Sunday, October 20, 2019

Book Review: 'Self-Actualized by Poker: The Path from Categorical Learning to Free-Thinking' by Roman Gelperin

Self-Actualized by Poker by Roman Gelperin

‘The correct method of using your mind’

New York author Roman Gelperin describes himself as ‘an author, biographer, philosopher, and forever a student of the human mind.’ He earned his BA in Psychology from Stony Brook University, and lives in Brooklyn, NY. His important and informative books to date are ADDICTION, PROCRASTINATION, AND LAZINESS, DEPRESSION AND THE IMMATURE ROMANCE, and now SELF-ACTUALIZED BY POKER, increasing his influence in addressing the factors that disrupt our lives.

One of the many aspects that make Roman book so accessible to the reader is his quality of relating. 
In his Introductory comments he states, ‘We humans are born with a mind, but no instructions about the right way to use it. This correct method must either be discovered or learned, anew, by each individual – or remain unknown to him. The same way a person must learn to drive a car, so must the person learn how to use his mind – to obtain information form the external (and internal) world, process it, and end up with a repertoire of accurate knowledge about reality…This book is a detailed account of my own epistemology experience, attained through a multi-year effort to trying to master the game of poker. It was, indeed, the single most important, definitive few hours of my life. And, as might be expected, everything changed…This book will teach the single most important concept a human being needs to know: What is the correct way to use one’s mind? What isn’t? And what paths on can take to unlock that correct understanding within one’s self.’ 

‘Self-actualization – the highest level of psychological health available to a human being.’ That is the invitation Roman offers in this fascinating book, surveying epistemology (the method of acquiring and organizing knowledge – a method of thinking), freethinking, estimates from experience, deception, statistics, and integration. The manner in which he leads this investigation and learning experience, using his own example of learning poker, makes the book comfortably available to all readers. 

Smart, pertinent and very useful, this little book is more than a self-help book (though it is that, too); this is a book that successfully combines psychology and philosophy. Recommended. 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.