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What do these scenarios have in common: a professional tennis player returning a serve, a woman evaluating a first date across the table, a naval officer assessing a threat to his ship, and a comedian about to reveal a punch line? In this counterintuitive and insightful work, author Frank Partnoy weaves together findings from hundreds of scientific studies and interviews wi What do these scenarios have in common: a professional tennis player returning a serve, a woman evaluating a first date across the table, a naval officer assessing a threat to his ship, and a comedian about to reveal a punch line? In this counterintuitive and insightful work, author Frank Partnoy weaves together findings from hundreds of scientific studies and interviews with wide-ranging experts to craft a picture of effective decision-making that runs counter to our brutally fast-paced world. Even as technology exerts new pressures to speed up our lives, it turns out that the choices we make--unconsciously and consciously, in time frames varying from milliseconds to years--benefit profoundly from delay. As this winning and provocative book reveals, taking control of time and slowing down our responses yields better results in almost every arena of life ... even when time seems to be of the essence. The procrastinator in all of us will delight in Partnoy's accounts of celebrity "delay specialists," from Warren Buffett to Chris Evert to Steve Kroft, underscoring the myriad ways in which delaying our reactions to everyday choices--large and small--can improve the quality of our lives.


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What do these scenarios have in common: a professional tennis player returning a serve, a woman evaluating a first date across the table, a naval officer assessing a threat to his ship, and a comedian about to reveal a punch line? In this counterintuitive and insightful work, author Frank Partnoy weaves together findings from hundreds of scientific studies and interviews wi What do these scenarios have in common: a professional tennis player returning a serve, a woman evaluating a first date across the table, a naval officer assessing a threat to his ship, and a comedian about to reveal a punch line? In this counterintuitive and insightful work, author Frank Partnoy weaves together findings from hundreds of scientific studies and interviews with wide-ranging experts to craft a picture of effective decision-making that runs counter to our brutally fast-paced world. Even as technology exerts new pressures to speed up our lives, it turns out that the choices we make--unconsciously and consciously, in time frames varying from milliseconds to years--benefit profoundly from delay. As this winning and provocative book reveals, taking control of time and slowing down our responses yields better results in almost every arena of life ... even when time seems to be of the essence. The procrastinator in all of us will delight in Partnoy's accounts of celebrity "delay specialists," from Warren Buffett to Chris Evert to Steve Kroft, underscoring the myriad ways in which delaying our reactions to everyday choices--large and small--can improve the quality of our lives.

30 review for Wait: The Art and Science of Delay

  1. 4 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    If it works, you are a "delay specialist" and your delay was strategic - kudos to you. If it doesn't, you are a mere procrastinator who cant tell a minute hand from an hour hand - shame on you.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Harry Roger Williams III

    My first professional job as a Librarian was in 1972 at the Worcester Public Library, with long hair and a beard and fire in my belly to save the world with equal access to information. Library Director Joseph S. Hopkins described an administrative strategy of never making any decision until forced to do so. I was not the only one who thought this showed a lack of courage, rather than good judgement. As the years have gone by I have been forced to reconsider many of my youthful value judgements. My first professional job as a Librarian was in 1972 at the Worcester Public Library, with long hair and a beard and fire in my belly to save the world with equal access to information. Library Director Joseph S. Hopkins described an administrative strategy of never making any decision until forced to do so. I was not the only one who thought this showed a lack of courage, rather than good judgement. As the years have gone by I have been forced to reconsider many of my youthful value judgements. Partnoy really vindicates Joe Hopkins on page 174, "The best professionals understand how long they have available to make a decision, and then, given that time frame, they wait as long as they possibly can." Wow! Partnoy also adds a twist to an attractive description of the skilled ball player. I had heard descriptions - written when computers were a bit more primitive - that "If you filled the Empire State Building with computers, it would still take them a week to do all the calculations required to catch a high fly ball." The implication was that it is only by letting go of any conscious control, through practice and then reflex, that humans are able to make the catch. Partnoy shares experiments that show that more is going on, that the good hitter actually spends much more of the ball's (admittedly extremely short) travel time taking in data, and then at the very last millisecond reacts with a swing. I described this to an old timer (even older than I) who immediately gave an example of a baseball great who would swing "just about when the ball was in the catcher's glove." This was a fun read and I'm glad I took the time to enjoy it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Eustacia Tan

    Quick, from the title alone, what's book is the opposite of this? If you said Blink by Malcom Gladwell, then you and I have the same thought process. The subtitle of this book is "The Art and Science of Delay", which is so different from the thin-slicing concept in Blink. But, apart from the subject matter, both books feel similar - they're written in an enjoying way (well, there's another part about the essence of the book, but I don't know how to describe a book's character through mere words) Quick, from the title alone, what's book is the opposite of this? If you said Blink by Malcom Gladwell, then you and I have the same thought process. The subtitle of this book is "The Art and Science of Delay", which is so different from the thin-slicing concept in Blink. But, apart from the subject matter, both books feel similar - they're written in an enjoying way (well, there's another part about the essence of the book, but I don't know how to describe a book's character through mere words). This book, like Blink, explores the decision-making process. Only in this case, they advise waiting as long as possible. Even for the superfast sports, like Baseball, the experts wait as long as possible before making their move. Hence, we should also do likewise (between these two disparate statements is a fairly long and convincing explanation). Of course, the book also goes on to show how we can possible control these reactions (and biases in thin-slicing). The book actually has a survey you can take here to see how you deal with time. I haven't taken it yet, but I will (when I finish procrastinating, which apparently may not be a bad thing). The only problem I had with the book was with the first chapter, where it keeps talking about the evolutionary role. I don't think evolution is true (or even convincing), so to me, this whole reptile-throwback stuff is unbelievable. Why can't we just say that we have two such parallel systems? How does it enhance the theory? Otherwise, the book was really good. Most of the research presented is interesting and fairly convincing, although I have no way of telling if there's any cherry-picking going on. A wide range of subject matter, from Fight Club to a It's Just Lunch (a dating service) is used to illustrate the various points in the chapter. In fact, one of my favourite things learnt involves the subconscious influence (and I sent it off as a "quote of the day" to my friends and cousins. It goes about how research shows that if you want to cram for an exam, or just finish reading faster, you should go to MacDonalds. My really smart friend (Aggy, it's you!) that the red and orange in the place physiologically makes you feel energised and want to rush. Apart from that, I really like the quote on how "Two of the skills that many students develop in college are the ability to manage their time throughout a semester, and the ability to cram for an exam or quickly finish a term paper at the semester's end. Students who are required to finish an assignment every week may not develop these skills." I shall go out on a limb and assume that the second sentence means that your grade is completely/largely not dependent on a major exam but is consistent. Well, apart from university, IB will do fine too. While I like the whole "working constantly" thing that IB taught me -time management!- (and I'm using it now if TUFS), there were major assignments and exams too. Which is why when, for example, we have a maths portfolio (it's a math essay), you'll notice that the amount of sleep that goes down beyond the normal levels as everyone rushes to finish the portfolio/essay. Well, basically, this is a really interesting book. If you need a non-fiction read, you should really put this on your reading list. Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. First posted at Inside the mind of a Bibliophile

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    I guess my snarky takeaway from this book by a former investment banker and corporate lawyer is that it's always best to act at exactly the right time, neither too soon nor too late. Thanks very much for that insight. But actually the book is full of interesting descriptions of experiments examining why we make the decisions we do. We are not rational actors, as economists used to think. Some of the results are obvious, others quite surprising. Subjects exposed subliminally (they all reported th I guess my snarky takeaway from this book by a former investment banker and corporate lawyer is that it's always best to act at exactly the right time, neither too soon nor too late. Thanks very much for that insight. But actually the book is full of interesting descriptions of experiments examining why we make the decisions we do. We are not rational actors, as economists used to think. Some of the results are obvious, others quite surprising. Subjects exposed subliminally (they all reported that they had not noticed them) to fast-food logos subsequently read a boring paragraph 20% faster than subjects not so exposed. Apparently exposure to the idea of fast food (even when we aren't aware of it) makes us not only eat faster, but do everything else faster as well. And we have about the same desire for instant as opposed to delayed gratification as pigeons. Who knew? So Partnoy's idea is the old Greek one of kairos, not just chronological time, but the right time. Or maybe Baby Bear time--not too soon, not too late, but just right. (Partnoy doesn't put it this way. It's my snark coming out again.) But since our present culture is so biased in favor of speed, finding the right time for almost anything usually means delay. Pause to think it over. Maybe do nothing. Inaction is not always wrong. In fact it's probably not wrong. Sounds good to me...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Eric Gardner

    The problem with Frank Partnoy’s Wait can be summed up through his story of UNX, a high frequency trading firm. Unlike day trading, where humans quickly buy and sell stocks, HFT is entirely computerized. Advanced algorithms make millions of trades a day and enact them quicker than any human could hope. In 2006 UNX was in trouble, their software and hardware was outdated, but they invested millions to develop a new high speed-trading platform, and by 2007 they were ranked the best in the industry The problem with Frank Partnoy’s Wait can be summed up through his story of UNX, a high frequency trading firm. Unlike day trading, where humans quickly buy and sell stocks, HFT is entirely computerized. Advanced algorithms make millions of trades a day and enact them quicker than any human could hope. In 2006 UNX was in trouble, their software and hardware was outdated, but they invested millions to develop a new high speed-trading platform, and by 2007 they were ranked the best in the industry. Everything was rosy except their offices were in California, and transmitting the data from California to the trading floor in New York City was costing them thirty-five milliseconds on each trade. Thirty-five milliseconds may seem like nothing for a human, but in HFT it is billions of dollars. The company decided to relocate their offices to New York, and found that trades were faster, but suddenly the execution failed. “We were paying more to buy shares,” the CEO of the company said, “and we we’re receiving less then we sold.” I wish I could tell you why the execution failed when the speed of the trade increased but Partnoy never explains. That is the problem with the book, which is a shame because Partnoy has an interesting premise. In a world that is speeding up and increasing in its’ complexity there certainly are benefits to slowing things down. However, he never explains the mechanism to why this is.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Orsolya

    Time is of essence, they say, and often we are forced to make quick decisions. Yet, many people are also prone to delaying and procrastinating. Is this delay harmful? Perhaps it can actually be a positive tactic? Frank Partnoy attempts to prove why waiting until the last minute or even pushing things into the future is a smart move in, “Wait: The Art and Science of Delay”. “Wait” is a business book mixed with pop psych, social science, and some neuroscience attempting to discuss various life situ Time is of essence, they say, and often we are forced to make quick decisions. Yet, many people are also prone to delaying and procrastinating. Is this delay harmful? Perhaps it can actually be a positive tactic? Frank Partnoy attempts to prove why waiting until the last minute or even pushing things into the future is a smart move in, “Wait: The Art and Science of Delay”. “Wait” is a business book mixed with pop psych, social science, and some neuroscience attempting to discuss various life situations in which utilizing delay is a “good thing”. “Wait” starts off strongly with a biological and neuroscience discussion—which lasts about a chapter. After this, “Wait” tapers off and is a disappointment. Although Partnoy is not a bad writer in terms of language and prose (he has a perfect balance of technical jargon with easy-to-understand lingo); but his presentation and ideas are scattered and completely devoid of his thesis. Rather than prove why we delay actions or why this delay is optimal; Partnoy merely offers scenarios where delay is present. Nothing is proven and the reader doesn’t truly learn anything and goes away with less than a handful of facts. The major downfall of “Wait” is its stiff, clinical feel. Partnoy comes from a business and financial background which comes through in “Wait”. The text is missing the accessible and exciting pace which pop psych books tend to have. As can be deduced by this, all of the citations/test in “Wait are secondary (none being conducted by Partnoy) and can’t even really be called experiments as they are basically case studies. Much of “Wait” focuses on business, financial, and economic situations which doesn’t interest or isn’t applicable to the general reader making “Wait” miss the target audience. There are some ‘ah-ha’ moments but these are few and far between. The concluding chapters of “Wait” are extremely slow and completely lost on the thesis. Partnoy basically pens a business essay at this point focusing on time and trade-offs but there is no psychological element at all and neither does he prove a hypothesis regarding delay. Despite these weaknesses, the ending does well in summarizing the work and in recalling previous discussions. Although Partnoy does not include a source list; he supplements “Wait” with a lengthy and detailed notes section. “Wait” is a business piece peppered with some psychology and case studies. The problem is with presentation and Partnoy’s failure to prove an argument, educate, or be memorable. Bluntly, not much is gained from reading “Wait” and it can be bypassed for other books on the topic.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Birgit

    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 thi 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!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Wait is a phrase that you will often hear a parent use when dealing with a small child. I know I have used is often enough myself. In these days of faster communications, instant messages, 24 hour email and the pressure to make instantaneous choices, Partnoy wants us to think slower, to take time to consider those choices and to make the correct decision at the right time. He describes sports men who have the ability to stretch time and make a better choice of shot, of city traders who have chanc Wait is a phrase that you will often hear a parent use when dealing with a small child. I know I have used is often enough myself. In these days of faster communications, instant messages, 24 hour email and the pressure to make instantaneous choices, Partnoy wants us to think slower, to take time to consider those choices and to make the correct decision at the right time. He describes sports men who have the ability to stretch time and make a better choice of shot, of city traders who have chanced on the optimum time for trades and the art of subliminal advertising. He looks at decisions that have been made wrong in football, the correct length of time to wait until you apologise and the art of procrastination. This book ties in with other books that I have read and like, such as Thinking Fast and Slow, and The Decisive Moment. He is a great advocate of taking time to make the right decision, and having made that decision sticking with it, and not changing your mind,something that Warren Buffett has proven over years. He also looks how taking a little more time, in conduction with checklists, has meant that surgery has become less risky for patients and how people doing the same tasks feel more pressure when the hourly rate is higher. If you feel that time today is too precious to waste, then I would recommend reading this. Take note of the suggestions and just wait a little.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Doug Garnett

    I was very disappointed by this book. Heard Partnoy interviewed on NPR and he was quite interesting. But the book wasn't. Far too much time spent on why tennis players wait until the last minute to make choices. (Interesting point, but a full chapter?) And that was just the beginning. So I jumped to the chapters around Procrastination. But while he was quite articulate on-air, the book buries what he has to say amongst data that clutters rather than enlightens. This should have been a good book - a I was very disappointed by this book. Heard Partnoy interviewed on NPR and he was quite interesting. But the book wasn't. Far too much time spent on why tennis players wait until the last minute to make choices. (Interesting point, but a full chapter?) And that was just the beginning. So I jumped to the chapters around Procrastination. But while he was quite articulate on-air, the book buries what he has to say amongst data that clutters rather than enlightens. This should have been a good book - a very interesting premise. And, it should have fought society's overwhelming drive today to decide early (but never really regret later even though we should). It should have creatively encouraged appropriate use of waiting/delay/distraction etc in order to arrive at far better actions...when that's the right thing to do. Instead, it was made into a sleeper by what appeared to be Partnoy's need to make it appear to be a scientifically valid book. Bummer.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cara

    I liked the idea of this book, but it quickly turned into one of those books that's just a collection of moderately interesting facts somewhat related to the title without any real depth. I'm getting pretty sick of these kinds of books, to be honest. I don't know if they're becoming more common, or if I'm just reaching the bottom of the barrel with what my library can provide.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Eberts

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Pretty good. Main point is: delay. Take as much time as you can to gather information and contemplate it, make your decision at the very last moment.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Liam Mannix

    This book should be read as a companion to Wait by Malcolm Gladwell - doing so will enhance your understanding of both books, while also illustrating the flaws in both. Like Gladwell, Partnoy starts with a belief he already holds - that procrastination is good - and then tries to prove it via wait of evidence from different fields. Unfortunately these fields are even less connected than Gladwell's. Can high frequency trading really tell us that much about the value of delay in decision making? N This book should be read as a companion to Wait by Malcolm Gladwell - doing so will enhance your understanding of both books, while also illustrating the flaws in both. Like Gladwell, Partnoy starts with a belief he already holds - that procrastination is good - and then tries to prove it via wait of evidence from different fields. Unfortunately these fields are even less connected than Gladwell's. Can high frequency trading really tell us that much about the value of delay in decision making? Nevertheless, what *is* intersting is Partnoy's explanation of the actual power of the subconscious, which can process at magically fast speeds. His theory: the subconscious is super powerful but only if it has already been given expert training - this completes the ideas Gladwell advanced, but avoids his magical nonsense. A good book. But really, maybe go straight to the source and read Kahneman?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stefan Svartling

    Didn't give me much personally.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    You can tell a lot about a person if you know their discount rate. This isn't the same discount rate you get for being third in line for the tramp behind the piggly wiggly, no sir. This discount rate is the author's term for how we value the future. What's $100 worth to you now versus in one year? Would you rather have $90 now, or $100 in one year (very low discount rate), or would you prefer as low as $20 now instead of waiting (a high discount rate)? It equates to the risks we take, the decisi You can tell a lot about a person if you know their discount rate. This isn't the same discount rate you get for being third in line for the tramp behind the piggly wiggly, no sir. This discount rate is the author's term for how we value the future. What's $100 worth to you now versus in one year? Would you rather have $90 now, or $100 in one year (very low discount rate), or would you prefer as low as $20 now instead of waiting (a high discount rate)? It equates to the risks we take, the decisions we make, the planning we do. If the future isn't worth a dime we focus on short term gratification versus long term; we smoke a little more, order an extra large slice of cheesecake, and tell our boss to eat a bag of dicks. The book obviously had a bias towards lower discount rates being "better." Those with lower rates had more success in life and were happier. So, maybe, he has a point. But judgements aside, I would have liked to hear more about why some people's discount rates were higher or lower than others. Partnoy used several real-world examples to emphasize his points; from the post-it notes invention to the dating service that promotes a short lunch, and holding off for a day before deciding if you want to see the other person again. A slow courtship, if you will. Waiting. Not contradictory to Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, either (I bring this up because everyone else seems to in their reviews). Partnoy's point was that instant decisions can be made by those that are bona fide experts (10,000+ hours). If you aren't, then take your sweet time. If you have a day, take 23 hours and 59 minutes. Many of the great decisions and discoveries took time. A lot of it. So take yours, too.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Randy

    Wow. This is one of those books that just blasts new ideas at you and makes you rethink why you think and do the things you do. It had been on my list for a while, and I'm glad I finally picked it up to read. The research and examination regarding the power of waiting to apologize will probably be the most shocking parts of the book, especially for folks who assume that you should always apologize right away. The information about the way humans and animals discount time/reward was fascinating t Wow. This is one of those books that just blasts new ideas at you and makes you rethink why you think and do the things you do. It had been on my list for a while, and I'm glad I finally picked it up to read. The research and examination regarding the power of waiting to apologize will probably be the most shocking parts of the book, especially for folks who assume that you should always apologize right away. The information about the way humans and animals discount time/reward was fascinating to me. Plus, a good John Boyd / OODA loop reference is always fun to run into.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Henry Manampiring

    One of the best books I've read this year. If you were fascinated by Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink", this is one nice antidote, offering great insights from opposite direction: there is merit in delay our judgement, in waiting for a little while before we decide. Partnoy made a great work pulling together different stories, research, and studies from various fields. From sport, military, biology, neuroscience, etc. Not only that, he writes beautifully with clarity. This book will keep you intrigued al One of the best books I've read this year. If you were fascinated by Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink", this is one nice antidote, offering great insights from opposite direction: there is merit in delay our judgement, in waiting for a little while before we decide. Partnoy made a great work pulling together different stories, research, and studies from various fields. From sport, military, biology, neuroscience, etc. Not only that, he writes beautifully with clarity. This book will keep you intrigued all the time. MOST RECOMMENDED!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Seamons

    What do I want to do after reading this book? Take more pauses. Continue to spend unstructured time with my kids, listening, playing, and exploring the world with them. Listen more in my work. When I do speak, pause more often and for longer. When I face a decision, take a breath and ask myself, “when do I need to make this decision?” If I have more time, take more time. Great mix of hard science, fun stories, and meaningful suggestions. I wrote down all of the highlights I made — https://paper. What do I want to do after reading this book? Take more pauses. Continue to spend unstructured time with my kids, listening, playing, and exploring the world with them. Listen more in my work. When I do speak, pause more often and for longer. When I face a decision, take a breath and ask myself, “when do I need to make this decision?” If I have more time, take more time. Great mix of hard science, fun stories, and meaningful suggestions. I wrote down all of the highlights I made — https://paper.dropbox.com/doc/Wait-ft...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Author Frank Partnoy's previous life as an investment banker has primed him for a very detailed examination of the decision-making process. Marshaling the latest research from economists, neurologists, and psychologists Partnoy makes a compelling case for slowing down, gathering information, observing events, and, well, waiting. Recommended if you liked Blink, Where Good Ideas Come From, and How We Decide.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Edelhart Kempeneers

    Heel leerrijk. Een aanrader.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    In general, I would say that my feelings towards this book are mixed to positive, in general.  This book certainly belongs as part of those pseudoscientific books that seek to use scientific research to support particular worldviews about matters that are more social or cultural in nature [1], and your fondness for this book in particular is likely related to your fondness for that sort of pseudoscience in general.  As my views to the approach are highly ambivalent, my own perspective towards th In general, I would say that my feelings towards this book are mixed to positive, in general.  This book certainly belongs as part of those pseudoscientific books that seek to use scientific research to support particular worldviews about matters that are more social or cultural in nature [1], and your fondness for this book in particular is likely related to your fondness for that sort of pseudoscience in general.  As my views to the approach are highly ambivalent, my own perspective towards this book is colored accordingly.  It was interesting to see the author take on a subject that was related but distinct to that of the first book of his I had read, but at the same time this book was not as impressive to me as the extent to which the author appeared to be impressed with himself in his attempts to legitimize a patient and pokey approach in many areas of life--including investing--given our lack of expertise and mastery of the subject at hand.  And even if I am inclined to be a somewhat pokey person myself whose intuition is generally in the service of someone inclined to be rather less than aggressive in acting on my understanding, that does not mean I necessarily always appreciate how that mindset is defended here. In this book of about 250 pages or so, the author divides his material into fourteen chapters that generally have click-baity titles that are designed to draw the attention of the reader in a Gladwellian fashion.  After an introduction, the author introduces his subject with a discussion of hearts and minds and the connection of gut responses to situations and the action of nerve cells in various brain systems (1).  After that, the author discusses superfast sports (2), and fast and slow approaches to high-frequency trading (3).  The author examines concerns about subliminal messages in fast food advertising as well as frontal nudity in various movies (4) and discusses a notoriously bad call in football that led directly to a loss (5).  He discusses thin-slicing and its hazards (6), advises readers not to panic (7), compares the tension of first dates with stress of being a fighter pilot (8), and gives a politically biased interpretation of when it is best to eat crow (9) that shows itself in favor of Clinton's approach.  The author then turns, at last, to the issue of procrastination (10), provides a master class on investing (11), and tells people get off the clock and refuse to let themselves be controlled by it (12) before finishing with a praise of 3M's previous attitude towards innovation (13) and an urging of people to take the long view rather than the short one in life and politics (14). Ultimately, this book would be a lot more successful if the author had a different approach.  It is not so much the attitude towards delay that makes this book problematic but the way in which the author shows himself to have political and philosophical views that are antithetical to my own.  In a book like this, where the author is basing his opinion on the behaviors of Nobel prize-winning economists towards sending packages of clothing and the patience of dogs, small children, and pigeons, approach matters a great deal.  An author that supports contemporary left-wing causes and Democratic politicians and uses dubious scientific studies and misguided views of evolution to justify his position may be arguing for the right thing but is doing so the wrong way.  And when it comes to matters that touch on politics and worldview, for this reader at least, how one legitimizes one's position is just as important as the position one takes, and this author fails.  For readers who are less critical about the author's approach, this may be a book they deeply enjoy. [1] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2018... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2018...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brad McKenna

    The repeated message of the book was: "Wait as long as you can before making a decision." But I learned a lot of examples of that from this book, such as: The Vagel nerve has two parts: the reptilian nerve and the mammalian nerve. It’s where the fight, flight, or freeze reactions come from. A variable heart rate at these times is better than a steady one. Professional athletes pick up visual cues no faster than couch potatoes 200 milliseconds (400 is the blink of an eye), they’re better because t The repeated message of the book was: "Wait as long as you can before making a decision." But I learned a lot of examples of that from this book, such as: The Vagel nerve has two parts: the reptilian nerve and the mammalian nerve. It’s where the fight, flight, or freeze reactions come from. A variable heart rate at these times is better than a steady one. Professional athletes pick up visual cues no faster than couch potatoes 200 milliseconds (400 is the blink of an eye), they’re better because their physical prowess allows them to wait until the last possible moment to react to said cue. Subliminal messages make people feel uncomfortable because it happens in dozens of milliseconds, too fast to pick up the cue consciously. So while commercials are indeed manipulative, subliminal messages are manipulations we can’t even be aware of. It was well done, though, at times Mr. Partnot seemed to take his message of "Wait" to extremes. For example, there's a chapter on a football coach and the decision that changed his life. Mr. Partnoy takes his time to set the scene and when he gets to the pivotal moment, he goes off and describes the science behind waiting. He circles back around and links what he's currently talking about with the coach before veering off once more. He does this a number of times before finally telling what happened to the coach. I found myself saying, "get on with it already!" And that might be the best reason I can provide that this book's message is a good one.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dan Stewart

    I had a Zen moment while reading this book. The best way to make a decision is to not have a decision to make. The author tells a story about firefighters. When faced with a fire that is shooting straight up, they pour water on it from the top. When the fire is spreading out, they evacuate the area. They are experts. They realize the problem right away and know exactly how to deal with it. After years of experience, there is no decision. The solution is clear. Other than becoming an expert, you c I had a Zen moment while reading this book. The best way to make a decision is to not have a decision to make. The author tells a story about firefighters. When faced with a fire that is shooting straight up, they pour water on it from the top. When the fire is spreading out, they evacuate the area. They are experts. They realize the problem right away and know exactly how to deal with it. After years of experience, there is no decision. The solution is clear. Other than becoming an expert, you can make checklists, explain the decision to other people, and above all don't panic! This book opened my eyes to the importance of going outside my comfort zone. Researchers took a group of chess grandmasters and showed them a chess board. They asked them to find the checkmate in as few moves as possible. On the board there was a well-known five move checkmate and a three move checkmate. The masters found the five moves right away, but could not see the three moves that were also on the board. Even after removing the five moves, many of the masters still couldn't see the three moves. Their eyes kept drifting back to the place where the five move checkmate used to be. Their minds became locked on only one solution. It's called the Einstellung effect. The book discusses two ways to combat it. The one that spoke to me was, never get comfortable.

  23. 4 out of 5

    K

    Pretty much what other reviewers have said: don't react impulsively but learn to hold out for the right moment. I read this book as part of a book club for licensed therapists. My takeaway from that perspective is that for many of my patients with depression, not acting at all due to indecision is a concern and problematic. It's not fair for me to rate this book for any clinical fodder because that doesn't appear to be the intended audience. As it stands I give it a 3.5 but only because the mate Pretty much what other reviewers have said: don't react impulsively but learn to hold out for the right moment. I read this book as part of a book club for licensed therapists. My takeaway from that perspective is that for many of my patients with depression, not acting at all due to indecision is a concern and problematic. It's not fair for me to rate this book for any clinical fodder because that doesn't appear to be the intended audience. As it stands I give it a 3.5 but only because the material didn't feel particularly new to me. As I said in my notes, I initially had trouble getting through the book. The material is not applicable to me personally (or to my patients) so in all fairness I had trouble staying interested. Still, I'm persnickety about finishing books (I'm getting better about that btw).

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nessy Dimitrova

    I read this book thanks to Blinkist. The key message in this book: Despite what most of us have been taught, procrastination and delaying action are not necessarily bad. In fact, there are many instances in which taking your time is instrumental to success. That’s because waiting, when used with critical awareness, can help you achieve amazing things. Actionable advice: Revamp your dating profile. Are you one of those people who is always saying you wish the world was less superficial? Here’s your c I read this book thanks to Blinkist. The key message in this book: Despite what most of us have been taught, procrastination and delaying action are not necessarily bad. In fact, there are many instances in which taking your time is instrumental to success. That’s because waiting, when used with critical awareness, can help you achieve amazing things. Actionable advice: Revamp your dating profile. Are you one of those people who is always saying you wish the world was less superficial? Here’s your chance to do something. Remove all the photos from your online dating profiles and write something thoughtful and honest about yourself instead. And if a first date isn’t immediately attractive to you, take the time to listen to what he or she is saying, and think before you write them off.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Antonello

    Wait is a book that I wish I read before when were other people telling me to slow down think don't act on impulse. Perhaps, we all have to find the right book to know ourselves better. I appreciated Frank Partnoy's book for all the connection with business and history. Insights were difficult to spot, but I believe it was a decision from the author to leave to the reader to get the lesson. Some parts were boring and slow, but at least gave the reader a moment to slow down and reflect. In conclusio Wait is a book that I wish I read before when were other people telling me to slow down think don't act on impulse. Perhaps, we all have to find the right book to know ourselves better. I appreciated Frank Partnoy's book for all the connection with business and history. Insights were difficult to spot, but I believe it was a decision from the author to leave to the reader to get the lesson. Some parts were boring and slow, but at least gave the reader a moment to slow down and reflect. In conclusion, I suggest this book to all those of you that would like to do a self-assessment of personal weakness.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris Haley

    I enjoyed many of the psychological / physiological content discussed in this book, but the author took a little too much liberty in bending random topics he wanted to cover into the auspices of "waiting for just the right moment." The diversions into CEO pay and the topic of innovation in particular seemed like a stretch for the subject matter. Overall it was an interesting read and some of the concepts covered were thought-provoking, but it's not one that I expect to leave a lasting impression I enjoyed many of the psychological / physiological content discussed in this book, but the author took a little too much liberty in bending random topics he wanted to cover into the auspices of "waiting for just the right moment." The diversions into CEO pay and the topic of innovation in particular seemed like a stretch for the subject matter. Overall it was an interesting read and some of the concepts covered were thought-provoking, but it's not one that I expect to leave a lasting impression.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cat Noe

    The advice on oration and apologies was spot on, but the book as a whole felt like part of a blind men and elephant venture. Thin slicing shouldn't be underrated. It does depend on a broad knowledge base. Most good decisions, so I've been told, hinge on two or three primary factors, not the details. The bell curve is ubiquitous. Too much data, and you trip yourself up in questions that never mattered in the first place. Wait, but know when to stop waiting.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Lim

    Entertaining and informative read. Renewed my conviction that waiting is often the best action and clarified the sense in which that is case (giving time to get as much input as possible so you can make better decisions) and the fact that practice, skill, instinct, etc enable you to extend the input period because you can execute the decisions reliably and quickly.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    The chapters are focused and concise. The book lacks the fluff that many books of this type add in. That being said, the points aren't always powerful, leaving you feeling a little disappointed when it's all said and done.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Wellington

    This mostly forgettable book just didn't quite grab me. There were some great stories in this book. I enjoyed learning about the vagus nerve and the variable heart rate. Fascinating. But mostly, I don't remember much more than that.

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