First Major Review of SuperSense!

Over the coming weeks, I will not be able to blog as much as I would wish because I  am off to the US to begin my promotion for the book. This has been an awful period of waiting with much grinding of teeth (I need to see the dentist) and sleepless nights wondering what the critics will make of the book. Yes, Pinker, Bloom, Blackmore, Hauser, Wegner and other colleagues and friends have said wonderful things but they would, wouldn’t they? It’s what the rest of the world thinks that determines whether the book will be a success

Today, I read my first independent review from a major publication, the “New Scientist,’ from Michael Brooks author of “13 Things That Don’t Make Sense.”

I wont post the whole of the review (it’s just out) but here are some of the highlights,

“Hood’s presentation of the science behind our supersense is crystal clear and utterly engaging. There are good, scientific reasons why religion won’t disappear, he says, however much anyone might want it to. Spiritual thinking is not about being simple-minded or stupid it’s about being human. We are, he suggests, “a sacred species.”

Our supersense gives us sacred values, and our sacred values create taboos. Taboos, in turn, provide a means for group cohesion. “Irrationality makes our beliefs rational because these beliefs hold society together,” Hood says. If hardened sceptics were to accept that irrationality is, well, rational insofar as it serves to hold societies together, that would constitute an important step toward a more tolerant and unified society.”

It’s a fantastic start and no doubt you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but I may end up enjoying this whole experience rather than wondering what I got myself into.

14 Comments

Filed under General Thoughts

14 responses to “First Major Review of SuperSense!

  1. podblack

    Wonderful! Well done, this is very exciting! Make sure you take care of yourself whilst traveling in the USA, the jet lag can be very disorientating.:/ Do take some time to jot down notes about what it’s all like, it’d be cool to hear your adventures!🙂

  2. That’s a great review, congratulations! I can’t wait for it to be released in Australia!

    Let’s hope that the rest of the reviews are as good. ;p

  3. Does this mean there will be a reception in your honor in NYC with an open bar?

  4. brucehood

    Podblack.. I have three TV appearances scheduled for the day after I fly in!..April 1st of course. So I fear I will be talking gibberish anyway. Looking forward to our podcast.

  5. Hooray! Of course we knew it would be good if it’s anything like your blog…Looking forward to getting my copy. May be forced to send it back to you to have it signed (in invisible ink, perhaps, to continue with the theme).

  6. Congratulations. Will your US tour include Seattle? If so, I help organize a skeptics meetup group here ( http://www.meetup.com/seattleskeptics/ ) that would love to attend one of your readings.

  7. Congratulations on this review – I don’t need persuading that I must own Supersense. I’m mystified by the comment quoted in the review that skeptics wouldn’t normally buy this sort of book – maybe there’s some context missing. Your blog I would describe as skeptical, the book has endorsements from skeptics and it seems like there’s an overlap with books by other skeptics (e.g. Thomas Gilovich). Anyway, good luck with the tour!

  8. Ram Venkatararam

    Congratulations Bruce. Looking forward to reading reading the book. Enjoy your trip.

  9. Ram Venkatararam

    Sorry, trigger finger. But what the hell, I’ll read read it twice. (but I’ll only buy it once).

  10. brucehood

    Hi Jonathan… I would love to come to Seattle – it’s one of my favourite US cities but unfortunately this trip is restricted to Denver, NY and Boston. Though I have be told that I may have to come out more than once.

    Welcome Martin, You’re right. I am a skeptic and an apathetic agnostic, (I don’t know and I don’t care). guess when I wrote that line I was referring to the attacks that I was getting from atheists who were denouncing my attempt to rationalize the irrational. So really it was skepticism that there was a natural origin of supernatural beliefs and that they could be adaptive.. hence not irrational. I may have achieved that unique feat of pissing both sides off with my position. Hopefully double the book sales!

  11. jacarandamimosifolia

    Bruce – congrats on the review and best of luck with the tour. Simply to be a pedant, I shall remain a sceptic back here in the U.K. whilst you’re being a skeptic across the pond…

  12. Chill out and enjoy it, Bruce.

    I’d like to say that I’ll be thinking of you, but it would be a bald lie.

    I’m much more likely to be thinking about lunch, and whether to have a pint of the Timothy Taylor’s Landlord or the Black Sheep.

  13. poietes

    Congratulations on the review. I wish that you were doing more than three cities; although I’m sure that you are glad that you are not.

    I may have to do the same as WIB and send you my copy to be autographed, but not in invisible ink please. I might forget one day and then look everywhere for the autograph and upon not finding it, think that I have truly succumbed to my madness . . .

  14. Huge congratulations Bruce, on both the review (well-deserved) and the book – it’s quite brilliant and a damned good read too – can’t seem to put it down, apart from tearing myself away to write this, of course!
    Look forward to following your hi-jinks on your US tour on Twitter… have fun and savour every moment!!!

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