A PICTURE MAY BE WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS— BUT A FEW CHOICE WORDS CAN SPEAK VOLUMES! • If Ignorance Is Bliss, Why Aren’t More People Happy? • Bottled Water Is for Suckers • Clones Are People Too • At Least the War on the Environment Is Going Well • Don’t Believe Everything You Think • The Revolution Will Be Tweeted
Long before blogs, tweets, and sound bites, people were telling the world how they felt in brief, blunt bursts of information plastered on the backs of their cars. Whether they’re political or religious, passionate or proud, controversial or corny, these brightly colored, boldly lettered mini manifestos are declarations of who we are, where we stand, and what we’d rather be doing. But as bestselling author and noted philosopher Jack Bowen reveals, there’s much more to the pop-culture phenomenon of bumper stickers than rolling one-liners and drive-by propaganda—no less, in fact, than a wise, funny, poignant, contentious, and truthful discourse on the human condition.
Mixing pop culture with the ideas of historically prominent philosophers and scientists, If You Can Read This exposes the deeper wisdom couched behind these slogans—or, as need be, exposes where they have gone wrong. If you brake for big ideas, now’s the time.
Jack Bowen teaches philosophy at Menlo School in Atherton, California, and runs the Stanford Summer Philosophy Camp. He will be featured along with Richard Dawkins and Leonard Susskind in an upcoming documentary titled “The Nature of Existence.” A charismatic presenter, he… More about Jack Bowen
“A witty little book that explains how, and why, people tell the world what they’re thinking from the pulpit of their bumper.” – USA TODAY
“Imagine speeding along the freeway while your driver, Ludwig Wittgenstein, dissects and reassembles the bumper-sticker “wisdom” on passing cars. That’s the kind of trip it is to read If You Can Read This.”—Tom Cathcart and Dan Klein, authors of Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar
“In the sense of being pregnant with meaning, this book has a baby on board.”—Christopher Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great
“Readers may find themselves involved in fender benders once they realize how much fun it is to think about the messages in bumper stickers and start tailgating in order to read and analyze them. A fantastic contribution to philosophy as it occurs in the real world.”—John Perry, co-host of the nationally syndicated Philosophy Talk, professor emeritus of philosophy at Stanford University
“If you love twitter (and even if you don’t), you’re going to love Jack Bowen’s insightful and hilarious romp through the pre-twitter world of bumper sticker sloganeering. On every page I had two reactions: (1) a vigorous horse laugh, and (2) a curious ‘uh, I didn’t know that.’ Humor and insight: what more can you ask from a book? Sex. Yes, it has that too. Read this book.”—Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, author of Why People Believe Weird Things