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Publishers WeeklyStarred Review.
A longtime political economist at the forefront of the interdisciplinary field of neuroeconomics, Polski's iconoclastic treatment of orthodox economic models (which treat people like "hyper-rational Vulcan brainiac Dr. Spock") combined with her witty observational style ("our brains are like jazz musicians in search of a good groove") opens up this important but complex survey of modern decision-making and its pitfalls in the face of the world's thorniest problems: highly competitive global markets, terrorist attacks, and environmental threat. Beginning with a dry but brief overview of world markets and the human nervous system, Polski goes on to illustrate, fascinatingly, how "sustainable growth and change involves changing the way we think and choose," moving away from a system of intuitive thinking ("unconscious spontaneous activity" developed to avoid falling rocks) and toward a new map of transparent, logic- and community-based thinking (and the end of "fruitless control strategies such as fiat, proselytizing, finger-wagging, sanctions, side-payments, and force"). Polski carefully delineates the characteristics of intuitive and logical thinking, the way that minds learn and interact with each other, and the real-world possibilities opened up by her peculiarly outsider economic perspective.
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