What I’ve been reading lately #5

Everyday Survival by Laurence Gonzales was a random selection from the library new book shelf. Actually I picked it up, looked at it, scoffed at the topic, and put it down. Then I couldn’t help myself and ran back over to pick it up.

The object of the book is describe what goes on in your brain when you do stupid things. There are a lot of authorial anecdotes, many of which are when he was in “vacation mode” and not really paying attention in a normal way, like getting lost in a small area while hiking, or mistaking a real snake for a fake snake. With each anecdote I was able to fill in my own personal experience of when I too was that dumb.

This is a very freeing book. Every page I have to say “Oh my god, I thought I was just stupid when I did that. I didn’t know it was hard-wired into humans!” Now many of you (I think just Mike) feel that my love of evolutionary psychology is misguided, but I just can’t help myself. Falsifiability be damned! Certainly this book is very compelling, even if it is a series of just-so stories. I will add, however, that the author started out as a rock-and-roll novelist, and also writes about travel and aviation. So I can’t vouch for the science in this book, only for the story-telling.