Everything Is Obvious: How Common Sense Fails Us (Paperback)
How Common Sense Fails Us
Crown Business, 9780307951793, 368pp.
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
About the Author
Praise For Everything Is Obvious: How Common Sense Fails Us…
"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 written and sparkles with counter-intuitive insights. Its modesty about what can and cannot be known also compares favourably with other “big idea” books.”
— James Crabtree, comment editor Financial Times
"Every once in a while, a book comes along that forces us to re-examine what we know and how we know it. This is one of those books. And while it is not always pleasurable to realize the many ways in which we are wrong, it is useful to figure out the cases where our intuitions fail us."
- Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University, and New York Times bestselling author of Predictably Irrational
“A deep and insightful book that is a joy to read. There are new ideas on every page, and none of them is obvious!”
-Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and author of Stumbling on Happiness
"A brilliant account of why, for every hard question, there’s a common sense answer that’s simple, seductive, and spectacularly wrong. If you are suspicious of pop sociology, rogue economics, and didactic history – or, more importantly, if you aren’t! – Everything is Obvious is necessary reading. It will literally change the way you think."
- Eric Klinenberg, Professor of Sociology. New York University
"You have to take notice when common sense, the bedrock thing we’ve always counted on, is challenged brilliantly. Especially when something better than common sense is suggested. As we increasingly experience the world as a maddeningly complex blur, we need a new way of seeing. The fresh ideas in this book, like the invention of spectacles, help bring things into better focus."
- Alan Alda
“Everything is Obvious is indicated for managers, scholars, or anyone else tired of oversimplified, faulty explanations about how business, government, society and even sports work. Temporary side effects of reading Duncan Watts' tour de force include: light-headedness, a tendency to question one's colleagues, temporary doubt in one's own strategies. Long term effects include: Deeper insight into history, current events, corporate politics and any other human activity that involves more than one person at a time. Everything is Obvious is available without a prescription.”
- Dalton Conley, Dean for the Social Sciences, New York University
"A truly important work that's bound to rattle the cages of pseudo- and self-proclaimed experts in every field. If this book doesn't force you to re-examine what you're doing, something is wrong with you."
- Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, and co-founder of Alltop.com.
"Watts brings science to life. A complicated, global, interconnected world, one which often overwhelms, is tamed by wit, skepticism, and the power to challenge conventional wisdom. The book will help you see patterns, where you might have thought chaos ruled."
-Sudhir Venkatesh, William B. Ransford Professor of Sociology at Columbia University