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.
“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.
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).
Author: Matthew D. Lieberman
Release Date: 2013-10-08
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.
Author: James D. Houston
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: 2002
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.
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.
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.
Author: Ken Alder
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2014-07-29
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.
Welcome to a safe and secure new world, where beauty is bought and sold, and freedom is the ultimate crime The Registry saved the country from collapse, but stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained to fight and never question orders. Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous questions. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom. All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.
Author: Patrick Oster
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 2009-06-23
The Mexicans is a multifaceted portrait of the complex, increasingly turbulent neighbor to our south. It is the story of a country in crisis -- poverty, class tensions, political corruption -- as told through stories of individuals. From Augustín, an honest cop, we learn that many in the Mexican police force use torture as their number-one-crime-solving technique; from Julio Scherer Garcia, a leading newspaper editor, we learn how kidnapping and intimidating phone calls stifle people despite his meager income; we hear from a homosexual teacher wary of bigotry in a land of machismo; and many others. Moving from Mexico City discos to remote Indian towns, Patrick Oster tells of Mexicans whose lives reveal something vital about Mexico, and in doing so, helps to understand why many decide to risk their lives in order to have the opportunity to live in the United States.
The ultimate guide to improving your game—from Canada's most celebrated curler Whether you're stepping into the hack for the first time, looking to improve your delivery or trying to better understand strategy, Curl to Win will help you take your game to the next level. Renowned for his ability to blend the mental and physical aspects of curling as well as his innovative and effective strategies, Russ Howard has written a practical handbook that no curler should be without. Russ draws on his more than three decades of experience as a winning player and coach to explain: Basics—start off on the right foot by picking the right equipment and really understanding how to play the game Delivery—improve your accuracy and consistency with gold-medal techniques and tips Sweeping—sweep effectively by avoiding common mistakes Strategy—form a winning game plan through strategies like making the most of the free guard zone Drills—practise like a pro with Russ's own drills for sweeping, delivery and ice reading Tips and tricks—learn how to match rocks, have a winning mindset, yell "Hurry hard!" and much more Fully illustrated with step-by-step photographs and diagrams, Curl to Win will help you get more out of your game.
The story of a young man's outrageous adventures in China and his search for identity in the most unexpected of places. Mitch Moxley came to Beijing in the spring of 2007 to take a job as a writer and editor for China Daily, the country's only English-language national newspaper. The Chinese economy was booming, the Olympics were on the horizon, and Beijing was being transformed into a world-class city overnight. Moxley planned to stay only through the Olympics and then head back to Canada. But that was six years ago. In that time, Moxley fed a goat to a lion, watched a lingerie-wearing bear ride a bicycle, and crisscrossed the country writing stories. He also appeared as one of Cosmopolitan's one hundred most eligible bachelors in China, acted in a state-funded Chinese movie, and was paid to pose as a fake businessman. During Moxley's journey of self-exploration, his comic adventures and misadventures in China gave way to the creation of his alter ego—Mi Gao, or Tall Rice. A funny and honest look at expat life, Apologies to My Censor also depicts the ways a country can touch and inspire you.