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Penguin: Portfolio & Sentinel Summer 2019

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The Scout Mindset
Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't
By (author): Julia Galef
9780735217553 Hardcover English General Trade BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Decision-Making & Problem Solving Feb 02, 2021
$36.00 CAD
Forthcoming 6 x 9 in 288 pages Portfolio
A better way to combat knee-jerk biases and make smarter decisions, from Julia Galef, the acclaimed expert on rational decision-making and host of the “Rationally Speaking” podcast.

We see what we want to see. From tribalism in politics, to wishful thinking and rationalizing in our personal lives, humans are natural-born motivated reasoners. We have what Julia Galef calls a “soldier” mindset: the drive to defend ideas we want to believe, and shoot down those we don’t.

Instead, Galef argues, if we want to get things right more often, we should train ourselves to have a “scout” mindset. A scout’s goal isn’t to defend one side over the other. It’s to go out, survey the territory, and come back with as accurate a map as possible. Regardless of what they hope to be the case, above all, the scout wants to know what’s actually true.

Galef’s insight is that what makes scouts better at getting things right isn’t that they’re smarter or more knowledgeable than everyone else. It’s a handful of emotional skills, habits, and ways of looking at the world—which anyone can learn.

With fascinating examples ranging from how to survive being stranded in the middle of the ocean, to how Jeff Bezos avoids overconfidence, to how superforecasters outperform CIA operatives, to Reddit threads and modern partisan politics, Galef explores why our brains deceive us and what we can do to change the way we think.

PLATFORM: Galef’s TED Talk, “Why You Think You’re Right—Even If You’re Wrong,” has over 4 million views. Her work has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, VICE, Discover, and Harper’s. She has published her own articles on rationality in major publications such as Slate, Scientific American, and Popular Science. Her YouTube channel has more than 61,000 subscribers for her videos on how to think well.

POPULAR PODCAST: Since 2010, Julia has hosted the biweekly Rationally Speaking podcast, with over 40k listeners, which features in-depth conversations with philosophers such as Peter Singer, physicists such as Neil deGrasse Tyson and Sean Carroll, and social scientists such as Philip Tetlock and Paul Bloom. In addition, Julia has appeared as a guest on many other popular podcasts, including “You Are Not So Smart,” WIRED’s “Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy,” and the “Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe.”

SPEAKING: Galef is a frequent speaker at conferences such as Singularity Summit, Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, the Amazing Meeting, Effective Altruism Global, the Nantucket Project, Learning Solutions, TEDxPSU, Center for Inquiry, SkeptiCal, Skepticon, Secular Alliance, Skeptics in the Pub, Thiel Summit, Carnegie Mellon, and more.

Julia Galef is the host of the popular Rationally Speaking podcast, where she has interviewed thinkers such as Tyler Cowen, Sean Carroll, Phil Tetlock, and Neil deGrasse Tyson. She is an advisor to OpenAI, works with the Open Philanthropy Project, and cofounded the Center for Applied Rationality. Her 2016 TED Talk “Why You Think You’re Right—Even If You’re Wrong” has been viewed 3.8 million times.

Author Hometown: San Francisco

Marketing: Paid social media campaign 

Promotion on authors social channels

Promotion on author’s podcast 

Influencer campaign 

Publicity: National publicity with attention in general interest, business, tech and science media 

Podcast campaign

Events and interviews out of New York and San Francisco 

Tie in with author lectures schedule 

Author Website:

Author Social Media: Twitter @juliagalef (80.5k), YouTube (61.1k)
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