022-2019 Think

Title: Think – Why You Should Question Everything

Author: Guy P. Harrison

Just before I packed for my trip to Europe I bought a few book. This was one of them.

The title straight-out told the reader the message it wishes to teach the reader of the book.

I will be honest, the book wishes to teach that we should become more skeptical about what we hear and read, rather than just relying on the information blindly. It gives many different examples of common beliefs (Yeti, Big Foot, Ghosts, etc.) for which no scientific evidence could be presented, but which are held to be true by many. It goes into depth for some where some contradictory evidence could be presented, however, the same core message remains throughout each chapter, that we should also question everything that we come across.

At some point it gives a lengthy list of biases and influences we are all exposed to, yet not know we are currently experiencing (ie. anchoring bias, confirmation bias, etc.). This is one I would definitely have anyone go through and understand, because these biases are deeply ingrained that we don’t even realize we have been infected.

However, because the chapters always come back and focus strongly on the core lesson, it does come across to be repetitive, and that goes through the whole book, which may have the reader lose interest.

Rating:

The lesson is very clear, and is well illustrated in all chapters. The book also gives a valuable list of biases which any skeptic should be aware of in their lives in order to identify situations where they may become fooled in. However, because the message is repeat in different case studies for the whole book, it became a little uninteresting. My final rating came to a 3.6/5.

021-2019 This will change everything

Title: This will change everything – Ideas that will shape the future

Author: John Brockman

This was an interesting find on the bookshelf a few months ago. Yes, unfortunately I wasn’t very active recently on my blog to give you some of my latest reads, but I have a few on the line up today so I hope you will be as excited as I am for what is to come. 🙂

When I bought the book back home I read the first chapter in the store and noted that it may be interesting to read a book about predictions of the future.

That’s exactly what I got from the read (which I only finished a few minutes ago). It takes the ideas that some people have about what is expected to come next and possibly make a significant impact to our lives. Some of the contributors have even challenged the question that the author posed to them “what will change everything?” by stating that something that big is too big to occur in a small space of time, because everything denotes that not just one small area is impacted but all/multiple areas need to be impacted where many of us will feel the change having impacted our lives.

The topics range between different industries and sciences, which is great for any reader who wishes to get some great perspective of multiple areas they wish to read up on.

All contributions made to the book are valuable, however, the following contributions and contributors really stood out for me: 1) Daniel Goleman – that we can use software to scan a product and see whether the process that was undergone in the manufacture of the product has many or fewer than average harmful impacts on the environment. 2) Andrian Kreye – that our current approach for generating electrical energy is through harvesting (burning coal, solar panels, hydraulic transmission, wind energy) electrical energy and not through manufacture thereof. 3) Marcel Kinsbourne – it is the brain that experiences changes, and therefore by changing the brain will lead to changing everything. The brain is plastic, and that by changing the circuitry in the brain can lead to repercussions throughout the neural network. 4) Helen Fisher – the brain is referred to a verb, and not a noun, because the brain is constantly doing something. Understanding brain chemistry can open up avenues to change who we are and what we want. 5) Mark Pagel – When humans grow in the womb, it starts from one cell (the zygote), which then multiplies to two, then four, then eight, etc. Eventually this all leads to the formation of a human being, that will be birthed, and then grow from a child to an adult. As the first cells divide, and steadily form body parts they lose their potency (ie. they forget how to go back to their earlier stage). If we would lose a limb, our body will never regrow that body part. But if we could somewhat understand whether we could change the cells’ potency, maybe we could have injured body parts regrow, and thus heal more naturally. 6) Jonathan Haidt – Local populations adapted to local circumstances by a process known as coevolution, where genes and cultural elements change over time and mutually influence each other. 7) Aubrey DeGrey – Progress accelerates only when given impetus by human motivation. Something or someone has to be the engine room for change to lead.

If any of those may have sparked some interest, I would really recommend that you read up on them, because the old adage is really true here, that ‘the more knowledge you attain, the more you realize how little you truly know’ because the vaults of knowledge that have been accumulated throughout the centuries is breathtaking.

There are some repeats of some topics, but if you pull through them, i am sure there is one/more that will definitely spark your interest and what could also excite you for the future.

Summary:

I enjoyed having a glimpse at some of the ideas that some contributors made to the book, and dream of a world where that may be a reality already. Some topics also did spark my interest to consider reading up more into them. But not many of them had this impact (which is to be expected because we all have our own thoughts) and ultimate made me settle for a rating of 4.1/5.