Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing

Voorkant
Crown, 13 okt 2015 - 336 pagina's
26 Recensies
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An illuminating look at the surprising upside of ambiguity—and how, properly harnessed, it can inspire learning, creativity, even empathy

Life today feels more overwhelming and chaotic than ever. Whether it’s a confounding work problem or a faltering relationship or an unclear medical diagnosis, we face constant uncertainty. And we’re continually bombarded with information, much of it contradictory.

Managing ambiguity—in our jobs, our relationships, and daily lives—is quickly becoming an essential skill. Yet most of us don’t know where to begin.

As Jamie Holmes shows in Nonsense, being confused is unpleasant, so we tend to shutter our minds as we grasp for meaning and stability, especially in stressful circumstances. We’re hard-wired to resolve contradictions quickly and extinguish anomalies. This can be useful, of course. When a tiger is chasing you, you can’t be indecisive. But as Nonsense reveals, our need for closure has its own dangers. It makes us stick to our first answer, which is not always the best, and it makes us search for meaning in the wrong places. When we latch onto fast and easy truths, we lose a vital opportunity to learn something new, solve a hard problem, or see the world from another perspective.

In other words, confusion—that uncomfortable mental place—has a hidden upside. We just need to know how to use it. This lively and original book points the way.

Over the last few years, new insights from social psychology and cognitive science have deepened our understanding of the role of ambiguity in our lives and Holmes brings this research together for the first time, showing how we can use uncertainty to our advantage. Filled with illuminating stories—from spy games and doomsday cults to Absolut Vodka’s ad campaign and the creation of Mad Libs—Nonsense†promises to transform the way we conduct business, educate our children, and make decisions.

In an increasingly unpredictable, complex world, it turns out that what matters most isn’t IQ, willpower, or confidence in what we know. It’s how we deal with what we don’t understand.
 

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LibraryThing Review

Gebruikersrecensie  - LynnB - LibraryThing

This book wasn't what I was expecting, which was how not knowing something could be powerful; if nothing else, as a spur to further learning. So what was it about? Ambiguity, I think. It's hard to say ... Volledige review lezen

LibraryThing Review

Gebruikersrecensie  - heike6 - LibraryThing

This book took me a year to finish. The topic is very interesting, but the writing is pretty dry. Some things covered in the book include: dissonance reduction accounting for over half of our everyday behavior, overtesting in medicine, and jigsaw puzzles as a way of embracing ambiguity. Volledige review lezen

Inhoudsopgave

How SENSE MAKING WORKS
19
THE PROBLEM WITH URGENCY
65
Fifty Days in Texas WHY INTENTIONS ARE MISREAD
83
A STRATEGY OF IGNORANCE
130
Building a Better Ducati THE USES of UNCERTAINTY
157
WHERE TO FIND HIDDEN ANSWERS
179
WHAT DIVERSITY OFFERS
204
Lo G U E
224
K Now L E D G M E N T s
235
Copyright

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Over de auteur (2015)

Jamie Holmes is a Future Tense Fellow at New America and a former Research Coordinator at Harvard University in the Department of Economics. He holds an M.I.A. from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and his writing has appeared in TheNew Yorker, the New York Times,†Slate, Politico, the Christian Science Monitor, The New Republic, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and the Daily Beast.

Bibliografische gegevens