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Episode 13 – Kathryn Schulz

Smart People Podcast

"Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error" by Kathryn Schulz

“Why is it so fun to be right? As pleasures go, it is, after all, a second-order one at best. Unlike many of life’s other delights – chocolate, surfing, kissing – it does not enjoy any mainline access to our biochemistry: to our appetites, our adrenal glands, our limbic systems, our swoony hearts.  And yet, the thrill of being right is undeniable, universal, and (perhaps most oddly) almost entirely undiscriminating.  We can’t enjoy kissing just anyone, but we can relish being right about almost anything.”

-Kathryn Schulz, Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error

Admit it, you HATE being wrong.  You will go out of your way to try to prove that you are right, even when you know you aren’t! But why is that? Why do humans take such pride in being right and feel so defeated when proven wrong? You often hear that there is much to be learned from our mistakes, but I know personally, often times I am too stubborn to care to learn from my mistakes. I would rather emphatically insist that I, in some way, am correct.  So when I stumbled across this weeks guest, I wanted her to explain to me the art of being wrong.  This week we interview Kathryn Schulz, the author of Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error.   Kathryn Schulz is a journalist, author, and public speaker with a credible (if not necessarily enviable) claim to being the world’s leading wrongologist.  Her freelance writing has appeared in theNew York Times MagazineRolling StoneTIME Magazine, the Boston Globe, the “Freakonomics” blog of The New York Times, and the New York Times Book Review, among other publications.  She was a 2004 recipient of the Pew Fellowship in International Journalism (now the International Reporting Project), and has reported from throughout Central and South America, Japan, and, most recently, the Middle East.   A graduate of Brown University and a former Ohioan, Oregonian, and Brooklynite, she currently lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.

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