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Filters Against Folly: How To Survive Despite Economists, Ecologists, and the Merely Eloquent Paperback – June 3, 1986


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reissue edition (June 3, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140077294
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140077292
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Earth that Was on May 15, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Garrett Hardin (now deceased) was a member of the rare species, an economically literate ecologist. He was also something of a heretic within the environmental movement, ...if you can even say he was part of that 'movement'.

Hardin made himself politically incorrect amongst "greens" by taking the Malthusian predictions of the movement to their logical conclusion. He was an advocate of tough population control, something that is not the same as birth control; he argued for immigration restrictions, reduced foreign aid and believed the admission of refugees was ecological stupidity. The mainstream of the green movement, if they recognise these issues at all, certainly like to soft pedal on the policy conclusions.

In this volume, that certainly deserves a wider audience, Hardin does not present his policy prescriptions in one big feast, at least not directly. He does sprinkle them lightly through the book, ...but even those who take an opposite viewpoint will not be disappointed by the taste.

He gives us what is essentially a "How To" guide, a book about thinking. He outlines a series of thinking aids, "filters", to help us avoid "folly". The filters are useful not just in dealing with the life and death issues of world population, but in everyday personal and even business problem solving.

Hardin's easy-to-remember tool kit provides us with a broader perspective and thus helps the reader make better decisions.

This is the kind of book you buy an additional copy of to give or lend to friends, because you don't want to lose yours.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Steven Lynn on May 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
In this book the late Mr. Hardin outlays something I found obvious--after it was pointed out to me. That is that we can use (or misuse) out mental faculties in very different ways. He focuses on three and demonstates how using these three 'styles' or 'types' of intelligence can lead us to very different views of the world.

The 3 types of thinking he discusses are: literate, numerical, and ecolate. Literate thinking is exemplified in literature, and in most law. The Bill of Rights and the novel share a similiar view of the world that can be expressed in language.

Numerical thinking is of course arithmatic, but can lead you to a quite different understanding of a situation than literate thinking. Malthus can explain that if a population continues to grow it will ovetake it's food or water supply. Mathematic analysis can tell you exactly when it will happen.

Ecolate, with the same root as 'ecology' was a word unfamiliar to me before reading his book. It can be summed up in the phrase: "And then what?" It is concerned with effects, often unintended, that also occur as a result of any action. Or as Mr. Hardin is more famous for, "You can never do merely one thing."

If there is one weak point it is that it cannot be stressed enough that these three types of thinking are only 3 of many many types. A brief, excellant book, a little off the beaten path from Mr. Hardin's more famous works on population, but there is definite wisdom within.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Hibernating Hummingbird on August 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Using (( GLOBAL POTHOLE PROBLEM )) as a search query, you easily confirm it is one of Hardin's gems, detailed in this book. The great thing about having this as a mnemonic is that it is much less emotionally loaded, compared to say health-care. You can dispassionately observe that folks who fix potholes for a living would favor pothole-insurance, since they will get more business. Folks who say make ammunition for a living...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rob Knight on November 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book presents its thesis in a logical and forthright way. The author does not depend upon emotionalism or extremism for his presentation.
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Filters Against Folly:  How To Survive Despite Economists, Ecologists, and the Merely Eloquent + Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition
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