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Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Author / )
You are a hot shot in a company, though not the boss. You are paid extremely well, but, again you have plenty of bosses above you (say the partners of an investment firm). Is it better than deriving a modest income being your own boss? The counterintuive answer is NO. You will live longer in the second situation, even controlling for diet, lifestyle, and genetic predispositions.
Marmot spent years poring over data; he left no stone unturned and is well read in the general literature on human nature. This idea of people living longer when they exert control over their lives has not spread yet. That people lead longer lives when they trust their neighbors and feel part of a community is far reaching. Just think of the implications on social justice etc. Also think that everything you learn on human preferences and well-being in both economics and medicine is either incomplete (medicine) or bogus (economics).
The book is well written, humorous at times, and rigorous --it reads like a well-translated scientific paper. But it feels that it is just the introduction to a topic. Please, write the continuation.
You probably didn't realize that when you graduate from college you increase your lifespan, or that your co-worker who has a slightly better job is more likely to live a healthier life. In this groundbreaking book, epidemiologist Michael Marmot marshals evidence from nearly thirty years of research to demonstrate that status is not a footnote to the causes of ill health-it is the cause. He calls this effect the status syndrome.
The status syndrome is pervasive. It determines the chances that you will succumb to heart disease, stroke, cancers, infectious diseases, even suicide and homicide. And the issue, as Marmot shows, is not simply one of income or lifestyle. It is the psychological experience of inequality-how much control you have over your life and the opportunities you have for full social participation-that has a profound effect on your health.
The Status Syndrome will utterly change the way we think about health, society, and how we live our lives.
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