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Book Review of ‘Same as Ever’ by Morgan Housel

Book Review By My Dad

The book is written by business writer and columnist Morgan Housel, who is the best-selling author of ‘The Psychology of Money’. It emphasizes that understanding timeless behavior is key to progress and to navigate the uncertainty of the future. In 24 short chapters, he recounts stories that illustrate the efficacy of this approach to weigh risks and opportunities and help us make ‘good enough ‘ choices. Some themes from the book are outlined here.

It is impossible to predict the future, but human behavior is stable and gives rise to repeating patterns. People don’t learn life’s hard lessons unless they experience it firsthand. They don’t want accuracy or probabilities, but they do crave certainty.  Stories appeal to them more than data, and complexity rather than simplicity. Complexity gives an illusion of control, while simplicity lends an impression of cluelessness. People can be led to justify and defend nearly anything with suitable incentives.

However, of all the data available for decision-making, human behavior alone is permanent, whereas statistics of the past performance of companies and economies is an expiring type of information. People will disagree if their experiences are different, no matter how much information may be given to them.

Much progress is achievable in small increments. Little changes compounded for a long time create extraordinary impact. Progress in any endeavor requires a little imperfection or inefficiency, and a blend of optimism and pessimism. We have to keep trying, as any competitive advantage that we have at present will eventually vanish.

My views

The book is made up of short chapters and short paragraphs and sentences and seems to have been cobbled together without forming a connected whole on a single theme. As the author says on page 166, although he reads newspapers and books every day, he can recall only how books changed the way he thinks, while newspapers did not do so. In my opinion, although this is a book, it does not fare much better than newspapers in making content stick. However, the reader will enjoy the numerous contemporary anecdotes and quotations from diverse sources in the book.


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Aishwariya Laxmi

I’m Aishwariya. I’m passionate about writing, reading, marketing communications, books, blogging, poetry and editing. I’ve donned several hats, such as freelance journalist, copywriter, blogger and editor.


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