Non-fiction

As a kid I was fascinated by a book on my parent's bookshelf called Straight and Crooked Thinking. For many years I worked intermittently on a book about thinking (not cognitive science). Then the experience of writing a lot of letters to the editor in the run-up to and early years of the war in Iraq focused my interest in the way people's minds work. Writing letters necessitated reading a lot of other letters as well as columns and editorials, listening to conversations, and reading/watching media. Forget Socratic dialogue. I found that most of what passes for reasonable discourse in this country isn't even a reasonable facsimile. The situation has got much worse since, especially online, with insults largely replacing arguments.

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I started writing Models, Myths, and Muddles in 2006, self-publishing it in 2008. When friends asked what the book was about, I said "critical thinking," but the subject was actually quite a lot broader.  M,M, & M  became the first of a series of three books concerned with human survival. When the movers and shakers of society command doomsday  weapons and other dangerous technology--but can't think straight about anything non-technical--we are all at risk. Download Models, Myths, and Muddles.

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The second book in the Thinking Toward Survival series is Swimming in a Sea of Ideology (2009) which discusses the way that various ideologies straitjacket thinking. Ideologies are a popular way to save mental energy but they seldom take humanity forward and they often take us into cruelty and violence. Download Swimming in a Sea of Ideology.

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The third and culminating book, Thinking Toward Survival (2010), is a compendium of creative ideas, social inventions, ongoing projects, policies, and customs from around the world that model ways the world can go in a different and healthier direction. Download Thinking Toward Survival.

It is a self-publishing truism that if you want to gain an audience you have to put as much effort into marketing them as you did in writing them. I was unable to do this. However, most of what I wrote is still relevant, and you can download the books from this website. 

I've also written a fourth book titled The Twelve Dispositions which is being designed for publication in early fall.