The Death Of Expertise

Author: Tom Nichols
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190469429
Size: 13.78 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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People are now exposed to more information than ever before, provided both by technology and by increasing access to every level of education. These societal gains, however, have also helped fuel a surge in narcissistic and misguided intellectual egalitarianism that has crippled informed debates on any number of issues. Today, everyone knows everything: with only a quick trip through WebMD or Wikipedia, average citizens believe themselves to be on an equal intellectual footing with doctors and diplomats. All voices, even the most ridiculous, demand to be taken with equal seriousness, and any claim to the contrary is dismissed as undemocratic elitism. As Tom Nichols shows in The Death of Expertise, this rejection of experts has occurred for many reasons, including the openness of the internet, the emergence of a customer satisfaction model in higher education, and the transformation of the news industry into a 24-hour entertainment machine. Paradoxically, the increasingly democratic dissemination of information, rather than producing an educated public, has instead created an army of ill-informed and angry citizens who denounce intellectual achievement. Nichols has deeper concerns than the current rejection of expertise and learning, noting that when ordinary citizens believe that no one knows more than anyone else, democratic institutions themselves are in danger of falling either to populism or to technocracy-or in the worst case, a combination of both. The Death of Expertise is not only an exploration of a dangerous phenomenon but also a warning about the stability and survival of modern democracy in the Information Age.

The Knowledge Illusion

Author: Steven Sloman
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781509811052
Size: 16.39 MB
Format: PDF
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Human reasoning is remarkably shallow - in fact, our thinking and justifications just scratch the surface of the true complexity of the issues we deal with. The ability to think may still be the greatest wonder in the world (and beyond), but the way that individuals think is less than ideal. In The Knowledge Illusion, Sloman and Fernbach show that our intelligence resides not in individual brains but in the collective mind. To function, individuals rely not only on knowledge that is stored within our skulls but also on knowledge stored elsewhere, be it in our bodies, in the environment or especially in other people. Put together, human thought is incredibly impressive, but at its deepest level it never belongs to any individual alone. And yet the mind supports the most sublime, incredible phenomenon of all: consciousness. How can any of this be possible with a mind that is so imperfect? This is one of the key challenges confronted in this book. The Knowledge Illusion ties together established scientific facts whilst also considering what the mind is for. Understanding why the mind is as it is, and what it is for, will show why we need to consider it as extending beyond our skulls; why we should think about 'the mind' as far more than an extension of the brain but as an emergence from multiple brains interacting. Simply put, individuals know relatively little, but the human hive that emerges when people work together knows a lot.

Anti Intellectualism In American Life

Author: Richard Hofstadter
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307809674
Size: 15.53 MB
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Winner of the 1964 Pulitzer Prize in Non-Fiction. In this award-winning classic work of consensus history, Richard Hofstadter, author of The Age of Reform, examines the role of social movements in the perception of intellect in American life. "As Mr. Hofstadter unfolds the fascinating story, it is no crude battle of eggheads and fatheads. It is a rich, complex, shifting picture of the life of the mind in a society dominated by the ideal of practical success." --Robert Peel in the Christian Science Monitor

The Ideas Industry

Author: Daniel Drezner
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190264604
Size: 10.91 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The concept of the "public intellectual" has a rich and colorful history. It began in the early twentieth century, when the new mass media catapulted intellectuals who were able to write for the general public to semi-stardom. The first wave included figures like Walter Lippmann - who coinedthe term "stereotype" and is widely considered the founder of media studies - and by the 1950s, public intellectuals as a species had become a powerful and influential force in the American cultural landscape. By the 1970s, the standard definition of the public intellectual had solidified: a person(often university-affiliated, but not always) able to discuss and dispute any serious issue, typically in venues like The New York Review of Books, and occasionally influence politics. The traditional definition of the public intellectual remains with us, but as Daniel W. Drezner shows in The Ideas Industry, it has been gradually supplanted by a new model in recent years: the "thought leader." In contrast to public intellectuals, thought leaders gain fame as purveyors of a singlebig idea. Also, instead of battling it out with intellectual combatants in the pages of The Partisan Review, The Public Interest, and their descendants, they often work through institutions that are closed to the public and which release information selectively. Thought leaders and their associatedideas tend to become brands - hedgehogs to the public intellectual fox. They have also proven to be quite successful, as evidenced by TED, Aspen Ideas, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the like. Furthermore, they often align with one side of a politically polarized debate and enjoy the support ofideologically friendly private funders. Drezner identifies increasing inequality as a prime mover of this shift, contending that our present-day class of plutocrats not only wants to go back to school, it wants to force "schools" - in the form of intellectuals with elite affiliations - to come tothem. And they have the money to make this happen. Drezner, however, does not see the phenomenon as necessarily negative. While there are certainly some downsides to the contemporary ideas industry, he argues that it is very good at broadcasting intellectual content widely and reaching largeaudiences of people hungry for new thinking. Both fair-minded and trenchant, The Ideas Industry will reshape our understanding of contemporary public intellectual life in America and the West.

Not A Scientist How Politicians Mistake Misrepresent And Utterly Mangle Science

Author: Dave Levitan
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393353334
Size: 10.98 MB
Format: PDF
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An eye-opening tour of the political tricks that subvert scientific progress. The Butter-Up and Undercut. The Certain Uncertainty. The Straight-Up Fabrication. Dave Levitan dismantles all of these deceptive arguments, and many more, in this probing and hilarious examination of the ways our elected officials attack scientific findings that conflict with their political agendas. The next time you hear a politician say, "Well, I’m not a scientist, but…," you’ll be ready.

A Generation Of Sociopaths

Author: Bruce Cannon Gibney
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 9780316395809
Size: 12.57 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
View: 78

"Informative, provocative, and entertaining."---Booklist What happens when a society is run by people who are anti-social? Welcome to Baby Boomer America. In A Generation of Sociopaths, Bruce Cannon Gibney shows how America was hijacked by the Boomers, a generation whose reckless self-indulgence degraded the foundations of American prosperity. A former partner in a leading venture capital firm, Gibney examines the disastrous policies of the most powerful generation in modern history, showing how the Boomers ruthlessly enriched themselves at the expense of future generations. Acting without empathy, prudence, or respect for facts--acting, in other words, as sociopaths--the Boomers turned American dynamism into stagnation, inequality, and bipartisan fiasco. The Boomers have set a time bomb for the 2030s, when damage to Social Security, public finances, and the environment will become catastrophic and possibly irreversible--and when, not coincidentally, Boomers will be dying off. Gibney, whose 2011 essay "What Happened to the Future?" transfixed the investment world, argues that younger generations have a fleeting window to hold the Boomers accountable and begin restoring America. Distilling deep research into a witty, colorful indictment of the Boomers and an urgent defense of the once-unquestioned value of society, A Generation of Sociopaths is poised to become one of the most controversial books of the year. "Sure to be controversial."---Fortune magazine

Irresistible

Author: Adam Alter
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780698402638
Size: 14.69 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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“One of the most mesmerizing and important books I’ve read in quite some time. Alter brilliantly illuminates the new obsessions that are controlling our lives and offers the tools we need to rescue our businesses, our families, and our sanity.” —Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take Welcome to the age of behavioral addiction—an age in which half of the American population is addicted to at least one behavior. We obsess over our emails, Instagram likes, and Facebook feeds; we binge on TV episodes and YouTube videos; we work longer hours each year; and we spend an average of three hours each day using our smartphones. Half of us would rather suffer a broken bone than a broken phone, and Millennial kids spend so much time in front of screens that they struggle to interact with real, live humans. In this revolutionary book, Adam Alter, a professor of psychology and marketing at NYU, tracks the rise of behavioral addiction, and explains why so many of today's products are irresistible. Though these miraculous products melt the miles that separate people across the globe, their extraordinary and sometimes damaging magnetism is no accident. The companies that design these products tweak them over time until they become almost impossible to resist. By reverse engineering behavioral addiction, Alter explains how we can harness addictive products for the good—to improve how we communicate with each other, spend and save our money, and set boundaries between work and play—and how we can mitigate their most damaging effects on our well-being, and the health and happiness of our children. Adam Alter's previous book, Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave is available in paperback from Penguin.