A deep thinking read is the best way to describe a book about thinking. Mikael Klintman’s thorough examination from a philosophical perspective on the reasons humans resist accepting knowledge was interesting read. Although, I won’t sugar coat the fact that at times the chapters seemed to drag with drives into rabbit holes that were unnecessary. I appreciated the examples but found some of the explanations confusing and too ‘big word’ heavy.
I would also say that you must get through the first chapter. As I read the first chapter, I kept reading the words wondering when the discussion and research was going to begin. As I read subsequent chapters I wondered why the author had even written the first chapter as he had. I understand the reason for defining understanding but it made getting into the heart of the book a difficult step. Basically, if I hadn’t been committed to reading the book I may have put it down (or returned it to the library) having never got into the real work of the book.
But in the end, I reflect on the book understanding a few key take-aways. One, we all resist knowledge in some form or another. It reminds me of the notion I’ve always told my students: ‘you can always find research to support your position’. The problem with this idea is that we push aside the research that supports the opposite position, and sometimes the more important, truthful research.
Two, in order to change knowledge and move people to a better understanding of difficult topics we must approach it differently than we have been for decades. We must meet people at their level of understanding and promote change within their own belief system. Sometimes it might also mean having people that are trustworthy within the community share new learning. Not only are these people respected but they can speak within the language of the group and show how it pertains to the people. A group example would be to explain climate change to religious congregations.
The book definitely makes those that get through the pages think about their own knowledge resistance and reconsider the desire to learn and be open-minded to new ideas. A decent read for making us think!