Flavor of the Month: Why Smart People Fall for Fads

Flavor of the Month: Why Smart People Fall for Fads

Joel Best


While fads similar to hula hoops or streaking are typically pushed aside as foolish enthusiasms, traits in associations corresponding to schooling, enterprise, medication, technological know-how, and legal justice are usually taken heavily, even if their recognition and value is usually short-lived. Institutional fads corresponding to open study rooms, caliber circles, and a number of character ailment are regularly making the rounds, promising unbelievable new developments—novel methods of educating analyzing or mathematics, larger equipment of dealing with companies, or greater remedies for affliction. a few of these traits turn out to be lasting techniques, yet others—after soaking up striking quantities of time and money—are deserted and forgotten, quickly to get replaced via different new schemes. during this pithy, fascinating, and infrequently funny ebook, Joel Best—author of the acclaimed Damned Lies and Statistics—explores the diversity of institutional fads, analyzes the positive aspects of our tradition that foster them, and identifies the main levels of the fashion cycle—emerging, surging, and purging. Deconstructing the ways in which the program performs into our notions of reinvention, growth, and perfectibility, Flavors of the Month examines the motives and results of fads and indicates methods of fad-proofing our institutions.

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