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Cover of The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone.

The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone

author: Steven Sloman (2017)
date read: 2020-01-03
pages: 304
lists: five-stars , nonfiction , personal-development , psychology
rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I finally finished The Knowledge Illusion. The five stars here are given despite the writing: It annoyed me a lot, but the thoughts in the book are important enough that they changed my thinking on some issues, so five stars are appropriate.

That said: I liked a lot of the thoughts in it, and I disliked large parts of the writing (both the forced humour and the wandering repetitious examples). I think it would have benefited from strong editing. Despite my annoyance with the style and some of the discussion branches, I liked the core points they make very much.

The part where we know little about our surroundings is something I think about a lot since I can remember. Occasionally it turns into what I call “supply chain anxiety”, when I start over-focusing on all the things I can’t know, and it’s been nice to read discussion of this issue. The part that was new for me concerned group intelligence, and the idea of focusing on group performance and intelligence over individuals. It’s cool and makes sense, and I have a bunch of nonverbal intuitions on this topic that I’m hoping to flesh out in the future.


1/ The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone by Steven Sloman. Useful discussion of knowledge scope and storage: We think in groups, and we store information in our surroundings and in others. Changed how I think about information and about grief. https://books.rixx.de/reviews/2020/the-knowledge-illusion-why-we-never-think-alone/
1/ The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone by Steven Sloman. Useful discussion of knowledge scope and storage: We think in groups, and we store information in our surroundings and in others. Changed how I think about information and about grief. https://books.rixx.de/reviews/2020/the-knowledge-illusion-why-we-never-think-alone/ #rixxReads

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