Journalist David McRaney has very recently published a popular book on human rationality. The book, You Are Not So Smart, is currently the 3rd best selling book in Nonfiction/Philosophy on Amazon.com after less than a week on the market. (Eighth best selling book in Nonfiction/Education)
The tag-line of the project is: "A celebration of self-delusion." As such the book seems less an attempt at giving advice on how to act and decide, than an attempt to reveal, chapter by chapter, the folly of common sense.
Topics include: Hindsight Bias, Confirmation bias, The Sunk Cost Fallacy, Anchoring Effect, The Illusion of Transparency, The Just World Fallacy, Representativeness Heuristic, The Perils of Introspection, The Dunning-Kruger Effect, The Monty Hall Problem, The Bystander Effect, Placebo Buttons, Groupthink, Conformity, Social Loafing, Helplessness, Cults, Change Blindness, Self-Fulfilling Prophecies, Self Handicapping, Availability Heuristic, Self-Serving Bias, The Ultimatum Game, Inattentional Blindness.
These are topics we enjoy learning about, pride ourself in knowing a lot about, and, we profess, we would want more people to know about. A popular book on this subject is now out. This sounds like a good thing.
I will note that the blog features at least one direct quote from LessWrong.
We always know what we mean by our words, and so we expect others to know it too. Reading our own writing, the intended interpretation falls easily into place, guided by our knowledge of what we really meant. It’s hard to empathise with someone who must interpret blindly, guided only by the words.
- Eliezer Yudowsky from Lesswrong.com
One one hand, You Are Not So Smart could bee a boon to Eliezer's popular rationality book by priming the market. His writings on a given topic have rarely been described as redundant. On the other hand, it seems to me that this book closely covers a number of topics, seemingly in a similar style to the treatments that were published on this site and Overcoming Bias. Intended to be published in book form at a later date. I will try to refrain from speculation here.
Sample blook chapters from YouAreNotSoSmart:
I'll save the rest of my review until I have actually read the book.
In the meantime I would like to know your thoughts on this project.