Being Wrong

Adventures in the Margin of Error

Author: Kathryn Schulz

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061176052

Category: Psychology

Page: 416

View: 2963

To err is human. Yet most of us go through life assuming (and sometimes insisting) that we are right about nearly everything, from the origins of the universe to how to load the dishwasher. In Being Wrong, journalist Kathryn Schulz explores why we find it so gratifying to be right and so maddening to be mistaken. Drawing on thinkers as varied as Augustine, Darwin, Freud, Gertrude Stein, Alan Greenspan, and Groucho Marx, she shows that error is both a given and a gift—one that can transform our worldviews, our relationships, and ourselves.
Posted in Psychology

Being Wrong

Adventures in the Margin of Error

Author: Kathryn Schulz

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061997935

Category: Psychology

Page: 416

View: 7705

“Both wise and clever, full of fun and surprise about a topic so central to our lives that we almost never even think about it.” —Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet In the tradition of The Wisdom of Crowds and Predictably Irrational comes Being Wrong, an illuminating exploration of what it means to be in error, and why homo sapiens tend to tacitly assume (or loudly insist) that they are right about most everything. Kathryn Schulz, editor of Grist magazine, argues that error is the fundamental human condition and should be celebrated as such. Guiding the reader through the history and psychology of error, from Socrates to Alan Greenspan, Being Wrong will change the way you perceive screw-ups, both of the mammoth and daily variety, forever.
Posted in Psychology

Being Wrong

Adventures in the Margin of Error

Author: Kathryn Schultz

Publisher: Granta Books

ISBN: 1846273706

Category: Philosophy

Page: 416

View: 6010

Being wrong is an inescapable part of being alive. And yet we go through life tacitly assuming (or loudly insisting) that we are right about nearly everything – from our political beliefs to our private memories, from our grasp of scientific fact to the merits of our favourite team. Being Wrong looks at why this conviction has such a powerful grip on us, what happens when this conviction is shaken, and how we interpret the moral, political and psychological significance of being wrong. Drawing on philosophies old and new and cutting-edge neuroscience, Schulz offers an exploration of the allure of certainty and the necessity of fallibility in four main areas: in religion (when the end of the world fails to be nigh); in politics (where were those WMD?); in memory (where are my keys?); and in love (when Mr or Ms Right becomes Mr or Ms Wrong).
Posted in Philosophy

Social

Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect

Author: Matthew D. Lieberman

Publisher: Crown

ISBN: 0307889114

Category: Psychology

Page: 384

View: 4252

We are profoundly social creatures--more than we know. In Social, renowned psychologist Matthew Lieberman explores groundbreaking research in social neuroscience revealing that our need to connect with other people is even more fundamental, more basic, than our need for food or shelter. Because of this, our brain uses its spare time to learn about the social world--other people and our relation to them. It is believed that we must commit 10,000 hours to master a skill. According to Lieberman, each of us has spent 10,000 hours learning to make sense of people and groups by the time we are ten. Social argues that our need to reach out to and connect with others is a primary driver behind our behavior. We believe that pain and pleasure alone guide our actions. Yet, new research using fMRI--including a great deal of original research conducted by Lieberman and his UCLA lab--shows that our brains react to social pain and pleasure in much the same way as they do to physical pain and pleasure. Fortunately, the brain has evolved sophisticated mechanisms for securing our place in the social world. We have a unique ability to read other people’s minds, to figure out their hopes, fears, and motivations, allowing us to effectively coordinate our lives with one another. And our most private sense of who we are is intimately linked to the important people and groups in our lives. This wiring often leads us to restrain our selfish impulses for the greater good. These mechanisms lead to behavior that might seem irrational, but is really just the result of our deep social wiring and necessary for our success as a species. Based on the latest cutting edge research, the findings in Social have important real-world implications. Our schools and businesses, for example, attempt to minimalize social distractions. But this is exactly the wrong thing to do to encourage engagement and learning, and literally shuts down the social brain, leaving powerful neuro-cognitive resources untapped. The insights revealed in this pioneering book suggest ways to improve learning in schools, make the workplace more productive, and improve our overall well-being.
Posted in Psychology

Snow Mountain Passage

A Novel

Author: James D. Houston

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780156011433

Category: Fiction

Page: 315

View: 2372

The hardships, tragedy, and devastating starvation that confronted the Donner party, which became trapped by winter snows in the Sierra Nevadas before they can make their way into California, are seen through the eyes of James Frazier Reed and his eight-year-old daughter, Patty. By the author of Continental Drift. Reprint. 75,000 first printing.
Posted in Fiction

Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality

Author: Danielle Allen

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0871408139

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 6472

Winner of the Zócalo Book Prize Shortlisted for the 2015 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award Winner of the Francis Parkman Prize, Society of American Historians “A tour de force. . . . No one has ever written a book on the Declaration quite like this one.”—Gordon Wood, New York Review of Books Featured on the front page of the New York Times, Our Declaration is already regarded as a seminal work that reinterprets the promise of American democracy through our founding text. Combining a personal account of teaching the Declaration with a vivid evocation of the colonial world between 1774 and 1777, Allen, a political philosopher renowned for her work on justice and citizenship reveals our nation’s founding text to be an animating force that not only changed the world more than two-hundred years ago, but also still can. Challenging conventional wisdom, she boldly makes the case that the Declaration is a document as much about political equality as about individual liberty. Beautifully illustrated throughout, Our Declaration is an “uncommonly elegant, incisive, and often poetic primer on America’s cardinal text” (David M. Kennedy).
Posted in History

Stumbling on Happiness

Author: Daniel Gilbert

Publisher: Vintage Canada

ISBN: 0307371360

Category: Psychology

Page: 336

View: 4394

A smart and funny book by a prominent Harvard psychologist, which uses groundbreaking research and (often hilarious) anecdotes to show us why we’re so lousy at predicting what will make us happy – and what we can do about it. Most of us spend our lives steering ourselves toward the best of all possible futures, only to find that tomorrow rarely turns out as we had expected. Why? As Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert explains, when people try to imagine what the future will hold, they make some basic and consistent mistakes. Just as memory plays tricks on us when we try to look backward in time, so does imagination play tricks when we try to look forward. Using cutting-edge research, much of it original, Gilbert shakes, cajoles, persuades, tricks and jokes us into accepting the fact that happiness is not really what or where we thought it was. Among the unexpected questions he poses: Why are conjoined twins no less happy than the general population? When you go out to eat, is it better to order your favourite dish every time, or to try something new? If Ingrid Bergman hadn’t gotten on the plane at the end of Casablanca, would she and Bogey have been better off? Smart, witty, accessible and laugh-out-loud funny, Stumbling on Happiness brilliantly describes all that science has to tell us about the uniquely human ability to envision the future, and how likely we are to enjoy it when we get there. From the Hardcover edition.
Posted in Psychology

Distant Reading

Author: Franco Moretti

Publisher: Verso

ISBN: 1781680841

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 254

View: 7228

The formation of an unorthodox literary critic How does a literary historian end up thinking in terms of z-scores, principal component analysis, and clustering coefficient? In the ten essays collected in this volume, Franco Moretti reconstructs the intellectual trajectory of his philosophy of ‘distant reading’. From the evolutionary model of ‘Modern European Literature’, through the geo-cultural dominant of ‘Conjectures on World Literature’ and ‘Planet Hollywood’ to the quantitative findings of ‘Style, inc.’ and the abstract patterns of ‘Network Theory, Plot Analysis’, the book follows two decades of critical explorations that have come to define – well beyond the wildest expectations of its author – a growing field of unorthodox literary studies.
Posted in Literary Criticism

The Checklist Manifesto

How to Get Things Right

Author: Atul Gawande

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 9781429953382

Category: Medical

Page: 224

View: 4418

The New York Times bestselling author of Better and Complications reveals the surprising power of the ordinary checklist We live in a world of great and increasing complexity, where even the most expert professionals struggle to master the tasks they face. Longer training, ever more advanced technologies—neither seems to prevent grievous errors. But in a hopeful turn, acclaimed surgeon and writer Atul Gawande finds a remedy in the humblest and simplest of techniques: the checklist. First introduced decades ago by the U.S. Air Force, checklists have enabled pilots to fly aircraft of mind-boggling sophistication. Now innovative checklists are being adopted in hospitals around the world, helping doctors and nurses respond to everything from flu epidemics to avalanches. Even in the immensely complex world of surgery, a simple ninety-second variant has cut the rate of fatalities by more than a third. In riveting stories, Gawande takes us from Austria, where an emergency checklist saved a drowning victim who had spent half an hour underwater, to Michigan, where a cleanliness checklist in intensive care units virtually eliminated a type of deadly hospital infection. He explains how checklists actually work to prompt striking and immediate improvements. And he follows the checklist revolution into fields well beyond medicine, from disaster response to investment banking, skyscraper construction, and businesses of all kinds. An intellectual adventure in which lives are lost and saved and one simple idea makes a tremendous difference, The Checklist Manifesto is essential reading for anyone working to get things right.
Posted in Medical

Four Dialogues

Author: Plato

Publisher: Wildside Press LLC

ISBN: 1434458164

Category: Drama

Page: 88

View: 1871

Included in this volume are "Euthyphro," "Apology," "Crito," and the Death Scene from "Phaedo." Translated by F.J. Church. Revisions and Introduction by Robert D. Cumming.
Posted in Drama

A Chorus of Stones

The Private Life of War

Author: Susan Griffin

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1504012216

Category: Social Science

Page: 368

View: 5913

A brilliant and provocative exploration of the interconnection of private life and the large-scale horrors of war and devastation. A Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, and a winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association Award, Susan Griffin’s A Chorus of Stones is an extraordinary reevaluation of history that explores the links between individual lives and catastrophic, world-altering violence. One of the most acclaimed and poetic voices of contemporary American feminism, Griffin delves into the perspective of those whose personal relationships and family histories were profoundly influenced by war and its often secret mechanisms: the bomb-maker and the bombing victim, the soldier and the pacifist, the grand architects who were shaped by personal experience and in turn reshaped the world. Declaring that “each solitary story belongs to a larger story”—and beginning with the brutal and heartbreaking circumstances of her own childhood—Griffin examines how the subtle dynamics of parenthood, childhood, and marriage interweave with the monumental violence of global conflict. She proffers a bold and powerful new understanding of the psychology of war through illuminating glimpses into the personal lives of Ernest Hemingway, Mahatma Gandhi, Heinrich Himmler, British officer Sir Hugh Trenchard, and other historic figures—as well as the munitions workers at Oak Ridge, a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing, and other humbler yet indispensible witnesses to history.
Posted in Social Science

The Magician's Book

A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia

Author: Laura Miller

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 0316040266

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 9789

THE MAGICIAN'S BOOK is the story of one reader's long, tumultuous relationship with C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia. Enchanted by its fantastic world as a child, prominent critic Laura Miller returns to the series as an adult to uncover the source of these small books' mysterious power by looking at their creator, Clive Staples Lewis. What she discovers is not the familiar, idealized image of the author, but a more interesting and ambiguous truth: Lewis's tragic and troubled childhood, his unconventional love life, and his intense but ultimately doomed friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien. Finally reclaiming Narnia "for the rest of us," Miller casts the Chronicles as a profoundly literary creation, and the portal to a life-long adventure in books, art, and the imagination.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Believing is Seeing

Observations on the Mysteries of Photography

Author: Errol Morris

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143124250

Category: Photography

Page: 310

View: 3801

Presents an investigation into the truth behind a variety of documentary photographs throughout history, discussing the relationship between the photograph and the world it supposedly represents.
Posted in Photography

The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness

Author: Oren Harman

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393339998

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 451

View: 2395

Describes the intellectual journey of eccentric American genius George Price, who tried to answer the evolutionary riddle of why people are nice, and eventually gave away all his belongings and took his own life in a squatter's flat.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The Measure of All Things

The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error That Transformed the World

Author: Ken Alder

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 074324902X

Category: History

Page: 432

View: 949

In June 1792, amidst the chaos of the French Revolution, two intrepid astronomers set out in opposite directions on an extraordinary journey. Starting in Paris, Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Delambre would make his way north to Dunkirk, while Pierre-François-André Méchain voyaged south to Barcelona. Their mission was to measure the world, and their findings would help define the meter as one ten-millionth of the distance between the pole and the equator—a standard that would be used “for all people, for all time.” The Measure of All Things is the astonishing tale of one of history’s greatest scientific adventures. Yet behind the public triumph of the metric system lies a secret error, one that is perpetuated in every subsequent definition of the meter. As acclaimed historian and novelist Ken Alder discovered through his research, there were only two people on the planet who knew the full extent of this error: Delambre and Méchain themselves. By turns a science history, detective tale, and human drama, The Measure of All Things describes a quest that succeeded as it failed—and continues to enlighten and inspire to this day.
Posted in History

Rats

Observations on the History & Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants

Author: Robert Sullivan

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 9781596919174

Category: Nature

Page: 272

View: 2271

Love them or loathe them, rats are here to stay-they are city dwellers as much as (or more than) we are, surviving on the effluvia of our society. In Rats, the critically acclaimed bestseller, Robert Sullivan spends a year investigating a rat-infested alley just a few blocks away from Wall Street. Sullivan gets to know not just the beast but its friends and foes: the exterminators, the sanitation workers, the agitators and activists who have played their part in the centuries-old war between human city dweller and wild city rat. Sullivan looks deep into the largely unrecorded history of the city and its masses-its herds-of-rats-like mob. Funny, wise, sometimes disgusting but always compulsively readable, Rats earns its unlikely place alongside the great classics of nature writing. RATS was named a New York Public Library "Book to Remember" in 2004
Posted in Nature

The Psychology of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Understanding Lisbeth Salander and Stieg Larsson s Millennium Trilogy

Author: Robin S. Rosenberg,Shannon O'Neill

Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.

ISBN: 1936661357

Category: Psychology

Page: 304

View: 5093

Lisbeth Salander, heroine of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels, is one of the most compelling, complex characters of our time. Is she an avenging angel? A dangerous outlaw? What makes Salander tick, and why is our response to her—and to Larsson’s Millennium trilogy—so strong? In The Psychology of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 19 psychologists and psychiatrists attempt to do what even expert investigator Mikael Blomkvist could not: understand Lisbeth Salander. • What does Lisbeth’s infamous dragon tattoo really say about her? • Why is Lisbeth so drawn to Mikael, and what would they both need to do to make a relationship work? • How do we explain men like Martin Vanger, Nils Bjurman, and Alexander Zalachenko? Is Lisbeth just as sexist and as psychopathic as they are? • What is it about Lisbeth that allows her to survive, even thrive, under extraordinary conditions? • How is Lisbeth like a Goth-punk Rorschach test? And what do we learn about ourselves from what we see in her?
Posted in Psychology

F You Very Much

Understanding the Culture of Rudeness--and What We Can Do About It

Author: Danny Wallace

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0525503919

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 9069

From the bestselling author of Yes Man, a hilarious and pitch-perfect look at the rudeness that's all around us -- where it comes from, how it affects us, and what we can do about it You're not just imagining it: People are getting more and more rude - from cutting in line, gabbing on their phones and clipping their nails on public transportation, to hurling epithets on Twitter and in real life (including a certain President who does both). And the worst part is that it's contagious, leading reasonably courteous people to stoop to new lows in order to respond to the ever-coarsening encounters we face every day. In this engaging and illuminating new book, bestselling author and all-around curious guy Danny Wallace looks at the reasons behind the rudeness, and what we can do to stop it. His quest to stop the madness includes interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, NASA scientists, politicians, and other experts. He joins a Radical Honesty group, talks to LA drivers about road rage, and confronts his own online troll in a pub--all to better understand the scourge that's turning normal people into bullies, tantruming toddlers, trolls, and other types of everyday monsters. Want to be part of the solution? Let Danny Wallace be your smart and funny guide.
Posted in Social Science

Sacred Clowns

Author: Tony Hillerman

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061801933

Category: Fiction

Page: 384

View: 5525

During a kachina ceremony at the Tano Pueblo, the antics of a dancing koshare fill the air with tension. Moments later, the clown is found bludgeoned to death, in the same manner a reservation schoolteacher was killed only days before. Officer Jim Chee and Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn believe that answers lie in the sacred clown's final cryptic message to the Tano people. But to decipher it, the two Navajo policemen may have to delve into closely guarded tribal secrets—on a sinister trail of blood that links a runaway, a holy artifact, corrupt Indian traders, and a pair of dead bodies.
Posted in Fiction