Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error

Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error

by Kathryn Schulz
3.8 14

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Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz

“Both wise and clever, full of fun and surprise about a topic so central to our lives that we almost never even think about it.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

In the tradition of The Wisdom of Crowds and Predictably Irrational comes Being Wrong, an illuminating exploration of what it means to be in error, and why homo sapiens tend to tacitly assume (or loudly insist) that they are right about most everything. Kathryn Schulz, editor of Grist magazine, argues that error is the fundamental human condition and should be celebrated as such. Guiding the reader through the history and psychology of error, from Socrates to Alan Greenspan, Being Wrong will change the way you perceive screw-ups, both of the mammoth and daily variety, forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061997938
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/08/2010
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 299,572
File size: 884 KB

About the Author

Kathryn Schulz is a journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Foreign Policy, the Nation, the Boston Globe, and the "Freakonomics" blog of the New York Times. She lives in New York's Hudson Valley.

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Being Wrong 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am enjoying this book, it has a great topic and has an interesting anecdotes. Unfortunatly, this book knows nothing of brevity. Too many sentences needlessly drag on with empty words. Sometimes I feel that esoteric words are conscripted for their laboriousness in opposition to their precision, erstwhile - despite my erudite nature - I have grown weary of reading the sentence. I'll probably finish the book because of its content despite the lack of grace.
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Malcolm Gladwell opened the book market to accessible, highbrow social analysis, and Kathryn Schulz has skillfully adopted that model. However, unlike Gladwell, Schulz does not analyze trends. She's fascinated by the perpetual, universal propensity for human error in all its forms and contexts. In this companionable, readable, kind-hearted, rambling (and sometimes random) essay collection, she discusses philosophy, astronomy, politics, psychiatry, love and heartbreak, as well as the science of the brain and the workings of memory. She demonstrates a credible grasp of her topics and bends each to her theme without losing sight of the larger picture. This is not a self-help book, but still it offers opportunities for insight, laughter and the rueful recognition that when humans err, they seldom err alone. getAbstract recommends this worthy book to anyone who's ever made a mistake, and especially to those who are convinced they never have.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoughtful, introspective and useful in understanding our politics , ourselves and our world.
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fivesix More than 1 year ago
I love the way Kathryn Schulz writes. She could make a book about pig slop a page-turner. Being Wrong covers the subject of error in ways I didn't know needed covering, surprising me, opening my eyes, and educating me. Can't ask much more from a book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kathryn Schulz's "Being Wrong" is both entertaining and informative as it explores the psychology, philosophy, pitfalls and positives of making mistakes. Schulz combines lots of data and theory with plenty of illustrative stories and an accessible writing style to make this book both fun and useful. I also recommend "When God Stopped Keeping Score" for anyone who feels bound by their anger, guilt, hurt or pain. I thought that the book was just about forgiveness, I soon learned, it was about so much more than that. It was about how you should deal with friends, family and yourself and more importantly, how to keep these relationships strong when things go wrong. Having read it, I feel like a better person. Maybe because this book spoke to me and not down to me. I have read a lot of books that was written like I didn't know anything. What the author of "When God Stopped Keeping Score" does is talk to you like a friend. I needed that. You will understand why when you read it. It is on sale here on