Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas by Cass R. Sunstein

This book is a series of essays by America's "most cited legal scholar" who has been at the "forefront of applied behavioural economics" for decades. Basically, I picked up this book because of the phrase "behavoural economics", which is a topic I'm interested in.

Basically, this book is about different issues and what the author thinks of them. These issues include:
- Animal rights
- Conspiracy theories and why people believe them
- The second bill of rights
- Climate Change
- Trimming

and more. There are a total of 11 essays in this book.

Personally, I didn't find the essays to be as "inflammatory" as the blurb had me believing. Even for the pieces where I disagreed with the authors stance, I wasn't so much 'inflamed' as 'interested and perhaps mildly amused'.

Why? Because it's easy to see where the author's bias lies. I'm not sure if the author even tried being objective, but I'm assuming that he wrote these essays aware of his various biases and his worldview. Since he has a worldview different from mine, I found it only natural that he and I disagreed over certain issues.

My favourite essay has got to be the one about Trimming. I've never heard of the term before, and I found this essay to be entertaining and informative.

If you're looking for an opinionated but not that in-your-face sort of book, you should consider giving this book a go. I wouldn't call it "factual", but it is good to read different opinions every now and then.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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