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The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies, but most of us don t even know how a pen or a toilet works How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach argue that we survive and thrive despite our mental shortcomings because we live in a rich community of knowledge The key to our intelligence lies in the people and things around us We re constantly drawing on information and expertise stored outside our heads in our bodies, our environment, our possessions, and the community with which we interact and usually we don t even realize we re doing it The human mind is both brilliant and pathetic We have mastered fire, created democratic institutions, stood on the moon, and sequenced our genome And yet each of us is error prone, sometimes irrational, and often ignorant The fundamentally communal nature of intelligence and knowledge explains why we often assume we know than we really do, why political opinions and false beliefs are so hard to change, and why individually oriented approaches to education and management frequently fail But our collaborative minds also enable us to do amazing things This book contends that true genius can be found in the ways we create intelligence using the world around us


10 thoughts on “The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone

  1. BlackOxford BlackOxford says:

    Challenging PowerThe Knowledge Illusion is a demonstration of the thesis it articulates Our intelligence resides not in individual brains but in the collective mindthe hive mind Each of us, as the 18th century philosopher Frederick Leibniz proposed, contributes to what we perceive and conceive as reality In fact everyone who has ever existed contributes to that reality We each c


  2. Satyajeet Satyajeet says:

    It all begins with toilets.Everyone throughout the developed world is familiar with toilets A typical flush to let has a ceramic bowl filled with water When the handle is depressed, or the button pushed, the water and everything that s been deposited in it gets sucked into a pipe and from there into the sewage system But how does this actually happen In a study, graduate students


  3. Nilesh Nilesh says:

    The Knowledge Illusion has a reasonably simple idea to start with The authors repeat that numerous times They meander in multiple directions but almost always come back with nothing but vague directives or known generalities Despite the authors own admission towards the end about the topics and discussions sounding commonplace and trying to make a virtue out of the ordinary , a la


  4. Dan Graser Dan Graser says:

    While I enjoy Sloman and Fernbach s very engaging writing style and their deft use of helpful analogies to illustrate certain concepts, I really don t see much here that is original or genuinely thought provoking Maybe it s just me but unless you ve never considered the fact that the things you use on a day to day basis are things you don t fully comprehend, have ever thought that


  5. Emily Emily says:

    Our point is not that people are ignorant It s that people areignorant than they think they are We all suffer, to a greater or lesser extent, from an illusion of understanding, an illusion that we understand how things work when in fact our understanding is meager 8 It s remarkable how easy it is to disabuse people of their illusion you merely have to ask them for an explanationWe h


  6. Kay Kay says:

    I consider this a must read for anyone wanting to understand the polarization of today s society inflamed by social media My reason for reading this is to gain insight for work strategies since the modern approach is to deny what those truly trained in an area have to say What I learned is that none of us know as much as we think we do the knowledge illusion That s not necessarily a


  7. Tiago Faleiro Tiago Faleiro says:

    I loved it While still about general cognitive biases and illusions, it goes well beyond many of the typical books about it Its main premise is that knowledge, at least the vast majority of it, isn t in our heads per se, but rather our intelligence lies in the people and things around us Despite this, though, we feel that it s part of our own knowledge Sloman and Fernbach see this eff


  8. Amber Amber says:

    2.5 starsThere were some very interesting ideas that were explored in this It gives you a greater appreciation for what you don t know The book definitely got me to assess my own knowledge differently Here are some pretty cool quotes from the book that really stood out to me, Our point is not that people are ignorant It s that people areignorant than they think they are We all suffer,


  9. Maukan Maukan says:

    First let s start off with the positives What I thought was engaging was the chapter about forward processes and backward processes A forward process is when you go from cause to effect and a backward process is when you go from an effect to a cause This is self explanatory but we often fall into the trap of making inferences based off of backward processes with little information, con


  10. Kotryna Kotryna says:

    A book about ignorance, focusing on a lack of personal mindfulness in making everyday decisions and the appraisal of hive mentality trusting communal knowledge The main concept of the book is based on all of us thinking we knowthan we do and an importance of trusting expertise of a wider community instead of trying to solve every problem individually.In my opinion, the book is a bit too


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