11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Interesting but dry,
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This review is from: Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail and Why We Believe them Anyway (Paperback)I came to this book having read Dan Gardner's excellent previous one, Risk. The purpose of this one is to explain that the so called "experts" who occupy most of the space in mainstream media are very seldom right, despite their claims to be so. This is basically because the commentators attractive to news editors are the ones who can express neatly packaged certain, dogmatic, opinions because they don't deviate from their own overarching theory about their topic - and are therefore often wrong. The more considered experts, who are only willing to give much broader, qualified (i.e. boring) views are shunted to the sidelines. And, as other reviewers have said, while that point is both interesting and important, it can be summed up fairly quickly and isn't really all that surprising. So in the end, the book is left making that same point again and again in different ways with pages and pages of very dry examples. As a consequence its modest 268 pages feel like very heavy weather indeed and while the concept is fascinating, it just isn't fuel enough for a whole book. The subject is, if anything, more a footnote to the broader issue of the pre-packaging of news.