Today is Tim Harford day

And these days, that means today is a Messy day:

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives celebrates the benefits that messiness has in our lives: why it’s important, why we resist it, and why we should embrace it instead. Using research from neuroscience, psychology, social science, as well as tales of inspiring people doing extraordinary things, I explain that the human qualities we value – creativity, responsiveness, resilience – are integral to the disorder, confusion, and disarray that produce them.

As I wrote the book, I grappled with the way Martin Luther King’s speechmaking style evolved from careful preparation to impromptu genius. I tried to tease out the connections between the brilliant panzer commander Erwin Rommel, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, and the primary campaign of Donald Trump. I interviewed Stewart Brand about the world’s most creative messy building – and Brian Eno about the way David Bowie would reject perfection in favour of something flawed and interesting every time.

I loved writing this book.

As I’ve already written, it is Tim’s best and deepest book.  Here is the book’s home page.  You can order the book here, it is out today a messy day it must be.

Comments

'I explain that the human qualities we value – creativity, responsiveness, resilience – are integral to the disorder, confusion, and disarray that produce them.'

To make a guess, Edison will not be one of the creative people featured as an example of the benefits of disorder, confusion, and disarray.

'I tried to tease out the connections between the brilliant panzer commander Erwin Rommel, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, and the primary campaign of Donald Trump.'

To make another guess, the author knows little about how meticulous Rommel was in preparing for battle, allowing him to take advantage of the disorder, confusion, and disarray that combat represents.

perhaps one should read the before finding fault with it?

Another Malcom Gladwell? A talented writer who teases relationships, real or imaginary, out of thin air, and makes you think? Not bad.

I was waiting for you to tease out an imaginary relationship between this book and Filipino girls.

Was the mlk thing just that Stanley levison stopped writing his speeches.

For most people, life throws enough curve balls to generate enough disorder, confusion and disarray. Where is the threshold for the goodness of disorder? How much mess is beneficial and how much will shorten your life? Since every individual is different, and risk aversion is not even the same for the same individual 30 yr later, "embrace disorder" is not much different to "The Lord works in mysterious ways". It looks like an introduction to resignation for people scared to be regarded as religious.

Strange that he would include anecdotes from a rock musician instead of a jazz one.

Urban planning, with the parking requirements, the notion of the city as a carefully designed sculpture, and the sense that all change can be controlled in detail going out decades, could benefit greatly from a closer embrace of messiness. That said, the rigidity is there by popular demand from the minority of folks who vote in local elections, as much as it is a feature of the profession and its beliefs...

it is Tim’s best and deepest book

I'm skeptical of the book because I already buy its main premise and the title even makes the contents sound obvious, at least to me, but I will try it.

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