Friday, January 7, 2011

I have just One Word for you - the art of the single worded book title

I think I have spotted a trend.  The most popular books today have a single word as the title.  Sure, they have a subtitle that gives us the context within which to understand the catchy one word title.  The authors  (or marketers) are simplifying to a very sharp focus, such as to create a meme.  And this works for me.

I can be discussing a topic an make a connection to a book I've read and say - "Have you read, Blink?"  They say "Why, yes!"  We now have an instant cognitive model that gives context to our dialogue.


Switch  How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
Outliers  The Story of Success
Drive The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Freakonomics   A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Blink  The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Think   Why Crucial Decisions Can't Be Made in the Blink of an Eye
Cod  A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World
Salt  A World History 
Spice  The History of a Temptation


Here's a list on Answers.com.

I really like the juxtaposition of Blink with Think.  I wonder which author is correct?  Could they both be correct?  Just as there may be a multi-dimensional relationship or a multi-factor relationship, many theories are simplifications.  Theories are modeled and because of our typical two dimensional communication methods of pen & paper we model complex behaviors in two dimensions on a graph of X & Y.  This simplification is a frame of reference that is a limitation brought about by a meta model.  The meta model is a method of working on a two dimensional piece of paper to communicate.

Sometimes we confuse the model for the theory; the theory for the behaviors; and our observations of the behaviors for understanding of reality.


A Map is not the Territory.  The label is not the thing.  However we need labels to cognate on the thing, to manipulate the concepts and innovate to solutions.

Related Post:
Motivation and the Two-Factor Theory  
Job Satisfaction Cannot Predictably Increase Job Performance

 

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