Book Review: Don’t Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking (Paperback)

Cynical & Skeptical Don’t HAVE to be the Same Thing…,

… but in this book, they really are. I agree with the author: People prefer stories to statistics. I loved his stories in the book. I would get pulled into them, and then deflated when he ‘explains’ away any wonder that any moment might have had. The universe is full of wonder, whether it can be quantified, tested or explained makes no difference to the wonder. So where is the author’s wonder? Where is the faith and child-like belief that there is something bigger, greater and better than just ‘this’?

I am not new age, neither am I religious, and I wouldn’t exactly even call myself spiritual, but I do believe there are things in this world that we cannot explain–or cannot yet explain–and that there are things in this world that I don’t want explained too.

For example, when you go to see a magic show, knowing how the trick is performed ruins the illusion, ruins the mystery, ruins the fun.

Love is a wonderful, magical thing. Sure, it can be broken down to chemicals, synapses responses, physiology… but if we look at the emotion of love as nothing more than scientific, we lose the wonder of the love we feel. We lose the wonder of the nature of the universe when we refuse to allow ‘magic’ and ‘chance’ and ‘wonder’ and perhaps a little bit of mysticism into the mix.

I believe the author has the right idea bout not foolishly making decisions based on erroneous facts, misinformation, or complete chance, but sometimes we do need to take chances because sometimes things do work out in the face of all logical opposition. If we never try anything because the odds say that it’s unlikely, no one would ever excel beyond what we already know to be true. We’d never have any scientists compelled to seek out explanations for the unexplainable.

So the book touches on important issues of gullibility and skepticism, logic and science and fact, but it fails to take into any consideration the human component of faith, love, hope, wonder and awe.

Very disappointing book for me, because I love self enhancement and life improvement topics, but this one was just sort of… depressing.

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