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Posts Tagged ‘The Invisible Gorilla And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us’

“Oh, my god! Did you see the gorilla?”

“No. Where?”

“On the riding lawn mower.”

“That’s no gorilla. That’s my Dad.”

“Wow, you two look a lot alike.”

“Yeah, when I get on my Mom’s back that’s what she says ‘You two look, act, and smell alike. I”ll be glad when you’re married off.’”

“Man, what is it with moms?”

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It’s not often that a book totally debunks a reader and keeps him smiling, but The Invisible Gorilla And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us does it. Written by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, two bald guys who lay it on thick about their degrees, positions, and important friends. But then, we know what is said about bald guys who hang out together.

First, they demonstrate what a worthless eyewitness we make most of the time. If you are out looking for deer you’re going to miss the eagle over head. If you’re looking for faults you will rarely see the good things about a person. The things you miss are just as plain as a gorilla standing in front of you.

You may give up using your cell phone while driving after only one chapter of the book. At least, your friends and neighbors hope so.

There is not a dull chapter in the book, and every chapter can make you a better person if you apply what you learned. This book might even get you through the sullen and conflict riddled teen years of your children. The book speaks to a more reliable trust and understanding than parental love alone.

We may all know both the limitations and good uses of our intuitions, but it is hard to make use of that understanding in the rush to survive each day with the will to try again tomorrow. Even a partial application would slow the rush. Rereading the book may give you time to avoid serious damage.

I suggest you stash the book among your cookbooks or in the drawer of your bedside table because those are two places no family member will go near. Decline to loan it to anyone as they will never get it back to you.

This recommendation comes from a 74 year old man who has not worked in years, occasionally talks to himself but never in front of others, and who knows no one of importance that he is aware of. You might say hello but would you trust him to watch your gorilla while you go to the restroom? Charles Marlin

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