Guy P. Harrison

author, skeptic, advocate for science and reason


Publisher’s Weekly review of my forthcoming book. (publication date is November 11, 2017)

Think Before You Like: Social Media’s Effect on the Brain and the Tools You Need to Navigate Your Newsfeed   Prometheus Books, (432pages) ISBN 978-1-63388-351-2  

In this skillfully written and researched survey, Harrison (Good Thinking) makes an argument for appreciating social media’s good points while exercising prudence to avoid its downside. Harrison is not a diehard opponent, although he acknowledges criticisms of social media that characterize it as “a zombie invasion... eating our brains.”  

He discusses the challenge of bringing nuance to online discussions of hot-button issues and poses some provocative questions related to the ubiquity of social media (such as, “Will we miss privacy?”) and what people are sacrificing as the internet supplies more of their social interactions. His book addresses timely topics, such as avoiding information “filter bubbles” and “fake news.” It also contains a well-designed chart for objectively measuring time devoted to social media and cogent advice about healthy use and warning signs.

Perhaps the strongest sections are discussions of the importance of critical thinking, “standard weak points” to be aware of in news reports, and five steps to “think like a scientist.” Harrison manages to be firm without being a fearmonger.

 

50 Popular Beliefs that People Think Are True  

“What would it take to create a world in which fantasy is not confused for fact and public policy is based on objective reality? I don't know for sure. But a good place to start would be for everyone on Earth to read this book."  

—Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space

 

“Guy P. Harrison has become an essential guide to the human mind and a champion of science, reason, and critical thinking. In this new book, the celebrated author of Think and Good Thinking applies his signature wit, insight, and good nature as he tackles the Internet and social media, two omnipresent beasts that he shows us how to tame. From fake news to privacy and filter bubbles, Harrison leaves no stone unturned, and he delivers another brilliant and vitally important book.”
—Julien Musolino, professor of psychology and cognitive science at Rutgers University, and author of The Soul Fallacy

 


Good Thinking: What You Need to Know to be Smarter, Safer, Wealthier, and  wiser
“For all our vaunted intelligence, we human beings believe some really bizarre things. Guy P. Harrison takes us on a judicious, wide-ranging, and entertaining tour of the many dimensions of human mental weirdness, pointing out where we need to be particularly on guard against our poor decision-making processes.”   —Ian Tattersall, curator emeritus, American Museum of Natural History

 

Think: Why you should question everything

“Rarely has a skeptic gone to battle against nonsense with such warmth and humor.”  —Skeptic magazine 

 

Good Thinking: What You Need to Know to be Smarter, Safer, Wealthier, and  wiser

“Harrison proves himself an excellent guide to reasonable thought in the 'swirling, festering ball of lies and madness' that is the modern world.”  —Publishers Weekly 

 


 


  

Buy the books 

My Amazon author page with links to all books
 
My author page at Barnes and Noble with links to all books
 
My Penguin/Random House author page 
 

Think Before You Like: Social Media's Effect on the Brain and the Tools You Need to Navigate Your Newsfeed                     

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Think-Before-You-Like-Navigate/dp/1633883515/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504799294&sr=8-1&keywords=think+before+you+like+guy+harrison  

 

Good Thinking: What You Need to Know to be Smarter, Safer, Wealthier, and Wiser  

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/good-thinking-guy-p-harrison/1121044504?ean=9781633880641 

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Good-Thinking/Guy-P-Harrison/9781633880641?id=7047990513402 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781633880641

 

Think: Why you should question everything  

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/think-guy-p-harrison/1114854994?ean=9781616148072 

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Think/Guy-P-Harrison/9781616148072?id=7047990513402 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781616148072

 

50 Popular Beliefs that People Think Are True

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/50-popular-beliefs-that-people-think-are-true-guy-p-harrison/1030787594?ean=9781616144951#/ 

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Popular-Beliefs-That-People-Think/Guy-P-Harrison/9781616144951?id=7047990513402 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781616144951

  

Race and Reality: What Everyone Should Know about Our Biological Diversity

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/race-and-reality-guy-p-harrison/1114960171?ean=9781591027676 

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Race-Reality/Guy-P-Harrison/9781591027676?id=7047990513402 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781591027676

 

50 Simple Questions for Every Christian

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/50-simple-questions-for-every-christian-guy-p-harrison/1113760382?ean=9781616147273
Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Simple-Questions-Every-Christian/Guy-P-Harrison/9781616147273?id=7047990513402 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781616147273

 

50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/50-reasons-people-give-for-believing-in-a-god-guy-p-harrison/1008560673?ean=9781591025672#/ 

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Reasons-People-Give-Believing-God/Guy-P-Harrison/9781591025672?id=7047990513402 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781591025672

 

News

  • I took part in an author panel and signed books at the inaugural San Diego Book Festival.
  • Random House selected Think: Why you should question everything  for its First-Year Experience/CommonReads program, making it recommended reading for all first-year university students. I spoke and signed books at the First Year Experience Conference in California
  • San Diego's largest newspaper, The Union Tribune, named Think: Why you should question everything a "book of note"  
  • Canada's largest newspaper, The Toronto Star, praises Think in this article   
  • A Japanese translation  of Think: Why you should question everything is now on sale in Japan 
  • An Italian translation of my book, 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God has been published in Italy 
  • Korean and Belarusian translations of Think have been published

  

Reviews

  • review  of Think published in Skeptical Inquirer    
  • "Bogus, Bunk, and B.S.", review  of 50 Popular Beliefs that People Think are True in Skeptic magazine
  • Skeptical Inquirer's review  of 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think are True

  

Interviews and talks 

  

Social media 

If you dwell in these worlds, connect with me at my Facebook author page  and on Twitter

   

More links

  • I am an "expert blogger" for Psychology Today. Read essays here 

  

Contact

Email:  guyfeedback [at] gmail.com 

   or

Guy P. Harrison (author)

C/O Prometheus Books

59 John Glenn Drive

Amherst, NY  14228 


  


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A few words about thinking

One of the biggest mistakes we can make in life is to ignore or deny the possibility that we might be dead wrong about something that is very important to us.

Don’t do this!

Question everything. Embrace doubt. Second guess conclusions. Be humble; after all you could be wrong. You might be the first perfect person in all of history and prehistory who is incapable of being fooled by the mistakes, lies and delusions of others. But I doubt it. You might be the first ever to rise above and see through all the deceptive quirks, traps and biases that come standard with a human brain. But I doubt it.

What good is it to hold tight to a position against every challenge if that position is in error? The goal is not to avoid ever changing your mind. The goal is to be right, or as close to it as you can be. If you value wisdom and honesty then you ought to value skepticism. Wisdom is recognizing that you don’t know everything and can be fooled just like every other human who has ever lived. Wise people change their minds when evidence demands it. Honest people don’t pretend to know things that they don’t know.

This fundamental error in thinking crops up most often in politics and religion, of course. These two fertile fields of human thought, passion and silliness encourage if not demand that participants sacrifice their ability to think independently. This treasure is given away freely as rigid lines are drawn and feet set in cement. How can something of such value—the ability and the courage to think freely—be sacrificed by so many people with so little reluctance? Why the haste to become one more zombie in the mob? Why no remorse for the loss of so much humanity?

Do not undervalue your ability to think independently, to grow intellectually over a lifetime, and to always do your best to move closer to truth and reality. The warmth of mindless membership may be appealing at a glance but it’s fool’s gold.

Change. Grow. Improve. Think and be fully human.

 

—Guy P. Harrison