Cathy's Reviews > Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error

Being Wrong by Kathryn Schulz
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's review
Sep 02, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, non-fiction
Read in August, 2010

I don't know about you but I'm rarely, if ever, wrong. No, really! I'm almost always right and the same is probably true of you. As Kathryn Schulz, author of Being Wrong; Adventures in the Margin of Error, explains, it's almost hardwired in humans to dislike being mistaken. Being wrong, even about minor things, makes almost everyone so incredibly, throughly uncomfortable that we often can't admit to ourselves that we've made a mistake. Yet, being wrong is also a key to growth and essential to our identity according to Schulz.
Although the book gets off to a ponderous start, once it picks up speed, it becomes a thought provoking exploration of every conceivable aspect of being wrong. What if we're wrong about our core belief system? What if, as a witness to a crime, we testify against the wrong person? What about medical mistakes? How do we live with ourselves once monumental errors are revealed?
Ultimately Schulz concludes that our optimism in the face of a lifetime of errors is what allows us to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and continue toward the goal despite previous mishaps and mistakes. Ultimately we're stronger for the failures along the way and readers will be better for tackling Schulz's book too.
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