Uncertain The wisdom and wonder of being unsure

Maggie Jackson, 1960-

Book - 2023

"Featuring cutting-edge research and in-depth reporting, this paradigm-shifting book shows us how to skillfully confront the unexpected and unknown, and how to seek not-knowing in the service of curiosity, wisdom, and discovery"--

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor New Shelf 153.4/Jackson (NEW SHELF) Due Mar 1, 2024
Lanham, MD : Prometheus Books, an imprint of Globe Pequot, the trade division of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc [2023]
Main Author
Maggie Jackson, 1960- (author)
Physical Description
xxix, 311 pages : 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Introduction
  • Part I. Awakenings
  • 1. Mind under Fire: The Shadow Side of Knowing
  • 2. "Fresh Eyes": Seeing What Matters by Taking Uncertainty's Lead
  • Part II. Byways of the Mind
  • 3. Why Forgetting Is Not a Loss
  • 4. Notes from the Mind's Own Sketchbook
  • Part III. Thinking As We
  • 5. Outside the Walls of Our Perspective: How Tolerance Sets Us Free
  • 6. Uncommon Ground: Uncertainty and the New Right Stuff of Collaboration
  • Part IV. Aspiring Minds
  • 7. Life at the Edge: Keeping ahead of Precarity and Taming It Too
  • 8. An I-Don't-Know Robot and the Future of Uncertainty
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
  • About the Author
Review by Library Journal Review

Journalist Jackson (Distracted: Reclaiming Our Focus in a World of Lost Attention) engagingly argues that people can open themselves to discoveries when they are willing to withhold immediate judgments in their assessments and decision-making. Drawing from examples like DNA analysis, the breaking of the Enigma code, overcoming social prejudice, and troubleshooting space missions, the book indicates in case after case how satisfying insights and wiser decisions can arise if readers hold out for substantial findings instead of coming to quick conclusions. Jackson is a good storyteller and understands the power of narrative intimacy with her subjects. For example, in her conversation with a young mother struggling with an impulsive son, Jackson homes in on the mother's realization that her son's behavior might be an adaptive response to the family's uncertain circumstances; the family dynamic improves when the mother finds ways to help the son cope, instead of punishing him. Via anecdotes like these, Jackson invites readers to consider that the stress of tolerating uncertainty is the body's way of readying a person for challenges. VERDICT A useful book for those generally interested in psychology, sociology, management, or the philosophy of science.--Dorian Gossy

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