The Jottery: Thought Experiments for Everyday Philosophers and Part-Time Geniuses (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This is a funny little book, and one that makes you think. I didn't expect all these little thought experiments to be so entertaining and even philosophical in its own weird way. It’s an good read that will be fun on a road trip with friends, or for solitary contemplation on a rainy afternoon. It gets your brain working, and I found myself caught on many of the questions longer than I thought I would. Flip through it for a second and you'll get what I mean, there are even spaces to pencil in some answers. The Jottery has certainly changed my perspective on a lot of every day quandaries. What do you think real trees are thinking of telephone poles dressed up as one of their own?



In The Jottery, you'll find a series of prompts, suggestions, commands, and questions that are intended to cause neurons to fire and a spectrum of ideas to surface--possibly good, potentially useful, conceivably profitable, maybe illuminating, and hopefully amusing. There's also a chance you'll come up with nothing, and experience a beautiful "idea-lessness" that would be the envy of Zen monks everywhere. Also a win.

Think of this as The Book of Questions for creative types, from writers and artists, to idea gurus and daydreamers, perfect for writing classes, train rides, parties, meditation retreats, game nights, insomnia bouts, lulls in dates or low points in relationships, company brainstorming meetings, waiting rooms, therapy sessions, and more. The dozens of ingenious prompts include:
  • You create something called Soul Lotion. What are the best places to rub it? (Don’t limit your answer to human body parts.)
  • You're commissioned to design a bridge to nowhere. Briefly describe possible nowheres you might build it to.
  • Where did the fun go? Suggest four hyper-specific places. If you do manage to track the fun down and tie it to a chair, what do you do or do with it?
  • You're commissioned to write a pilot script for a post-apocalyptic sitcom. It’s based not on the next post-apocalyptic period, but the one after that, after a new civilization arises and collapses. What are seven things you do to celebrate this cool new job?
  • You design vending machines that sell things that are not physical objects. Like what? And for how much?
  • List twelve things you can have instead of “it all.”
  • List a handful of elevator tension-breakers, and a handful of elevator tension-makers.

About the Author

Andy Selsberg is a former staff writer for the Onion, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, GQ, the Village Voice, Salon, the Oxford American, and the Believer, among other publications. He is the author of You Are Good at Things and Dear Old Love.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780399171468
ISBN-10: 0399171460
Publisher: TarcherPerigee
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Pages: 224
Language: English
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