Everything is Obvious

Everything is Obvious : Why Common Sense is Nonsense

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"Why is the Mona Lisa the most famous painting in the world? Why did Facebook succeed when other social networking sites failed? Did the surge in Iraq really lead to less violence? And does higher pay incentivize people to work harder? If you think the answers to these questions are a matter of common sense, think again. As sociologist and network science pioneer Duncan Watts explains in this provocative book, the explanations that we give for the outcomes that we observe in life-explanations that seem obvious once we know the answer-are less useful than they seem. Watts shows how commonsense reasoning and history conspire to mislead us into thinking that we understand more about the world of human behavior than we do; and in turn, why attempts to predict, manage, or manipulate social and economic systems so often go awry. Only by understanding how and when common sense fails can we improve how we plan for the future, as well as understand the present-an argument that has important implications in politics, business, marketing, and even everyday life."

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  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 28mm | 322.05g
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • 184887216X
  • 9781848872165
  • 64,782

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"Mr. Watts, a former sociology professor and physicist who is now a researcher for Yahoo, has written a fascinating book that ranges through psychology, economics, marketing and the science of social networks." - "The Wall Street Journal" "It's about time a sociologist wrote an amazing and accessible book for a non-specialist audience. Everything Is Obvious*: Once You Know the Answer by Duncan J. Watts is that amazing book." - "Inside Higher Ed" "In this bold thesis, renowned network scientist Duncan J. Watts exposes the complex mechanics of judgement and proposes a radical new way of thinking about human behaviour."-- Scott Wilson, The Fringe Magazine "Common sense is a kind of bespoke make-believe, and we can no more use it to scientifically explain the workings of the social world than we can use a hammer to understand mollusks." -- Nicholas Christakis, The New York Times """Everything is Obvious"" is engagingly writ

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About Duncan J. Watts

Duncan Watts is a principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research, and a former professor of sociology at Columbia University. His research on social networks and collective dynamics has appeared in a wide range of academic journals, including Nature, Science, and the American Journal of Sociology. He is also the author of two previous books, Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age; and Small Worlds: The Dynamics of Networks between Order and Randomness. He lives in New York.

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