Monthly Archives: August 2004

Books: Conversationally Speaking : Tested New Ways to Increase Your Personal and Social Effectiveness

Conversationally Speaking : Tested New Ways to Increase Your Personal and Social Effectiveness by Alan Garner

I highly suggest you read this book.

James Slavet suggested I read this book — and I’m really glad I listened. Here is the email I sent him after reading the book:

Thanks so much for the book referral a while back. I finally had a chance to read the book (I actually listened to the book on tape) — and I can say that the book was really terrific. I was extremely impressed. I think it will help me a lot in life — I almost think the book should be required reading in Law School, Business School, and Psychiatry School.

Books: Running On Empty : How The Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It

Running On Empty : How The Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It by Pete Peterson

Peterson is one of my heroes — an American who believes in country before self and someone who has built a reputation working with both sides of the aisle. this book was truly written for people in my generation — it goes over the major problems in America today (entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are not sustainable) and details possible scenarios that might happen to the U.S. in the future.

Running On Empty is scary and depressing. it is bleak and stark. it discusses a potential meltdown. but it is also necessary — as its frankness gives readers a true understanding of the perplexing situation that we are in.

Peterson closes the book with some of his recommendations for reform. and here Peterson is most powerful.

unfortunately, i do not believe that our leaders in Washington will own up to their responsibility until a real crisis has emerged — and at that point it might be too late to build a system that takes care to really benefit Americans. but if this book makes people think twice about the future, than it is worth getting it in the hands of every current and future decision maker.

Books: How the Mind Works

How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker

this is a great book.

i repeat — read this book.

the book was originally suggested to me by Mimi Aye but it languished on my book shelf because the first few chapters are so difficult to read.

then, i was having a meeting with Mark Organ (CEO of Eloqua) who gave me the book as a present (thus now having two copies). mark once studied with Pinker. but the present was accompanied with a piece of really good advice — start reading from Chapter Five and then go back and read the beginning. i followed mark’s advice and am better for it.

How the Mind Works is a truly wonderful book on how people react and why. why are we attracted to love and art? why does man make war? nurture or nature? and other timeless questions.

HSAs might help defeat our Health Care Crisis

I’m now an official holder of a Health Savings Account. HSAs allow you to save for retirement — just like traditional IRAs. but unlike IRAs, they allow you to spend some or all of your retirement account on medical needs now … all fully tax free.

Steve Forbes believes that HSAs could help alleviate the health care crisis. I agree. Consumers can have the opportunity to price medical produces and pay for them with their dollars.

some quick questions:
– why has the cost of certain medical procedures risen so much over time?
– why has the cost of almost all elective procedures (cosmetic surgery, laser eye surgery, etc) gone down over time?

the answer: because in the second type of procedure, a consumer is incented to shop around and find the best price/quality mix.