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True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society
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True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  510 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews

Picture yourself at a college football championship game. Cheering fans of both teams clog the stands. The play is rough, and the crowd is fed up. Supporters of each side insist that their own guys are playing fair but the other team is clearly breaking the rules. How can both sides be right? According to the surprising insights of True Enough, they are: when sports fans c

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Published January 1st 2008 by Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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(showing 1-30 of 1,211)
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Nov 10, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my election 2008 attempt-to-escape-the-news read. And it served its purpose well. It covers an awful lot of ground, but its main point is this. People tend to interpret and understand new information in a way that accords with their existing views. Just as fans of opposing teams "see" different football games (and blame referees accordingly), consumers "see" different news reports. And although we look for truth (to a point), we are seeking information that jibes with our beliefs and af ...more
Nicholas Karpuk
Not living up to the title irks me, even if the book remains thought-provoking and readable.

When you entitle a book with something like, "Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society", there's an implication that you might drop a few bits of wisdom on what the hell you should actually do about the current state of affairs.

Farhad Manjoo sets up his arguments quite well, asserting that the changes in media and the way humans think has led to a fractured culture where people don't merely disagree but de
May 31, 2008 Philip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction

There's really nothing new in Manjoo's book. Yes, I realize that I'm always being sold something. Yes, I realize that I have a pre-existing mindset. I know that there are right wing lobbyists that are always up to their nefarious ends...

The book wasn’t bad though. It just reiterated what I already knew. It relied heavily on some sociology experiments that were rather fun to read about, and heaven knows I would never pick up “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,” or “Journal of Medical
Mar 30, 2016 AdiTurbo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enlightening look at how we consume and process information, and what influences our choice of media outlets and content. Manjoo explains very clearly our biases, and how modern technology and historical changes affected the ways we now decide what is true. Very well-written, easy to understand, full of fascinating anecdotes and examples.
Jan 04, 2016 Will rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When you are watching your favorite sports team, you may be seeing a completely different game than the spectators on the other side of the field. Through selective perception, people perceive reality based upon their personal biases; thus, an individual creates his or her own reality. Farhad Manjoo's True Enough provides insight into the dangers of a fragmented society. Manjoo discusses the 1951 football game between Princeton and Dartmouth. Fans on both sides walked away from the game with div ...more
May 05, 2010 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like Malcolm Gladwell-esque social science books about how other people think and why they act the way they do, this is the book for you. If you've ever wondered how people can be so blind to the facts, or draw such stupid conclusions, or watch Fox News, "True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society" explains it all.

Manjoo, who now writes for Slate (but who wrote for Salon when the book was published) uses real-life case-studies to illustrate and illuminate how bias in the media,
Wil Wheaton
Jun 05, 2009 Wil Wheaton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: media critics, news junkies, people who liked the Fark book,
Shelves: political
True Enough is a quick and accessible read that never drags or becomes uninteresting. It's all very well-researched and very interesting, but I just wish that, having explained how and why we've come to live in a post-fact society, Farhad Manjoo had spent at least a few pages talking about how we can dig ourselves out of a world where Truthiness has taken over.

I thought this was a great companion to Drew Curtis' It's Not News It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News (disclosure:
Jul 24, 2014 BLACK CAT rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture
Know who is sponsoring the information and where it is coming from.
Be aware of cognitive behavioral biases.
Try to be objective.
Read from source you don't normally read to enrich your point of view.
Open your mind a be ready to embrace different information and create an informed opinion.
Oct 22, 2009 Margaret rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, media
I didn't like this book much, even though I entirely agree with the author's premise. I'm interested in the media and societal theories Manjoo discusses, but the writing was a bit dull and didn't hold my interest. I didn't learn anything from it that I didn't already know, probably because I'm already quite familiar with this subject.
Jan 25, 2016 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give this three stars for my own experience of reading it, but because I think the message is so important, and because I think there are a lot of people still blind to this, I tacked on a star for content. The author points out how 'reality' has been hijacked in all kinds of directions and a good deal of what we see and hear (on television, radio, internet) is deceptive - regardless of which side of an issue we agree with. He writes of the "amateurization of expertise", in which people ...more
Tim Chang
Dec 17, 2012 Tim Chang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book spotlights some terrifying implications around the fragmentation and silo-ing of media...and the effects can already be clearly seen in the flavoring of news programs, blogs, etc. :(

Key points for me:
- selective exposure: psych coping mechanism to reinforce listening to what one wants to hear and already believes. E.g. Smoking/cancer test in 60s, Alive & Well AIDS,
- media fragmentation: people can live in their own parallel versions of realities not based on fact/science (John Ker
Roger Leonhardt
Do we twist the things we read and watch to match our own beliefs? Do we dismiss those things that do not fit in our worldview? This book says "yes".

This Book was OK, but claiming to be non-partisan, he still has a bias. Those on the right are considered unintelligent (Rush Limbaugh) but the left just bend the truth (Truthers). He claims, according to research, Republicans are more likely to be bias in their information than Democrats.

He believes that those who disagree with Global warming are
Jul 25, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?" --George Carlin

"This isn't about what is . . . it's about what people think is. It's all imaginary anyway. That's why it's important. People only fight over imaginary things." --Neil Gaiman, American Gods

"If they think it's the truth, then they believe it, and if they believe it long enough, then it becomes the truth." --Jason Carter Eaton, The Facttracker

"Each of us thinks tha
Mark Valentine
Mar 13, 2016 Mark Valentine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prescient, insightful, graceful writing, and valuable. Manjoo has provided a handbook for critical thinking in the next decade and beyond. I found it even and balanced.

His chapters concern how "reality" is splitting in two, the New Tribalism in digital communications and social systems, trusting your perceptions about 9/11 conspiracies, the Bush/Kerry election of 2004...but I found the best usefulness for me in the final, full chapter, "Truthiness" everywhere. In that chapter, Manjoo exposes th
Jun 19, 2015 Joseph rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This could have been a good book, but Manjoo is the type of modern day political sycophant who doesn't understand that his base opinions are rooted in a far-left ideology. The theoretical points in the book are "true enough," but the overall impact of the book is lessened by Manjoo only attacking the right and making the left seem as though they are guilt-free in creating the depraved media culture that we're saddled with today.
Erin Brownback
This book was very average throughout. Then I got to the end and thought the epilogue might be stronger, and it ended up being even weaker than the rest and pulling it down to below average. There were some interesting pieces of information about events and social campaigns. But the main point was weak and not compelling. Also, I found that the author often utilized the agenda-driven techniques that he was condemning in others. For instance, he talked about big tobacco and the anti-smoking campa ...more
Allen Ng
Jun 25, 2016 Allen Ng rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was written 8 years ago, but what it explains is incredibly salient now if not more so. Welcome to the Rashomon world - pick whatever niche reality you want to live in, don't let something like objectivity and facts stop you. Climate change is a hoax? Sure. HIV doesn't cause AIDS? Alright. Just plug into one of the many informational echo chambers that appease you.

Highly readable short book - 1-2 day read. The only complaint I have is that the subtitle is a bit misleading. After explaining
Attempts to answer the important question: "How can so many people who live in the same place see the world so differently?"

Belongs on the shelf with The Republican Brain and The Filter Bubble.

Manjoo's argument identifies four factors that have contributed to the proliferation of competing realities:

1) Selective Exposure - consuming information that confirms your presuppositions and avoiding information that complicates them

2) Selective Perception - interpreting documentary proof according y
Oct 16, 2015 Richard marked it as to-read-3rd  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by: NY Times article "Texts Without Context"
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is mentioned in the thoughtful-if-long New York Times Magazine article "Texts Without Context", which explores how technology is altering the way we absorb ideas, especially the written word, and how that change in subjectivity is setting us up for subtle but radical shifts in everything from political discourse to the rights of authors.

With respect to this book itself, the article includes the following paragraph:
As Mr. Manjoo observes in “True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact
Joe Robles
Sep 22, 2012 Joe Robles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a truly fascinating book that I just happened to finish reading at the same time as I was catching up on my Freakanomics podcasts. The podcast on Media Bias, offered even more support for Manjoo's argument on the subjective ways in which people on both sides of the political spectrum construct their reality.

My favorite part, which I think should be required reading during elections, is about the Weak/Strong Consonant/Dissonant arguments and how we are prone to react to them. In a study t
Jun 17, 2013 Tobias rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Manjoo's point is simple. In a world where people can get their news on any issue on the internet, they can select from a wide variety of sources. This impacts what we know, because these sources emphasize different perspectives, and do so differently, and sometimes dishonestly. These sources contain biases, usually political ones, or because they vary in terms of quality, and most importantly, in terms of their target readership. They seek a particular audience, and this audience in return seek ...more
Jul 05, 2009 Nigel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-book-a-week
I really like what Manjoo has to say about technology and geeky techy stuff in the column he writes for Slate. I sort of thought his book might build off that, and talk about how technology and the Internet impact the way we perceive what is "true" and what we believe. That wound up being a very, very small part of this book. I'm not even sure what the majority of the book was about. It was just a disjointed ramble about cable news hacks (Lou Dobbs gets an entire chapter), Steven Colbert's "trut ...more
Todd Martin
Jan 25, 2009 Todd Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture-politics
Let me start off by saying that True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society is the best book I've read in a long time.

In it, Manjoo sets out to make three main points:
1) People consume news in such a way as to confirm their own preconceived biases and notions of the way in which the world works.
2) With the splintering of media (tv > cable, newspapers > web, etc) it has become easier than ever before for individuals to only expose themselves to information which supports their wor
Sep 15, 2009 Ralph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of what I read now has to do with sociology and psychology, as it is at least peripherally useful when it comes to my job which involves influencing people. This book offers some ideas that I haven't heard of before, concepts of weak and strong dissonance, and the idea that different political leanings result in different reactions to weak dissonance and strong dissonance. I highly recommend this book to anyone who takes for granted that people can be convinced by reason alone--and especia ...more
Mar 11, 2010 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Josh Meyer
Feb 28, 2013 Josh Meyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society by Farhad Manjoo is a well-crafted book that presents through the use of many examples how the quest for information is incredibly clouded by several outside and often conflicting influences. This book delves into the not so obvious ways in which politics, corporations, powerful publishers with agendas have affected both the content of information that is presented by news sources as well as the “slant” that the information is given, even when ...more
Sep 12, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 22, 2009 Dina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really terrific, as might be evidenced by the fact that I flew through it in three days. But don't let that fool you - it wasn't all fluff and non-sense. There are some really great ideas in here and though the information is mildly complex and riddled with sociological terms, it never feels intimidating or unreadable; in fact, I'd say it reads like the perfect text book on modern mainstream media. A lot of ground is covered - how the left and right differ in their thinking, why th ...more
Jun 25, 2008 Daver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a really good book that made me think quite a bit. Specifically, the changes in the way the news has been presented over the years were interesting. The concept of "naive realism" was especially intriguing.

I have a favorite paragraph, want to hear it? Here it goes:

"For people who feel strongly about an issue - for Apples fanatics, for abortion partisans, for folks who think they know the truth about global warming or what's going on in the Middle East - reality feels distinct and lumino
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