Thursday, September 2, 2010

Book Review: Think Like an Octopus

Think Like An Octopus: The Key to Becoming a Good Thinker, Think on the Other Hand


Think Like an Octopus: The Key to Becoming a Good Thinker, Think on the Other Hand
By Wallace Roark
Wasteland Press, 2010
English, 134 pages


Book Description:
WHAT YOU WILL GAIN FROM THIS BOOK: • Skill at critiquing what you hear and read from others. • Ability to speak and write more convincingly. • Respect as a speaker and writer. • Power to easily spot the illogical and inconsistent in all you hear and read. • Better and deeper self-knowledge. YOU WILL BECOME: • A person whose ideas must be reckoned with. • A person who is rarely blind-sided. • A better learner. • More respectful and more respected. • A wiser and more considerate person.

My Review: 
I have to begin this review with a disclaimer: I know Dr. Roark from my college years and his classes were some of the best of those 4 years. I still wish I had my term paper from his Christian Doctrines class with an "A" on it...it truly meant more to me than any other paper I've ever written. It was hard earned.

Learning how to think is one of the most important things you can do in your life. I'm not talking about just knowing how to talk to yourself inside your head. True thinking challenges preconceived notions. True thinking considers possibilities that you may have not realized before. Thinking takes time. Thinking isn't something that you can just decide to do. You have to be taught.

You have to be willing to admit that maybe you don't know everything and understand that there is almost always more to be said on something. You have to "look at the other side of the coin".

Dr. Roark calls this "other hand thinking" based on "On the one hand, but on the other hand". On the other hand are contradictions, another choice or something so close to your original thought that it almost seems the same. It's in recognizing the other options and thinking through a problem that you can come to an answer in which you can be confident.

There is a section on logic and it's use (which cracked me up because my almost 4 year old is going through a phase where he keeps asking "what happens if I..." and "if I...then what?") and another section on figuring out yourself and your values.

I really can't capture what I'm trying to say about this book in a short review. All I can say is that you just need to read it. It's a serious topic, yet handled in a really easy to understand manner. Anyone can learn to think well, you just have to understand why it's important and understand the process. Then you actually have to do it!

Disclaimer: I did not receive a review copy of this book. I purchased it on my own and gladly reviewed it here for someone who meant more to me in my academic life than just about anyone in the past.

1 comment:

Crystal said...

I've never heard of this book, but I bet it would be one of those that really opens your mind! Sound GOOD!