Being Wrong

Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz As Kathryn Schulz writes, this book is not a defense against errors; it is a defense of errors because errors are essential to who we are. Errors are inseparably linked to things like our intelligence and our science. You cannot remove error without damagingContinue reading “Being Wrong”


Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera and Ebola to Beyond by Sonia Shaw  “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it” (paraphrase of George Santayana).[i] Sonia Shaw’s Pandemic was published in 2016, but reads like it was written in the summer of 2020—it seems prescient. That’s because Shaw knows her history, unlike tooContinue reading “Pandemic”

Q and A with Breakeven Books

A little something different from the book reviews. I asked Erik from Breakeven Books some questions and he’s kindly answered. I have a bit at the end about Erik and what I’ve learned from him. Do you remember at what age you realized just how much you liked reading? I can’t remember what age exactly.Continue reading “Q and A with Breakeven Books”

The Death of Expertise Part III: The Ugly

This is Part III of the 3-section review, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. The Ugly is that Nichols has a habit of leaving out crucial information that would contradict his stereotype narrative. And it gets uglier. Here’s a simple example. He selectively quotes Dr. David Dunning (of the famous Dunning-Kruger paper mentioned inContinue reading “The Death of Expertise Part III: The Ugly”

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World

by Steve Brusatte This book about the “Age of Dinosaurs”, which lasted nearly 200 million years (see blue highlighted Mesozoic era), was an entertaining read. The general public underestimates the length of time dinosaurs lived. There is more time between Stegosaurus and T. rex (80-95 million years) than there is between T. rex and usContinue reading “The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World”

The Death of Expertise Part II: The Bad

This is Part II of the 3-part review entitled The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. As mentioned in Part I (The Good) the great irony of the book is that Nichols lacks the expertise to write on the death of expertise, but it does not mean he’s wrong in general. Carl Sagan said manyContinue reading “The Death of Expertise Part II: The Bad”

The Ice at The End of the World

An Epic Journey into Greenland’s Buried Past and Our Perilous Future by Jon Gertner In The Ice at the End of the World, Jon Gertner explains how Greenland has evolved from one of earth’s last frontiers to its largest scientific laboratory. The history of Greenland’s ice begins with the explorers who arrived here at the turn ofContinue reading “The Ice at The End of the World”

The Death of Expertise Part I: The Good

The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters by Tom Nichols Tom Nichols’ The Death of Expertise shows how this rejection of experts has occurred: the openness of the internet, the emergence of a customer satisfaction model in higher education, and the transformation of the news industry into a 24-hour entertainment machine,Continue reading “The Death of Expertise Part I: The Good”

Saving God From Religion

A Minister’s Search for Faith in a Skeptical Age by Robin R. Meyers I initially read this book because I thought Meyers was going to relate religion to quantum physics so I wanted to highlight inevitable errors non-scientists commit when discussing science. However, this didn’t happen, and the book surprised me with its insights. Meyers’Continue reading “Saving God From Religion”