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Wait: The Art and Science of Delay (edition 2012)

by Frank Partnoy

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734164,469 (3.75)2
Member:Fouad_Bendris
Title:Wait: The Art and Science of Delay
Authors:Frank Partnoy
Info:PublicAffairs (2012), Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy

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At least as far as the science goes, it seems solid enough--so a much better book than some of Gladwell's and Iyengar's The Art of Choosing. Partnoy really is a Renaissance man in that he's a lawyer who was a trader for Morgan Stanley, now a professor of some sort and graceful writer. You'd never guess he was a lawyer or former corporate drone from the writing.

The problems arise when he goes on and on with examples based on the thinnest findings. Notably apologies in the wake of sex scandals involving US politicians. No doubt when you flub big-time, you might want to wait a day or two to make your apology sound really sincere. But it's absurd to compare these various men's escapades for a start because their transgressions were so different (Spitzer was tracked to a prostitute because law enforcement thought bank withdrawals suggested he was being blackmailed; a southern governor, having an overseas affair wasn't breaking any law, just worrying a lot of people; some may have/were been breaking laws. Some told public lies before discovery; some didn't. Etc.)

*most of whose names Americans will have forgotten already and foreigners won't know; otherwise, people beyond the US won't be bothered by the other chapters.

That's just the start of my objections to that chapter (What is timing, after all?). But there are better chapters. I liked how views of procrastination have changed through the ages.Often we're going through a cost-benefit process and there's something to be gained by putting off a task. And even when you're not going project A that doesn't mean you're doing *nothing*.

And inevitably we always return to Kahnmann and Tversky and the way people weigh risks and rewards--that people aren't the rational men (and women) or classic economic models. I'd rather take the $1 extra today then wait a month or two for $5. That of course does not mean that I wouldn't wait a month for $5,000 in lieu of $1,000 today. ( )
  Periodista | Feb 8, 2013 |
When Decisional Procrastination could be good for you!
The art of knowing how long you can afford to delay before committing!
This great book provides useful lessons about how-to maximize the time we have available to make our decision and therefore
How this influences human decision-making at the end!
In fine even if we are hard-wired to react quickly - It is all about the Value of Waiting ...

Tuesday, August 14 - 2012 ( )
  Fouad_Bendris | Dec 25, 2012 |
This audio is worth listening to for it explores delay. While I liked the stories he took a long time to get to the point and seemed to repeat himself. Also he went deeper into what can be concluded from some common experiments like the marshmallow study, however on the downside he also used some weak studies as proof of some of his points. I really liked when he explored timing on an apology and the effects of doing it too soon. In general it sounds like timing is more important than speed. Overall, I would recommend listening to this audio for he does give you something to think about in terms of waiting.
Some summary links
http://legacyproject.human.cornell.edu
http://www.collaborativejourneys.com/looking-back-30-lessons-for-living-from-the...
http://www.glendahaskell.com/steppingstones/9.pdf ( )
  GShuk | Aug 22, 2012 |
Just like it's said that revenge is a dish best served cold, apparently waiting before striking, or just plain doing something, is often the better course of action. In Wait Frank Partnoy explores delay in both short and long term decisions and how understanding the former can help us better handle the latter.
Remember the marshmallow experiment and its discoveries concerning decision making and self-control? The kids who waited were rewarded with two instead of just one marshmallow, but does this scenario really work the same way in other aspects of our lives? From buying bonds to apologizing, from holding a speech to deciding whether a second date will be worth it, the author emphasizes how it's not necessarily the length of time you delay a decision, but basically to make such a decision in the last possibly moment for optimal results.
With such a fascinating topic and written in an engaging way, this book offers plenty of food for thought, though I must admit that I found the examples from the world of sports in the first chapters rather tiring. Additionally I'm not quite sure how the whole Post-it notes example fits in, but overall I found this to be a smart and insightful read.
Now, if only I knew how long the photographer waited before shooting the cover for this book? The answer must be - just long enough.
In short: To wait, to delay, to even procrastinate, is the way to go! ( )
  BLehner | Jun 17, 2012 |
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Presents information from scientific studies and interviews with experts in several fields that suggests that delaying responses when making a decision can improve the decision quality, even in situations where time is in short supply.

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