Wilful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril

Wilful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril

by Margaret Heffernan



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781847377708
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 02/28/2011

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Willful Blindness 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
the.ken.petersen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about the way in which we go along with things; the way in which we fail to take control. Heffernan looks at the BP crisis, the mortgage disaster and many other crises. In many cases there were people who had access to information that made clear the scale of a disaster, or its likelihood. They chose to ignore the facts: why? In most cases, not because of criminal fraud, but because they did not feel strong enough to stand up to authority or, even more disturbingly, in a lot of cases, they felt that authority must be right.Reading this book is a bit like being asked what you would do faced by a homicidal maniac waving a gun at an innocent child: the answer is that one would leap at the miscreant, wrestle the gun from his hands and make a citizen's arrest. In reality, would one do that, or decide that such actions would "endanger the child" and thus leave one, reluctantly (relieved?) to let matters proceed? When I started reading I was thinking, "I don't believe that people could be as silly as to behave like this." As I progressed through the book, my reaction changed to an acceptance that other people could be so foolish and, as I approached the end, I finally allowed that, in the right (or wrong) circumstances, I would do as these people had done.This is not a critical book. It does not belittle the people who failed to act, it examines the reasons and challenges the reader to, hand on heart, say that they would have done differently. Having read this, I wish that I could say that, even if I might have done some of these things previously, I am now immune. I cannot. What I can say is that I am armed with the information as to how to recognise the warning signs and, were everybody so to be, the World would be a better place. This book is required reading by... well, everyone.