The one thing you can’t Google is what you ought to be looking up.
William Poundstone is to modern knowledge as Aziz Ansari is to modern romance. That’s the best way I can describe this book. Head in the Cloud is an interesting look at how knowledge correlates with other aspects of the modern person’s life; it’s full of charts and graphs, it’s highly quotable and the author has a sense of humor.
- Scientists believe that early humans hunted dinosaurs such as Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus. True of false?
Those who said true wanted the border fence; those who said false didn’t.
- Rules like these exist because politicians who don’t know much about history can win votes from constituents who know even less- by telling historians and educators how to write textbooks.
- Vine is said to have more than two hundred “celebrities” with at least a million followers. In the future, everyone will be famous on a social network you’ve never heard of.
- Using a “gluten-free” label is like printing money. It can be slapped on practically anything, including foods that never had gluten in the first place.
- We all know “bad” cooks who swear they follow recipes to the letter. I wonder how many culinary failures can be traced back to the measuring-spoon confusion.
Poundstone covers a variety of topics at breakneck speed and he can be a little condescending at times. I consider myself well educated but there were a few facts he seemed shocked people didn’t know that I had either didn’t know or felt that I knew the answer at one time but had since forgotten.
You’ll either find this one fun and interesting or you won’t even bother to pick it up.