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Extended Audio Sample Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, by Kathryn Schulz Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,051 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kathryn Schulz Narrator: Mia Barron Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“Both wise and clever, full of fun and surprise about a topic so central to our lives that we almost never even think about it.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

In the tradition of The Wisdom of Crowds and Predictably Irrational comes Being Wrong, an illuminating exploration of what it means to be in error, and why homo sapiens tend to tacitly assume (or loudly insist) that they are right about most everything. Kathryn Schulz, editor of Grist magazine, argues that error is the fundamental human condition and should be celebrated as such. Guiding the reader through the history and psychology of error, from Socrates to Alan Greenspan, Being Wrong will change the way you perceive screw-ups, both of the mammoth and daily variety, forever.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An insightful and delightful discussion of the errors of our ways…Schulz combines lucid prose with perfect comic timing…She is not just a quotable writer; she is also a canny and original observer, adept at point out things that we should’ve known, but didn’t.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A funny and philosophical meditation on why error is mostly a humane, courageous, and extremely desirable human trait…If admiring this book is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”

    New York Times

  • “Intellectualism made fun! Not many books manage to drop names like Voltaire, Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin, Foucault, and Plato and still be entertaining. Ever fewer manage to blend Socrates and Beyoncé in the same sentence without missing a beat. But Schulz does.”


  • “An erudite, playful rumination on error.”

    Washington Post

  • “Beguiling and provocative…A book about changing your mind and changing how we use our minds.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Lovely…forbiddingly clever and vexingly wise.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Reading Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error is almost as much fun as being right.…An intellectual history of changing definitions of and attitudes toward error…To err, writes Schulz, ‘is to find adventure.’ Traveling with Schulz as guide through Being Wrong is…a fine adventure.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • A 2010 Guardian First Book Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Bekah | 2/17/2014

    " I won this as a first reads book. this was a very interesting and thought provoking read. I really enjoyed the issues the author raised about our fear of error being in opposition to our need to embrace and acknowledge our own fallibility in order to reduce error. I highly recommend the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Phantom | 2/17/2014

    " I am consistently bowled over by Schulz's book reviews and essays, but this book never managed to get out of its own way, and its insights were disappointingly thin. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Katherine | 2/15/2014

    " This is one for the book-pushers club - that is having finished it, I'm preparing to buy a bunch of copies to push onto people I believe might love it, too. The writing reminds me a bit of Mary Roach - dry wit, great footnotes and the amazing ability to make science and philosophy sexy - this is non-fiction at its creative and furious best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Marjorie Elwood | 1/30/2014

    " A fascinating and erudite investigation into error: how it is defined, what the causes are, and - eventually - what the benefits are. From the book: "To err is to wander, and wandering is the way we discover the world; and, lost in thought, it is also the way we discover ourselves. Being right might be gratifying, but in the end it is static, a mere statement. Being wrong is hard and humbling, and sometimes even dangerous, but in the end it is a journey, and a story. Who really wants to stay home and be right when you can don your armor, spring up on your steed and go forth to explore the world? True, you might get lost along the way, get stranded in a swamp, have a scare at the edge of a cliff; thieves might steal your gold, brigands might imprison you in a cave, sorcerers might turn you into a toad - but what of that? To fuck up is to find adventure." "

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