More people know who Khloe Kardashian is than who Rene Descartes was. Most can't find Delaware on a map, correctly spell the word occurrence, or name the largest ocean on the planet. But how important is it to fill our heads with facts? A few keystrokes can summon almost any information in seconds. Why should we bother learning facts at all?
Bestselling author William Poundstone confronts that timely question in HEAD IN THE CLOUD. He shows that many areas of knowledge correlate with the quality of our lives--wealth, health, and happiness--and even with politics and behavior. Combining Big Data survey techniques with eye-opening anecdotes, Poundstone examines what Americans know (and don't know) on topics ranging from quantum physics to pop culture.
HEAD IN THE CLOUD asks why we're okay with spelling errors on menus but not on resumes; why Fox News viewers don't know which party controls Congress; why people who know "trivia" make more money than those who don't; how individuals can navigate clickbait and media spin to stay informed about what really matters.
Hilarious, humbling, and wildly entertaining, HEAD IN THE CLOUD is a must-read for anyone who doesn't know everything.
|Publisher:||Little, Brown and Company|
|Sold by:||Hachette Digital, Inc.|
|File size:||10 MB|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Introduction: Facts Are Obsolete 3
Part 1 The Dunning-Kruger Effect
1 "I Wore the Juice" 9
2 A Map of Ignorance 40
3 Dumb History 71
4 The One-in-Five Rule 95
5 The Low-Information Electorate 102
Part 2 The Knowledge Premium
6 Putting a Price Tag on Facts 115
7 Elevator-Pitch Science 130
8 Grammar Police, Grammar Hippies 148
9 Nanofame 163
10 Is Shrimp Kosher? 170
11 Philosophers and Reality Stars 177
12 Sex and Absurdity 189
13 Moving the Goalposts 200
14 Marshmallow Test 206
15 The Value of Superficial Learning 219
Part 3 Strategies for a Culturally Illiterate World
16 When Dumbing Down Is Smart 233
17 Curating Knowledge 251
18 The Ice-Cap Riddle 273
19 The Fox and the Hedgehog 287