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The 2014 Book of the Year Award: "50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True" by Guy P. Harrison
If you grew up with someone, or people, who believe that "Either you're born smart or not," you have a problem. I know this, just look at the people around me, and the ones I currently work for/with.
Gullibility is the worst thing you could live with, right up there with hypocrisy. It wouldn't matter if such traits make you lose friendships/relationships because surely, we as a society don't do one simple thing a smart human can do: think. What's wrong with thinking? Second guessing something, to some, is considered too much work among peers. When shopping, advertisers and a company's marketing department really know how to sucker in people to spend. That's right: don't think, just spend. And finally, of the beliefs we have been told and grew up with, we can all agree there's no "one" truth to everything, but that doesn't mean we can walk around cursing others whose beliefs are apart from ours. In that case, there is something we as humans can all do: think before believing.
I say, it's time books, like this wonderful work from author Harrison, began to flourish. To live and think that Astrology is scientific and that a psychic read your mind are excellent examples of uninspired folks looking to turn a fast dollar. Not surprising that they do it well. Even Mr. Harrison himself, after learning the techniques of being a psychic, was able to tell his tale of how he was able to get a client to believe his every word and fall for it too (a great read). I had no idea people out there believe that cable news gives them a glimpse of what's happening in the world. Harrison mentions working for a news station and how he was told to take pictures of a city in the hurricane's aftermath. The news aired that it was the most tragic thing in US history, however, Harrison says, there were casualties but it wasn't that bad. When I read that, the massive earthquake that occurred in Haiti comes to mind; Our entire country donated, including celebrities, when an online article stated that the natural disaster costed lives and homes, but it wasn't too crazy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against donating to those who need help and for a good cause, but think about where your money ends up with. Ever thought of that?
Fifty chapters are all titled with a belief popular by consensus. I truly believe the biggest one was the chapter about not getting your child(ren) vaccinated for fear it will cause autism. Amazingly, this issue went viral (roughly over a year after this book's official release). To those who adopted and/or gave birth to a new child ought to read about this. Otherwise, not getting your child(ren) vaccinated, to me, borderlines toward child abuse. (Sounds like the same people who think abortion should be illegal.)
Harrison also mentioned the apocalypse of December 21, 2012, which I personally knew wasn't going to happen and/or occur. However, I recalled seeing a flood of Facebook statuses and live posts about "we're still alive! The 21st is almost over!" All I did was sit by my computer in peace without a single worry. "Well Kris, easy for you to say but you never know!" says some gullible person who's an insult to humanity's existence. From 2001 up to today, not once have I feared any kind of rapture thrown at us. Once people realize, it's just another day.
From snake oil to politicians who think they are experts in science (they're not), this book is the "Drano" to your clogged and rusty thinking. Gullible people are ruining the scope of our species, and to realize that some 11% of Americans believe that the Sun revolves around our Earth are examples of problems waiting to consume us to an endless doom. I didn't think much of the average American intelligence and belief until I read this book, let alone the people I personally hang out with and keep in touch with via social media. Now I know what kind of people they are, and to witness the fact that they have sent me insults and death threats because I'm not as dumb as they are is a reminder that I'm keeping in touch with the wrong people. No wonder why I always feel this way. Mr. Harrison, if you're reading this, I know you're not a psychiatrist but I humbly thank you for writing this book; It has brightened me up and helped me live with more confidence.
Wake up, planet Earth. Get this book!