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You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, an d 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself Hardcover – October 27, 2011
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"You Are Not So Smart is the go-to blog for understanding why we all do silly things." — Lifehacker.com
"You'd think from the title that it might be curmudgeonly; in fact, You Are Not So Smart is quite big-hearted." — Jason Kottke, Kottke.org
"In an Idiocracy dominated by cable TV bobbleheads, government propagandists, and corporate spinmeisters, many of us know that mass ignorance is a huge problem. Now, thanks to David McRaney's mind-blowing book, we can finally see the scientific roots of that problem. Anybody still self-aware enough to wonder why society now worships willful stupidity should read this book." -David Sirota, author of Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live In Now
About the Author
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This "book" was supposed to be easy-reading explanation of key outcomes of extensive study made by Nobel prize winners on biases.
In fact the way this release is written is the AUTHOR BIAS.
Instead of providing scientific facts and bright examples he is trying to share personal interpretation - and results are not acceptable.
Key narrative is: "YOU are dellusional selfless immature "kid" who is easily manipulated and needs guidance".
And the last thing I want is somebody to devaluate personal developent in a toxic way.
AVOID this book at any cost. Wish I could get back my money spent on this.
i guess i needed the book after all.
Listening to You Are Not So Smart is a great way to discover some of most common ways we naively delude ourselves into taking our imperfect interpretations of ourselves and other people. David McRaney's sarcastic sense of humor makes it a bit easier to swallow the bitter pills he asks us to swallow.
I didn't connect with the professional narrator. I wish the author had decided to read it himself, but that tends to be my personal preference. If you find this to be the case, too, you might want to opt to read this one instead of listening to it.
I would also recommend doling these lessons out over time instead of plowing straight through. Cracking personal illusions can be empowering in the long run, but dismantling too many of them at the same time felt a bit too vulnerable. It would also been helpful to get more specific strategies to compensate for the blind spots that are exposed.
I think the book is intended to kick off the exploration, however, and I look forward to discovering more of the author's insights and ideas by visiting his blog.
Top international reviews
In "You are Not So Smart", David McRaney has organised many of the biases and ideas that cause us to make incorrect assumptions into easily digestible chapters.
I would recommend everyone read this book and use it to review your assessments and decisions in light of the biases that you have.
On a more serious note, I was pleased to find a place referencing and explaining the various biases affecting our decision making process.
Talking about biases, I am curious to know the position of the author regarding concepts such as positive thinking and spirituality...
The book was certainly informative, I will definitively often get back to it.
A fascinating read. You are embarrassed thinking you stand out like a sore thumb and he reminds you that in fact hardly anyone even notices you are there.
Delivered promptly, new book still in plastic.
It draws you in in the first few pages by proving you are not so smart and then explains why and what we can do about it for the rest of the book.
What makes this interesting is that we think we are clever for reading this book and the rest of the world wouldn't be interested in it. They are too bust watching reality shows or reading glossy magazines. However, this has been a very popular book which means that we are the masses and, in fact, "are not so smart"!
The book is divided into chapters covering specific subjects in enough detail and without padding. This makes it very readable and the concepts stay with you.
What particularly chimed with me was that my wife and I once nearly caught a pickpocket. In my memory, I was the hero of the hour. In her memory, she was the one that dived in to save the day. And we are both convinced we are right. Having read the book I now understand why I can't be sure anymore! Now I just have to convince her why she can't be sure!
I say Protective Brain in the title as it seems now that it protects us from ourselves as well managing the running of our systems along with thy negative and positive feedback mechanisms of the endocrine and nervous systems.
I now understand much better how people can argue [mostly my mother!] that black is white and be totally convinced. IE not even display the subjective hints that are the truth. LOL - yes I know there are many truths.
I have read perhaps 1/3 so look forward to further revelations.
Chapter after chapter, myth after myth I found myself saying "oh my God I do that".
My daughter is due to start psychology A level in September and I have told her she could do a lot worse than read this book over the summer.
Finally this book has helped me in my business. I provide training in business planning for new start ups and being able to talk about confirmation bias and brand loyalty has strengthened my message.
Nevertheless, I still loved it.