Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Being wrong...

I've been meaning to point out a Dwight Garner review on two books on humans making errors, “Being Wrong,” by Kathryn Schulz, and “Wrong,” by David H. Freedman. Daniel Gilbert offers a further review of the Schulz book, which appears to have won uniform praise from many reviewers:
...an insightful and delightful discussion of the errors of our ways — why we make mistakes, why we don’t know we are making them and what we do when recognition dawns. ...Ms. Schulz’s book is a funny and philosophical meditation on why error is mostly a humane, courageous and extremely desirable human trait. She flies high in the intellectual skies, leaving beautiful sunlit contrails. God isn’t her co-pilot; Iris Murdoch seems to be...Mr. Freedman’s book is a somewhat cruder vehicle. It’s a John Stossel-like exposé of the multiple ways that society’s so-called experts (scientists, economists, doctors) let us down, if not outright betray us. It’s a chunk of spicy populist outrage, and it can be a hoot to watch Mr. Freedman’s reading glasses steam up as he, like Big Daddy in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” sniffs mendacity around the plantation.

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