By William Poundstone

The real-world worth of information within the mobile-device age.

More humans recognize who Khloe Kardashian is than who Rene Descartes used to be. such a lot cannot locate Delaware on a map, safely spell the be aware prevalence, or identify the most important ocean in the world. yet how very important is it to fill our heads with proof? a couple of keystrokes can summon nearly any details in seconds. Why should still we trouble studying proof at all?

Bestselling writer William Poundstone confronts that well timed query in HEAD within the CLOUD. He exhibits that many components of data correlate with the standard of our lives--wealth, healthiness, and happiness--and regardless of politics and behaviour. Combining great facts survey ideas with eye-opening anecdotes, Poundstone examines what americans be aware of (and have no idea) on themes starting from quantum physics to popular culture.

HEAD within the CLOUD asks why we are ok with spelling blunders on menus yet now not on resumes; why Fox information audience have no idea which social gathering controls Congress; why those who recognize "trivia" make more cash than those that do not; how members can navigate clickbait and media spin to stick proficient approximately what rather issues.

Hilarious, humbling, and wildly interesting, HEAD within the CLOUD is a must-read for an individual who does not be aware of everything.

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Additional info for Head in the Cloud: Why Knowing Things Still Matters When Facts Are So Easy to Look Up

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Three political scientists—Kyle Dropp, Joshua D. Kertzer, and Thomas Zeitzoff—ran a survey asking Americans to locate Ukraine on a world map. The survey used an unlabeled world map with national borders indicated. Participants were asked to click on the point best representing Ukraine’s location. Only one in six clicked within Ukraine’s borders. Other guesses were, literally, all over the map.

Apparently no one thought this reflected poorly on the speaker’s expertise. Today the Internet is the common mnemon, and politicians of our own time struggle with it. Senator Rand Paul has been accused of lifting material from Wikipedia and other online sources. Here’s part of a 154-word passage from a Forbes article (by Bill Singer) that appeared verbatim and without credit in Senator Paul’s 2012 book, Government Bullies. As part of a plea agreement, both Kinder Caviar and Black Star Caviar Company have each agreed to pay a $5,000 fine and serve a three-year term of probation, during which time those companies will be prohibited from applying for or receiving a CITES Export Permit.

Media such as NBC News, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and Bloomberg News use Internet panels for political polling. Another of the technique’s virtues is that it is fast and cheap compared to traditional surveys, making it possible to map public knowledge in ways that would have been impractical just a few years ago. You’ll see a number of examples in this book. The surveys document what the public knows and doesn’t know in scores of key areas, from quantum physics to contemporary art to pop culture.

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