Most helpful positive review
102 of 115 people found the following review helpful
A True No-Spin Zone --- I Think
on November 13, 2007
At least I think it's a great book, but now I'm not so sure. The authors, Brooks Jackson, and Kathleen Hall Jamieson have done such an outstanding job of showing me why I bought the electric scissors I didn't need and how I was focusing so much on watching the healthy people on the television doing Tai Chi in the park, I completely overlooked the possible side effects of the drug the commercial was pedaling. Now that I've listened and found out that it may lead to complete loss of body hair, tailbone growth, swelling of the lips and tongue, excessive weight gain, webbed feet, tooth loss, emesis and leprosy, I've stopped taking the drug.
Starting out with the first snake oil salesman making outrageous claims, to political advertisements by republicans and democrats, by Bush and Kerry, we learn that virtually none of them can be trusted because they appeal to our biases, our perception, our experiences, and cynicism with words that are open to interpretation such as clinically tested, larger, better, more people trust or use..., on average, and other caveats that deserve closer scrutiny. (I've also added to the list: "Read with an open mind," and "Only for those who can be objective").
If that isn't bad enough, the authors show us how our personal experiences and eyewitness accounts can be manipulated by others and by our own biases. For example, when subjects were shown two lines of differing lengths, they often reported that the shorter one was longer, once they learned that everyone else (supposedly) had selected the shorter line. An even better one is the neighboring review: One, who has made his conservative feelings clear, felt that there was more "left favoring" bias to this book. A commenter said that he felt there was more "right-favoring" bias. This is a classic recommendation for the book.
The most fascinating thing I took from this short paperback is that people will cling to their beliefs more tenaciously in the face of overwhelming evidence that reveals their position is incorrect or invalid, that people will short-circuit their own brains and readily accept as fact that which conforms to their own beliefs, and that we must learn to question bias, sources, evidence, and our cynicism before parting with our money or accepting information as knowledge or fact.
So, I can guarantee that you will be 100% satisfied as were the people in my survey who read this book compared with another. Two out of three found this not only a better read, but reported that it killed the germs that cause bad breath, took inches off their waistline, and removed wrinkles. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today. Start reading. After all, you have everything to lose!
Guaranteed! Or, my name isn't Axel Schnookenhoffer!