You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself Hardcover – July 30, 2013
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"Every chapter is a welcome reminder that you are not so smart — yet you’re never made to feel dumb. You Are Not So Smart is a dose of psychology research served in tasty anecdotes that will make you better understand both yourself and the rest of us. You’ll find new perspectives on your relationships with people you know, people you don’t, and even brands. It turns out we’re much more irrational than most of us think, so give yourself every advantage you can and read this book."
— Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder of Reddit.com
“You Are Not So Smart is positively one of the smartest books to come by this year — no illusion there.”
— Maria Popova of Brain Pickings
“Simply wonderful. An engaging and useful guide to how our brilliant brains can go badly wrong.”
— Richard Wiseman, bestselling author of 59 Seconds and Quirkology
“McRaney’s sweeping overview is like taking a Psych 101 class with a witty professor and zero homework.”
— Psychology Today
“You Are Not So Smart [is] the go-to blog for understanding why we all do silly things.”
“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
“Want to get smarter quickly? Read this book”
— David Eagleman — neuroscientist and author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the
“A much-needed field guide to the limits of our so-called consciousness. McRaney presents a witty case for just how witless we all are.”
— William Poundstone — bestselling author of Are you Smart Enough to Work at Googl
“Fascinating… After reading this book, you’ll never trust your brain again.”
— Alex Boese — bestselling author of Elephants on Acid and Electric Sheep
“Deflating to a certain audience that wants to believe in exceptions, You Are Not So Smart is a tonic to the noxious sweetness of overachievement, an acknowledgment of ordinariness that glories in the quirks of being human without forcing them into a triumphant pyramid. That which cannot be overcome is a part as vital to the human experience as that impulse to try even harder to overcome nature. And if that fails, the flip side to a population crediting itself with falsely inflated powers of observation is that no one might notice if you, too, are not so smart.”
— The Onion A.V. Club
“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, syndicated columnist, radio host and author of “Back to Our Future
About the Author
- Publisher : Avery; 1st edition (July 30, 2013)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1592408052
- ISBN-13 : 978-1592408054
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.35 x 1 x 8.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,024,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Then it was a moment of epiphany, as a sudden comforting sense of humbleness engulfed me. We are inherently evolving souls who are in a constant flux of change. This humbleness implies three life-changing lessons:
1- No matter how strong your beliefs or opinions are, hold them weakly, and take them with a grain of salt. You do not know which biases you are succumbing to.
2- Scientific methods are the only available tool so far to make distinction between facts and delusions. One caveat here: science is continuous process to figure out natural phenomena, so do not use it in reductionist way, not seeing the forest for the trees. It is all about engaging in the scientific discovery journey.
3- Historically speaking, dogmas, rituals, supernatural beliefs, religions, and the like have played critical roles in our development and emergence as human beings. Although no ideology must be immune to critique, no matter how sacred or holy it is in the view of the followers. Viewing these in the context of human mind biases endows us a more balanced and a more human-centered perspective. This is the anthropologist viewpoint that gives us a sense of our shared human existence and the belonging to the same boat.
The bad: The author was a bit too cynical and nhilistic for my taste. Many parts had pretty obvious flaws to the logic presented. The information given in the book could probably be presented in less pages than what it was, but the author was too busy trying to be "clever" with his wording and instead of coming off as humorous it just seemed pretentious.
Overall I would say probably don't buy this book at its full price. If you can get it at a discount I would recommend reading through it. It has its redeeming qualities and if the author was someone else I might have enjoyed it more. The base facts are nice but if you read the chapter titles you could probably find a better way to get the information presented.
What I did not lik a bit, as many other people have stated before me, was that this book is also used as a marketing tool for other afformation products. I wish they can go back like the old days when they would give you a great book, and maybe by the end they would use the last page to promote other books from the author. I think is a mistake to do this kind of marketing and the editors should stop promoting it.
I had been reading this book on and off ever since, and still just loved it. The slow pace was due to savouring the information.
Unfortunately I lost the hard cover a little while ago, and have yet to find it.
However, since I liked this book so much, literally scouring my house and backpack for it, I had to buy it on here to be able to read it again!
This book is great, and I highly recommend it!
Top reviews from other countries
Let's start with memory. It doesn't exist. What you think of as your childhood memories are actually a haphazard pastiche of self-serving fictions, hazy re-creations and re-purposed movie scenes held together with a minimal smattering of actual experiences. If you tell your mother about your Christmas memory of getting a new purple bicycle from Uncle Barnett, she will tell you that it was actually Aunt Minnie, and it was a red Go Kart. Whose memory is correct? Neither of yours! Go look at your family photos, and you'll discover that you were actually raised by hobos in an abandoned train station in rural Turkey.
Perception? Perception is laughable. Did you ever, as a child, try to write a book report based on a quick reading of the first chapter and cover copy of a novel? That's perception. Your mind takes in a constant geyser of data every instant of the day, discards most of it as unimportant, then fills in the spaces with assumptions and diversions. If your perception were a sausage, it would be classified by the Food and Drug Administration as a pork-flavored sawdust tube. A parade of thugs and fashion critics could pass through your living room without you noticing, provided you were distracted by a sufficiently shiny piece of tinfoil.
How about decision-making? At least you have free will, the ability to rise above the limitations of your mind, right? You're precious when you lie to yourself. The fact is that by the time you actually think you're making a decision, a shadowy cabal of hormones and electrical currents have already set you on your course. I'm not just talking about fight-or-flight level stuff here. Even your hour-long diatribe about Neutral Milk Hotel that had everyone at the party last week checking their cellphones for new messages was delivered to you by some attention-deprived corner of your unconscious mind.
I learned that, in the end, you can't trust what you see, you can't trust what you know, and you can't even trust your sense of self. Sure, on some level you think, therefore you are, but when it comes down to it, all you really are is the Betty Crocker on the cake mix of your own existence, a pleasant fiction wrapped around a container of chemicals and carbon.
So, all in all, it was a pretty cool book,