I thought I had seen a thread recently asking for book recommendations, and I had a recommendation to post there, but the thread I found is from about a year and a half ago. I didn't want to make an entire thread for my book suggestion, that would be a bit extreme (I will post it in the comments though). So I was wondering what people's thoughts were on a yearly or monthly discussion thread recommending good new books, perhaps with a brief synopsis or explanation. Would we have enough new recommendations to fill one? (I'm still astonished there are as few repeats in the quote threads as there are) Would we have so many that monthly would be a good idea? Should there be any guidelines like there are for the quotes threads? The only one I can think of would be just requiring a brief summary and why one thinks LWers might be interested in it.

New Comment
22 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 8:43 PM

http://www.amazon.com/This-Time-Different-Centuries-Financial/dp/0691142165

It details how people fallaciously through the centuries believe that it will be different this time, and thus contribute to economic crises. It should be a good read for rationalists from all walks of life as it gives an opportunity to learn from history. Those who don't learn from that are doomed to repeat it.

Monthly seems a little frequent, but a yearly or half-yearly post sounds good to me, and possibly a sticky post to make on-going topics (like Welcome!) easier to find.

Also, why just books rather than including movies, websites, etc.?

Even the monthly rationality quotes threads run into trouble with being too infrequent (as quotes near the start of the month get seen much more than quotes near the end of the month). Unless we have some sort of sticky section, I can't see half-yearly posts working well. (But we should get a sticky section, and then just make a new thread every X comments.)

The quote threads should probably be more frequent. However, I don't see nearly as many books etc. being recommended.

I definitely agree sticky is the way to go, but we don't have that feature yet, unfortunately.

Maybe just tag book and other media discussion and recommendation threads, maybe as Resources?

The LW wiki might be a better place for ongoing lists of resources and similar stuff.

Anyway, here goes:

I know sports aren't too popular on LW, but I happen to be an avid College Football (Specifically, LSU, UT, and the rest of the SEC) fan, and I heard about a book on the Freakonomics blog called Scorecasting. I haven't finished it yet, but what it has been so far is mostly how cognitive biases produce suboptimal strategies or outcomes in most professional sports. I've found it really interesting so far, but if sports aren't your thing, you probably won't.

Here is the link to the freakonomics post for those interested. I thought it was OK. You might also be interested in the works of Bill James. Bill James was doing freakonomics and cognitive bias analysis back in the early 1980's, selling his Bill James Baseball Abstract self-published to a list of subscribers gathered by word-of-mouth. He is the man most responsible for the state of modern Major League Baseball statistical analysis--the emphasis of On Base Percentage, the de-emphasis of pitchers' Won-Loss totals and a number of other changes and innovations.

I tried to argue in this post that the collection of large numbers of baseball player performance statistics and the incessant analysis towards meaning and reliability of them by fanatics make them as good a raw data set on human performance we have anywhere. The prediction accuracy of Las Vegas sports bookmakers may well be the singular most successful prediction market anywhere at anytime.

If you like movies, Moneyball is recent and about sabermetrics.

Sports are not my thing. However, I read the first few chapters of that book and it was great. Then I lost my copy. I second RobertLumley's recommendation on limited information.