"There is nothing so absurd, that it can't be said by a philosopher." Wiker's thesis is that ideas have power, and a lot of them can be dangerous. OF the 14 books be reviews, some would be universally condemned such as Hitler's Mein Kampf-- but others were written by eminent scientists such as Darwin's "Descent of Man."
What can I possibly have in common with perpetrators of murder and torture? Tavris and Aronson argue, quite a lot. The same patterns you use to justify you yelling at your child or spouse or cheating on a test have been used by governments to justify much worse things-- and still be able to feel like a basically good person. Tavris and Aronson's book really hits hard-- but it's not just a self-help book to become a better person. Self-justification quickly becomes political.
We usually think of bias in the context of underlying motivations or interests, particularly in the political realm. The underlying premise of this book is that there are much more fundamental biases in human judgments. Humans aren't perfectly logical creatures. Even when we have perfectly good information, and we are free from motivational biases, we... Continue Reading →
Among the many books that Harry Potter recommends in Methods of Rationality, the first one I chose to read was Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. It is by no means light reading. Among the selection of journal articles presented, I was reading about a common heuristic (rule of thumb, set of assumptions used to... Continue Reading →
OK, I know that I perhaps get a little too expansive with my book reviews. I want to tell you everything I found meaningful, and then provide you will all the quotes that struck me while reading, often paragraphs at a time. Probably not the best way to induce you to read. More like reading... Continue Reading →
Andrea Wulff does an excellent job and sketching the character of an amazing man. Similar to Humboldt's approach to the environment, Wulff doesn't paint the picture in a vacuum, documenting the historical picture surrounding his life. We learn of political and social upheavals throughout Europe, the Napoleonic Wars, scientific discoveries, the independence of the Spanish... Continue Reading →
I was stoked to sit down and start the first season of my favorite childhood show now grown up "Bill Nye Saves the World." I grew up on Bill Nye and The Magic School Bus, and I have been so excited to see Netflix bring new life to them. I liked Bill's clever way of... Continue Reading →