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blank: The Power of Not Actually Thinking at All    by Noah Tall order for
by Noah Tall
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

We're told that Noah Tall, the author of blank, 'is a longtime subscriber to The New Yorker and other magazines that other people leave on their coffee tables when they want to look smart. He has been a member of NAMES, the dyslexic branch of MENSA, since 1598. He is the author of the highly acclaimed national bestseller The Tippling Point, which has yet to be published.'

The above gives a slight idea of what the eighty-four pages of blank are all about. Or maybe what they're not about. Tall seems to have theories about most things. But most come down to 'Extra Lean Deli Slicing'. What is Extra Lean Deli Slicing? I'm not too sure, but I believe that it is the ability to reject scientific data and make instantaneous decisions based on an impulse. Psychology students are told 'if you canít Deli Slice, you'll never cut the mustard in the psychology racket.' Chapter Four of blank precedes Chapter Three. Why not?

By exploring the brain's 'little-known lower subbasement hemisphere, Tall assures us we can face down life's most intractable problems without thinking'. He says he 'believes if we stopped thinking about such matters as why do patients only sue doctors they don't like, not doctors who are incompetent, and just let ourselves go through the day in a completely thoughtless state, the world would be a better place.' General Custer could have used this book. As well as Roy Rogers 'and the entire New York City Police Department' who then might 'either win big or lose miserably as a result of using the wisdom of blank.'

Blank is a tough book to review. I want to quote so much that I might as well have written the thing myself. When one outrageous idea after another starts to seem like common sense to you, then you know Tall has won you over. What a fun book - one to get us all thinking about not thinking!

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