Blind Spot: Why We Fail to See the Solution Right in Front of Us

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9780062097903: Blind Spot: Why We Fail to See the Solution Right in Front of Us

The Voynich Manuscript has been considered to be the world's most mysterious book. Filled with strange illustrations and an unknown language, it challenged the world's top code-crackers for nearly a century.

But in just four-and-a-half months, Dr. Gordon Rugg, a renowned researcher, found evidence (which had been there all along) that the book could be a giant, glittering hoax.

In Blind Spot: Why We Fail to See the Solution Right in Front of Us, Dr. Rugg shares his story and shows how his toolkit of problem-solving techniques—such as his Verifier Method—can save the day, particularly in those times when the experts on your team have all the data in front of them but are still unaccountably at an impasse.

In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell and Dan Ariely, Dr. Rugg, a rising star in computer science, challenges us to re-examine the way we think, and provides new tools to solve problems and crack codes in our own lives.

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From the Author:

Blind Spot is the story of an ambitious idea. The idea? A method to spot where experts go wrong when tackling difficult problems. What happened next includes: A mysterious undeciphered mediaeval manuscript; inventing a radically different way to handle online search; new approaches to forensic statistics; a different way of looking at the search for life on other worlds, and much more. None of that was what the team expected... A lot of mistakes are very easy to spot: an aircraft crashes or a bridge collapses, and there's a body count. It's a lot harder to spot the type that this method was intended for: invisible errors, where everyone missed an opportunity, or spent years looking in the wrong place for a solution that wasn't there. The method was designed to break logjams, where experts were stuck and couldn't see the way forward. Blind Spot is about combining four "virtual toolboxes" of methods that each dealt with a different part of the problem. Gordon Rugg saw where two of those toolboxes would fit together; Jo Hyde saw another key connection, and Sue Gerrard spotted the last one. The name for the final product was the Verifier approach. One toolbox is about methods for gathering information from people. A second is about ways of visualising information in a way that accurately represents it. A third is about choosing the right type of logic to assess the evidence. Those three are about finding errors, and maybe finding promising new answers. The fourth toolbox complements the first three; it's about choosing the right method to get information across to people with the minimum of error in the process. The first test case was the Voynich Manuscript, sometimes described as the world's most mysterious book. It's a handwritten book of about 240 pages, written in a unique script; since its discovery in 1912, it had never been deciphered, despite the efforts of some of the world's greatest codebreakers. Within weeks, Verifier identified something that previous researchers had missed: a simple way of producing text with the same complex regularities as in the original manuscript, using nothing more complex than paper, pen and penknife. Other cases followed. Sue Gerrard's critical reassessment of the way researchers thought about autism was published in the top peer-reviewed journal in that field. The Search Visualizer software could lead to a sea-change in searching the internet or large documents -  from aircraft maintenance manuals or medical databases to the works of Shakespeare. Search Visualizer identified a literary structure in the book of Genesis that had apparently been missed by centuries of previous researchers, as well as dramatic differences in gender-related language among Shakespeare's plays.  The Verifier team are currently collaborating with forensics experts, an astrobiologist and medical researchers, all interested in new ways of visualising knotty problems and their solutions. That's the core story in Blind Spot. The full story is a lot more colorful...

From the Back Cover:

What can chess masters teach us about how humans become experts?

Why can't race car drivers explain decisions they've made behind the wheel?

What does predicting the winner of a soccer match say about our ability to make the right choice?

When we talk about experts, we typically have bought into the idea that they have all the answers. Now, in this groundbreaking book, Gordon Rugg exposes the surprising ways in which all people tend to make the same sorts of mistakes, regardless of what field they are in, how smart they are, or even their level of expertise. Focusing on why and how we make decisions, Rugg offers insight into what motivates us, how we fail to find the answers we are looking for, how we can learn to ask the essential questions, and more.

Rugg has devoted his life to learning how experts solve problems. He gained international attention after arguing persuasively that the famous Voynich Manuscript is a hoax. Now, he demonstrates his techniques in the Verifier Method, which can be applied to any seemingly unsolvable problem.

Drawing on his personal odyssey in the field of human expertise, Rugg makes astute and entertaining conclusions about how and why we inevitably fail, and explains how to make better mistakes, work backward, and reengineer the ways we pursue success.

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Book Description HarperOne, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Voynich Manuscript has been considered to be the world s most mysterious book. Filled with strange illustrations and an unknown language, it challenged the world s top code-crackers for nearly a century. But in just four-and-a-half months, Dr. Gordon Rugg, a renowned researcher, found evidence (which had been there all along) that the book could be a giant, glittering hoax. In Blind Spot: Why We Fail to See the Solution Right in Front of Us, Dr. Rugg shares his story and shows how his toolkit of problem-solving techniques--such as his Verifier Method--can save the day, particularly in those times when the experts on your team have all the data in front of them but are still unaccountably at an impasse. In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell and Dan Ariely, Dr. Rugg, a rising star in computer science, challenges us to re-examine the way we think, and provides new tools to solve problems and crack codes in our own lives. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780062097903

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Book Description HarperOne, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Voynich Manuscript has been considered to be the world s most mysterious book. Filled with strange illustrations and an unknown language, it challenged the world s top code-crackers for nearly a century. But in just four-and-a-half months, Dr. Gordon Rugg, a renowned researcher, found evidence (which had been there all along) that the book could be a giant, glittering hoax. In Blind Spot: Why We Fail to See the Solution Right in Front of Us, Dr. Rugg shares his story and shows how his toolkit of problem-solving techniques--such as his Verifier Method--can save the day, particularly in those times when the experts on your team have all the data in front of them but are still unaccountably at an impasse. In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell and Dan Ariely, Dr. Rugg, a rising star in computer science, challenges us to re-examine the way we think, and provides new tools to solve problems and crack codes in our own lives. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780062097903

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