"My" new book BLIND SPOT pubbing tomorrow!
With all the excitement around here, I’d nearly forgotten that one of my co-writing book projects is pubbing tomorrow.
Blind Spot, which is being published by the HarperCollins imprint, HarperOne, is a book I co-wrote with the British scientist Gordon Rugg, whom I profiled in Wired magazine back in 2004.
For lack of a better expression, Rugg is an “expert on human expertise.” He studies how human beings can acquire profound knowledge yet still manage to screw up. Rugg first garnered international media attention a few years back when he asserted that the freaky Voynich Manuscript—a bizarre book preserved at Yale University—was in fact a hoax.
He claims that the scholars who’ve studied that book for the last 100 years failed to “decode” or “translate” the book because they simply made a mistake—because that’s what experts do. (I should say that his “solution” is still hotly debated.)
Blind Spot uses Rugg’s Voynich findings as a jumping-off point for discussing other types of expert errors. The book is what publishers call a “big think” or “Gladwellian” book, and it was certainly interesting to work on. Just a week or so ago, Rugg revealed another twist on his Voynich work at the online ‘zine, Tablet. I just noticed thatThe Millions also linked to that article.
People sometimes ask how I work these co-writing projects. The truth is, every one is different. In this case, Rugg was kind to let me share a byline on the cover, but since the book’s content is 100 percent out of Rugg’s brain, he will do the bulk of the media interviews and outreach.
Here’s the publisher’s pitch for Blind Spot:
“What can chess masters teach us about how humans become experts?
Why can’t race car drivers explain decisions they’ve made behind the wheel?
What does predicting the winner of a soccer match say about our ability to make the right choice?
When we talk about experts, we typically have bought into the idea that they have all the answers. Now, in this groundbreaking book, Gordon Rugg exposes the surprising ways in which all people tend to make the same sorts of mistakes, regardless of what field they are in, how smart they are, or even their level of expertise. Focusing on why and how we make decisions, Rugg offers insight into what motivates us, how we fail to find the answers we are looking for, how we can learn to ask the essential questions, and more.
Rugg has devoted his life to learning how experts solve problems. He gained international attention after arguing persuasively that the famous Voynich Manuscript is a hoax. Now, he demonstrates his techniques in the Verifier Method, which can be applied to any seemingly unsolvable problem.
Drawing on his personal odyssey in the field of human expertise, Rugg makes astute and entertaining conclusions about how and why we inevitably fail, and explains how to make better mistakes, work backward, and reengineer the ways we pursue success.”
If the premise intrigues you, check out the links below: