Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Report on "This Idea Must Die"

     This Idea Must Die is a book unlike anything I have ever read.  It contains the ideas of hundreds of professors, scientists, doctors, and scholars and their reasoning behind why we as a society need to stop believing in these ideas.  The book has topics as complex as quantum physics and artificial intelligence but the writers use simple, plain, English making it easy to understand.  While there are a few topics that went over my head, most of the ideas are incredibly easy to understand and once explained, the idea seems almost innate.
     My favorite part is a small section on why the idea that sadness is always bad and happiness is always good must die.  The two points I'd like to focus on specifically are how attempting to suppress negative emotions can backfire, increasing the emotion which can lead to substance abuse or even suicidal tendencies.  Conversely, attempting to be constantly happy and care free leads to selfishness, decreased empathy, and an increase in risk taking.  This speaks to me on a personal level because I've had some family members fall prey to aggressive pyramid schemers and their essential oils.  We covered aromatherapy and the reasoning behind a person's readiness to accept these ideas but I very much enjoyed the explanations by June Gruber in the book.  Attempting to suppress the negative emotions leads to the increase in use of essential oils and pretending everything they feel is a positive and healthy emotion leads to self-focused behavior, eliminating friends and family who just don't "get it".  Finally, with the self delusion that they are always happy and carefree they are more likely to take risks, this leads to them buying more product which fuels their addiction, repeating the cycle.
     I read this book with the sole intention to write this report.  I opened it and thought "Let's get this over with."  Since finishing it, I find myself thinking about many of the ideas in the book.  My thoughts won't get me published in Ideas Must Die 2, but it has certainly caused me to think more critically.  So important is this idea, that in Ideas Must Die, there is a section on how no idea should ever die and that we should preserve our mistakes for further retrospection.

1 comment:

  1. I initially purchased this book to do my report on but I have to be honest, I just could not get into it. After reading your report, I think I may give it another try. At the onset of this class, I feel that my mind was closed to my own ideas. I have since learned a lot not only about critical thinking but also about being narrow minded. I have learned to accept new ideas and how to process them. I have learned about false memory and how behaviors and ideas formed early in life may truly never be left behind. I am very glad I took this class. I am certain it will help me in the future and has also encouraged future research. Thanks for your report.