Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error

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9780061176043: Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error

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?

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Review:

`In this lovely book the forbiddingly clever and vexingly wise journalist Kathryn Schulz argues passionately for the value of error' --Guardian

`A brilliant new manifesto urging us to reassess our relationship with our own mistakes' --Independent

`Firmly in the Gladwellesque genre of applying savvy journalistic technique to produce insights' --Financial Times

`An insightful and delightful discussion of why we make mistakes and why we don't know we are making them' --International Herald Tribune

'A compelling meditation on the human condition ... Schulz exposes the psychological tricks we play on ourselves'
--New Scientist

About the Author:

Kathryn Schulz is a journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, the Nation, Foreign Policy, and the Huffington Post, among other publications. She is the former editor of the online magazine Grist and a former reporter and editor for the Santiago Times, of Santiago, Chile, where she covered environmental, labor, and human rights issues. She was a 2004 recipient of the Pew Fellowship in International Journalism and has reported from throughout Central and South America, Japan, and, most recently, the Middle East. A former Ohioan, Oregonian, and Brooklynite, she currently lives in New York's Hudson Valley.

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Book Description Ecco Press, United States, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 226 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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?. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780061176043

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Book Description Ecco Press, United States, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 226 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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?. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780061176043

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