The power of curiosity, storytelling podcasts, and other matters

5th July, 2021

I was interviewed by the EdSurge podcast on the subject of curiosity and misinformation. “It’s never been easier to fool yourself,” I said (apparently). “It’s never been easier to put yourself into a bubble, into an echo chamber. But at the same time, it’s never been easier to get really high-quality help—to ask smart questions and to go deep.”

Meanwhile I have been reading some very fine books that are not out yet, including Rutherford & Fry’s Complete Guide to Absolutely Everything and Michael Brooks’s The Art of More. Both worth a pre-order, proper reviews to follow in due course.

I also read Alan Garner’s Boneland, the sequel-that-is-not-a-sequel to brilliant children’s fantasy stories The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath. I liked it, but it’s such a different book. (Mild spoilers: Colin is in his forties and appears to have lost his mind. He thinks that he used to have a twin, Susan, but he cannot remember. Colin also worries that his therapist is a witch. Do not expect all this to be resolved with an exciting fight with svarts and bodachs.)

Last week I recommended Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History. This week, a shout out for Jill Lepore’s wise and wide-ranging The Last Archive (season two just finished, go binge) and Matthew Syed’s very clever Sideways podcast.

The paperback of “How To Make The World Add Up” is now out. US title: “The Data Detective”. I’ve set up a storefront on Bookshop in the United States and the United Kingdom – have a look and see all my recommendations; Bookshop is set up to support local independent retailers.

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