Laurence Gonzales on Everyday Survival
Laurence Gonzales won the 2001 and 2002 National Magazine Awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors for National Geographic Adventure Magazine. Since 1970, his essays have appeared in such periodicals as Harper's, Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Smithsonian Air and Space, Chicago Magazine, San Francisco Magazine, and many others.
He has published a dozen books, including two award–winning collections of essays, three novels, and the book–length essay, One Zero Charlie published by Simon & Schuster. His latest book, Everyday Survival, published by W.W. Norton & Company, is available at book sellers now. His previous book, Deep Survival, is now out in paperback.
Laurence Gonzales, author of “Everyday Survival: Why Smart People Do Stupid Things”.
Question: What is your book about?
Laurence: Well “Everyday Survival” is as the subtitle says about why smart do stupid things, but it’s about much more than that as well. It’s an attempt to change the frame through which people view their world by giving them a different view of their place in it and the effects of the things they do. So I start small with the kind of mistakes people make in everyday life that are governed by systems in our brains that we’ve inherited over millions of years of evolution. And I build up from there to larger and larger subject matter until I’m literally talking about the cosmos and the rules by which nature operates, which dictates some of the costs that we pay for our behavior. And this, in turn, feeds into a discussion of such things as global warming, which is one of the costs that we pay for some of our behavior. So the idea is to create a state of mind in which you’re viewing your world and your behavior in it a little bit differently so that your behavior begins to modify itself. You can’t get a free lunch anymore after you read this book or at least that’s my intention.
In his book, Laurence Gonzales goes from human behavior to the cosmos in an attempt to explain why smart people do stupid things.
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