- Hardcover: 176 pages
- Publisher: Elliott & Thompson Limited (8 Nov. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1908739347
- ISBN-13: 978-1908739346
- Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14.6 x 21 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 605,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Deceived Wisdom: Why What You Thought Was Right Is Wrong Hardcover – 8 Nov 2012
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'At last, a book that blows away many of the urban myths that we've come to accept without questioning. Well written and engrossing' -- --Dr John Emsley, author of 'Nature's Building Blocks' and other popular science books<br \><br \>'Let it be announced from the rooftops that David Bradley has compiled this charming book, Deceived Wisdom, showing that some of the popular Old Wives Tales and things you could have sworn were true because you heard them down the pub are, with the appliance of science, just another charabanc of retired shoe manufacturers ... Good things come in small packages, and I read it in a single session. It's a book you can dip into, one of those things that no well-stocked shelf in the Smallest Room should be without ... if you want a stocking-filler for the geek in your life, especially if they are teenagers and mightn t have come across these before, then this has to be it.' -- --Henry Gee, Occam's Typewriter<br \><br \>'I can't recommend this book highly enough. Not only is it entertaining, but it is also extremely informative, smart, and thorough. While Bradley discusses some complex topics, his clear writing makes reading about these brainteasers a breeze.' -- --Kim Lacey, Guru Magazine
'This is a brilliant book, which presents some really pertinent information in a fun and enjoyable manner ... Bradley reinforces what science is really all about: questioning what you know and never accepting something just because somebody else tells you it's true.' --Paul Blakely, www.unpopularscience.co.uk
About the Author
David Bradley has worked in science communication for almost 25 years. He has written for 'New Scientist', the 'Telegraph', the 'Guardian' and many other publications, as well as contributing to and editing books including 'The Bedside Book of Chemistry'. He has won awards for his writing and blogging, including 'Daily Telegraph' Young Science Writer of the Year. He blogs at www.sciencebase.com and tweets as @sciencebase to more than 20,000 followers. He lives in Cambridge, England, with his wife.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
David Bradley, a top science writer based in the UK puts a plethora of common misconceptions under his microscope and shows you why the stuff that you thought was right is really rubbish.
Written with a light and humorous touch, reading `Deceived Wisdom' will enable you to shoot down dinner-party bores, win endless quiz shows when Stephen Fry invites you to star in `QI' and generally educate yourself beyond the misinformation doled out in primary and secondary schools (and probably quite a few universities.)
I'd browsed the pre-publication extended sampler and enjoyed it - so my wife bought me the real thing and it's a nicely produced hardback book with even more pearls of real wisdom and knowledge. It's science, it's information, and it's fun! Perfect for Xmas stockings...
It was enjoyable enough that I was disappointed when I got to the end. “Too short, too short!” went my irrepressible internal narrative. Leave ‘em wanting more? Hoping there's a sequel planned, anyway.
Did it teach me anything? Well, some of the deceived wisdom presented therein I was able to be smug about. Yes, I knew that, but aren’t some people /silly?/ But yes, it does appear that I’m just as inclined to accept some deceived wisdom as the next guy, sadly. (I’ve “known” why you go pink and wrinkly in the bath for about 45 years, for instance. And the “tea cools you down” thing didn't quie fit with my worldview. Not a bad thing, of course -- and if this helps people challenge some of the things they unthinkingly take for granted, that's probably all to the good!!
I've dropped a star because there's a point where a discussion of the physical ensues from a question about the perceptual (sorry, I'm deliberately trying not to write spoilers!) that I'm not at all sure is justified. Doesn't devalue the science, I guess...
Roll on Vol II !
Thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening read. The familial knowledge chain has now been broken and I will not pass down the 'facts' told to me to my little girl.
The elements of "deceived wisdom" - which are essentially commonly held fallacies/misconceptions - break down into two main groups:
1. Semi-interesting ones (of which there are painfully few)
2. "misconceptions" which aren't actually misconceived by anybody with half a brain ("Recycling is a waste of time and energy" / "the 5-second rule" / "eating sardines can increase your fertility")
I'd even read it on the basis of the few semi-interesting ones if it weren't for the fact that the author presents either no meaningful evidence at all for his conclusions or the flimsiest of evidence only, so that you are left with what is touted as "deceived wisdom" on one hand and the author's say-so on the other.
For instance, in the one about NASA faking the moon landing, his "proof" was that Armstrong's iconic quote wasn't delivered as smoothly as it might have been and so we therefore know the moon landing to be real. How on Earth is that going to convince any non-believers out there? Even though I believe we did land on the moon, if you only read this book you'd be none the wiser. This is certainly what lets the book down the most - it basically says "believe me not everything else you've heard or read your whole life" but the author has not the authority or a good enough command of the facts to carry the reader with him.
Add to this the verbiage and wandering prose style and I'd recommend not wasting your time and money on this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the book I've been waiting for! De-bunks all the things that you have been told (and thought were true). Thanks David Bradley!Published 9 months ago by Bethanne
A nice little book for a nice little price. I wanted just yo expand my common knowledge and this book did it in a clear and non patronizing way. Interesting and small.Published 12 months ago by Justine Knight
A lot of the so-called advice refuting well known and tried solutions did not ring true. Also I found that a lot of the assertions were long winded and did not hold my attention. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Dudley F. Martin
Haven't yet finished it, but am finding it amusing and informative, and full of reminders of my mother's sayings.Published 14 months ago by anneka
I downloaded this book as it was one of the daily deals. I was pleased I did. It challenged several things I thought were true. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Stepas
I bought this book for my son (19 and at Uni) he loves the book. Well written, researched and entertaining.Published on 4 Jan. 2014 by mark ormston
I loved the way this book keeps you involved. You can relate to lots of areas and you will have heard of most of the tales in here. Read morePublished on 3 Jan. 2014 by Dickie
Seems to have been cobbled together after watching a few episodes of QI, only paid 99p on the Kindle daily deal- roughly 99p too muchPublished on 20 Sept. 2013 by Amazon Customer