Based on his popular blog by the same name, David McRaney’s You Are Not So Smart is a book about the self delusion that all human beings suffer from, manifesting itself in our daily lives and our decision-making from the things we buy, to the friends we choose on Facebook.
Summary Of The Book
You Are Not So Smart is a liberating attempt to highlight some of the ways in which people adopt a false sense of superiority, and that deep down, we are all more or less similar in the ways that we tend to delude ourselves. Divided into 48 chapters, each dealing with a particular facet of human self-delusion, the book connects theories of psychology and scientific studies with everyday human behaviour, urging us to accept certain inevitable facts which can not be overcome, as inherent to human nature.
You Are Not So Smart suggests that despite the extensive friend list we take pride in displaying on Facebook, humans can only keep up with a certain number of friends at any given time. This number is referred to as Dunbar’s number. Another revelation is that tasks that are done repeatedly lead us into adopting incorrect shortcuts, and making mistakes rather than performing them better. Also, when working in a group, people put in considerably less effort than what they would, had they been working alone. These are some of the thought provoking subjects under discussion in this book.
The underlying theme of You Are Not So Smart is that people should more or less resign themselves to the fact that human memory deteriorates with time, and that many decisions taken are not necessarily the right or best ones. In fact, the book shows that humans are irrational and can be manipulated easily as their conscious minds are filled with biases and influenced by evolution more than they would like to admit. An awareness of this not so smart behaviour breaks the bubble of the carefully cultivated air of superiority, allowing us to accept ourselves as humble creations of nature, vulnerable to the pitfalls and dangers of snap judgement, procrastination, so on and so forth.
The book received overall positive reviews from readers, book clubs, and literary experts across the world, including Psychology Today and David Eagleman, a Neuroscientist and author of Incognito: The Secret Lives Of Our Brain.
About David McRaney
David McRaney is a journalist, TV producer, blogger and author. As a journalist, he covered Hurricane Katrina extensively, contributing articles to numerous publications. He has also written books such as You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself.
Fond of the internet, technology, and psychology, McRaney has dabbled in many fields before going to college, such as owning pet stores, working in construction, installing electrical panels, waiting tables, and selling leather coats. At present, he works in media for a broadcast television company.
A real eye-opener
Pradhan S P
Certified Buyer, Durgapur