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Original Essays | July 22, 2014

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The three men lit up in my mind's eye, with footnotes. They were converging on me — and on the object I was carrying — in a way that had... Continue »
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Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error

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Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

To err is human. Yet most of us go through life assuming (and sometimes insisting) that we are right about nearly everything, from the origins of the universe to how to load the dishwasher. If being wrong is so natural, why are we all so bad at imagining that our beliefs could be mistaken, and why do we react to our errors with surprise, denial, defensiveness, and shame?

In Being Wrong, journalist Kathryn Schulz explores why we find it so gratifying to be right and so maddening to be mistaken, and how this attitude toward error corrodes relationships — whether between family members, colleagues, neighbors, or nations. Along the way, she takes us on a fascinating tour of human fallibility, from wrongful convictions to no-fault divorce; medical mistakes to misadventures at sea; failed prophecies to false memories; I told you so to Mistakes were made. Drawing on thinkers as varied as Augustine, Darwin, Freud, Gertrude Stein, Alan Greenspan, and Groucho Marx, she proposes a new way of looking at wrongness. In this view, error is both a given and a gift — one that can transform our worldviews, our relationships, and, most profoundly, ourselves.

In the end, Being Wrong is not just an account of human error but a tribute to human creativity — the way we generate and revise our beliefs about ourselves and the world. At a moment when economic, political, and religious dogmatism increasingly divide us, Schulz explores with uncommon humor and eloquence the seduction of certainty and the crises occasioned by error. A brilliant debut from a new voice in nonfiction, this book calls on us to ask one of life's most challenging questions: what if I'm wrong?

Review:

“Both wise and clever, full of fun and surprise about a topic so central to our lives that we almost never even think about it.” Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

Review:

“Kathryn Schulz’s brilliant, spirited, and necessary inquiry into the essential humanity of error will leave you feeling intoxicatingly wrongheaded.” Tom Vanderbilt, bestselling author of TRAFFIC

Synopsis:

In the tradition of The Wisdom of Crowds and Predictably Irrational comes Being Wrong, an illuminating exploration of what it means to be in error, and why homo sapiens tend to tacitly assume (or loudly insist) that they are right about most everything. Kathryn Schulz, editor of Grist magazine, argues that error is the fundamental human condition and should be celebrated as such. Guiding the reader through the history and psychology of error, from Socrates to Alan Greenspan, Being Wrong will change the way you perceive screw-ups, both of the mammoth and daily variety, forever.

About the Author

Kathryn Schulz has written for The Nation, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times Magazine, among other publications. A former editor of the online environmental magazine Grist and the Santiago Times in Chile, she was awarded a Pew Fellowship in International Journalism in 2004. She lives in New York.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061176043
Subtitle:
Adventures in the Margin of Error
Author:
Schulz, Kathryn
Author:
Allen, Frederick L.
Publisher:
Ecco
Subject:
General
Subject:
Movements - Humanism
Subject:
Philosophical anthropology
Subject:
Decision making -- Psychological aspects. .
Subject:
General Psychology & Psychiatry
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Psychology : General
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20100608
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.25 in 20.32 oz

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General

Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$26.99 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Ecco - English 9780061176043 Reviews:
"Review" by , “Both wise and clever, full of fun and surprise about a topic so central to our lives that we almost never even think about it.”
"Review" by , “Kathryn Schulz’s brilliant, spirited, and necessary inquiry into the essential humanity of error will leave you feeling intoxicatingly wrongheaded.”
"Synopsis" by , In the tradition of The Wisdom of Crowds and Predictably Irrational comes Being Wrong, an illuminating exploration of what it means to be in error, and why homo sapiens tend to tacitly assume (or loudly insist) that they are right about most everything. Kathryn Schulz, editor of Grist magazine, argues that error is the fundamental human condition and should be celebrated as such. Guiding the reader through the history and psychology of error, from Socrates to Alan Greenspan, Being Wrong will change the way you perceive screw-ups, both of the mammoth and daily variety, forever.
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