in Intelligence during that time frame. The information is relatively timeless and still relevant to the never-ending quest for better analysis.

The articles are based on reviewing cognitive psychology literature concerning how people process information to make judgments on incomplete and ambiguous information. I selected the experiments and findings that seem most relevant to intelligence analysis and most in need of communication to intelligence analysts. I then translated the technical reports into language that intelligence analysts can understand and interpreted the relevance of these findings to the problems intelligence analysts face.

Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, HTML, table of contents

Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, full PDF version, 1.9 MB direct link

(Another hat tip to BoingBoing!)

Written by Michael DeBusk

May 11th, 2008 at 9:24 pm

Interview with Steven Pinker

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Powells.com has an interview with Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker, author of several excellent books on language and the mind.

I’ve loved everything I’ve read that Dr. Pinker has written, starting with The Language Instinct.
Approachable and intelligent at the same time. Great stuff.

Powells.com Interviews – Steven Pinker

Written by Michael DeBusk

January 10th, 2008 at 4:45 pm

250 Public Speaking Tips

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By way of Lifehacker comes this pointer to 250 Public Speaking Tips.

To be either pedantic or precise, whichever you prefer, there aren’t 250 tips here; it’s kind of heavily padded. And some of them contradict others or are otherwise worth ignoring. But there’s plenty of good stuff here, too. Look at the first one:

Audience always comes first; ask yourself, “How can they benefit from listening to me?”

Link to Eric Feng’s Public Speaking blog
Link to a free chapter of the author’s upcoming book

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 21st, 2007 at 7:12 pm

The Rainbow Machine by Andrew Austin

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I finished reading this amazing book last night and fully intended to post a review of it here. However, I recently joined the NLP Connections forums and found that Michael Perez had already said everything I wanted to say (only more lucidly and more coherently).

To reiterate, if you like NLP, you like stories and you value something a little more conversational than yet another description of the swish pattern, do yourself a favour and let Andy tell you the story about the time he told a little girl a story about how there was this secret rainbow machine…

So I’ll simply refer you to Michael Perez’s review of the book. I believe you can read the review without registration, but if you want to read the rest of the high praise from the folks in the community, registration is free.

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 18th, 2007 at 1:17 pm

Posted in Books

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New Book by Steven Pinker

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Scientist and Harvard lecturer Steven Pinker recently gave an exclusive interview for Powell’s Books to promote his new book, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature

…which Wired calls “a fascinating look at how language provides a window into the deepest functioning of the human brain.” One rainy afternoon, Dr. Pinker stopped by to discuss causality, the concept of concepts, how to swear in several languages, and the way irregular verbs can lead to romance.

I haven’t yet read all of Pinker’s books, but I’ve been highly appreciative of the ones I have read. Looking forward to this one.

Powell’s Bookstore Interview with Steven Pinker

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 15th, 2007 at 7:01 pm

To Inform or Persuade?

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When we’re interacting with someone, we may often think we’re just trying to let them know some important piece of information. I recently learned something, though: facts are not interesting. People only pay attention to facts if they’re attached to values. Dean Brenner wrote a pertinent manifesto for ChangeThis back in October:

Brenner believes there is a critical flaw in how we communicate. We naturally divide our communications in two approaches: to inform or to persuade. When, according to Brenner, every communication is an opportunity to persuade. Next time you hear someone say, “I just wanted to give you an update…” you’ll know an opportunity to shape opinion was missed.

Link to Dean Brenner’s “To Inform or Persuade?” ChangeThis Manifesto

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 10th, 2007 at 7:32 pm

Know the Code

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John Johnson of Persuasion 101 introduced me to Dr. Clotaire Rapaille’s work:

What is your earliest memory of coffee? What image comes to mind when you hear about a Jeep? Why are wedding traditions different in the United States from France? Rapaille reveals the unconscious motivators behind how we act and what we buy by unearthing the unique culture codes found within each of us and derived from our earliest or most enduring memories.

Thanks to Dr. Rapaille, we can drive a Jeep, we can buy coffee in Japan, and we can do countless other things that NDAs probably prohibit us from knowing about. If you’re a marketer, you want Dr. Clotaire Rapaille’ ChangeThis Manifesto.

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 8th, 2007 at 8:35 pm

Tell Me a Story

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From the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health comes a document for trainers: Tell Me a Story: Why Stories are Essential to Effective Safety Training. From the referenced page:

Although the mining industry has historically relied on an experiential master-apprentice model for training new employees, the formal safety training provided to miners is generally done in a classroom, with mixed results. In a series of stakeholder meetings held by NIOSH across the West in 1997-2000, trainers identified significant gaps in materials that were available to teach new and experienced miners. They asked whether NIOSH could develop effective materials to fill these perceived gaps, as well as make training more effective for those who were required to attend, but who often refused to be attentive.

This e-book is well-written and practical. Geared toward safety trainers in mining companies, it’s intended to make training count where lives are on the line. It seems to be framing good presentation-type training as a modern form of the old master-apprentice relationship. Good reading for anyone who trains to inform.

Link to NIOSH Publication No. 2005-152 (2.3 megabyte, PDF)

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 8th, 2007 at 7:09 pm

The Rainbow Machine

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I just got Steve Andreas’ latest newsletter, and in it he posts some delightful news. Andrew Austin‘s new book, The Rainbow Machine: Tales from a Neuro-Linguist’s Journal is ready to be shipped! I just ordered my copy!

If you don’t already know of Andy, you’re missing out. He’s one of the most outrageous characters in the field. I’ve always loved his war stories… and now he’s collected a huge number of them in one book:

A delightful read! Outrageous, funny, insightful, & touching. You’ll enjoy it from start to finish. Packed with experiences from his background working in hospitals, social work, to private counseling practice, Andrew Austin shows how NLP can be anything but boring. Don’t wait for the movie! 🙂

Steve Andreas’ newsletter contained a couple of excerpts. Just enough to make me wish I had my copy of the book right here, right now. Oh, man…

Link to order The Rainbow Machine from Real People Press

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 1st, 2007 at 1:52 am

Posted in Books

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