Event box

Uncertain Book Launch Event with Acclaimed Author Maggie Jackson

Uncertain Book Launch Event with Acclaimed Author Maggie Jackson In-Person

Barrington Books, in partnership with Barrington Public Library, presents acclaimed author and journalist, Maggie Jackson for a book launch event for her latest book Uncertain: The Wisdom and Wonder of Being Unsure, nominated for a National Book Award. Maggie will be in conversation with Marlissa Briggett. Join us in the beautiful Salem Family Auditorium on Saturday, November 18 at 3 pm. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Free and open to all, registration is encouraged. Reserve your seats today!


About the book: In an era of terrifying unpredictability, the swift, sure answer seems just right. We race to address precarity and complexity with neat algorithms, crisp bullet points, or hurried tweets. Who has time to dally in the wilderness of being unsure? How could we find the clarity and vision so urgently needed today by not-knowing? Uncertain is about the unsung triumph of doing just that.

Far from luring us into inertia or defeat, uncertainty powers good judgment, cognitive flexibility, creativity, curiosity, and even resilience. A state of mind critical to human achievement yet until recently little understood, uncertainty is the portal to finding your enemy’s humanity, the lynchpin of superior teamwork, and the mindset most needed in times of flux.

A scientific adventure tale set on the front lines of a volatile era, this book explores uncertainty's positive role in the life of the mind and in contemporary society. What is a good daydream? Why is being unsure now seen as a healthy form of stress? Why do AI's top leaders see uncertainty as the key to keeping humanity safe from increasingly unstoppable AI?

By learning to wield uncertainty with skill and care, we can recapture realms of good thinking sidelined in an era of push-button thought. We can discover all that the human mind - at the peak of its powers in the most difficult predicaments – can do. This is not weakness but wisdom.

About the author: Maggie Jackson is an award-winning author and journalist known for her prescient writings on social trends, particularly technology’s impact on humanity. Her forthcoming book Uncertain: The Wisdom and Wonder of Being Unsure (Nov. 7, 2023) has been praised as "beautiful, inspirational, compelling, and urgently needed" (Sherry Turkle), "powerful" (Bill McKibben), and "incisive and timely-triumphant" (Dan Pink). Named a "must read" by the Next Big Idea Club, the book offers "cutting-edge science and practical insights," writes Gretchen Rubin.

Her acclaimed book Distracted: Reclaiming Our Focus in a World of Lost Attention sparked a global conversation on the steep costs of our tech-centric, attention-deficient modern lives. With a foreword by Bill McKibben, the book reveals the scientific discoveries that can help rekindle our powers of focus in a world of overload and fragmentation. Hailed as “influential” by the New Yorker and compared by Fast Company.com to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Distracted offers a “richly detailed and passionately argued … account of the travails facing an ADD society” (Publishers Weekly) and “concentrates the mind on a real problem of modern life” (The Wall Street Journal). The book is “now more essential than ever,” says Pulitzer finalist Nicholas Carr.

Maggie Jackson’s essays, commentary, and books have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New Philosopher, on National Public Radio, and in media worldwide. She wrote the foreword to Living with Robots: Emerging Issues on the Psychological and Social Implications of Robotics (Academic Press, 2019) and has contributed essays to numerous other anthologies, including State of the American Mind: Sixteen Leading Critics on the New Anti-Intellectualism (Templeton, 2015) and The Digital Divide: Arguments For and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Networking (Penguin, 2011). Her book, What’s Happening to Home? Balancing Work, Life and Refuge in the Information Age, was the first to explore the fate of home in the digital age, a time when private life is permeable and portable.

About Marlissa Briggett

Marlissa Briggett flirted with uncertainty by launching South Coast Almanac in 2015, a quarterly print publication that explores the people and places of the South Coast, from Little Compton to Wareham. In addition to her role as publisher, Marlissa often writes for the magazine and she was lucky enough to interview Maggie Jackson in connection with the release of Uncertain: The Wit and Wisdom of being Unsure. She admires how engagingly Maggie approached the subject, using tools as varied as poetry, art and neuroscience to reframe the way we think about certainty. Marlissa looks forward to engaging in a dialogue with Maggie on this topic matter that intrigues everyone.

Saturday, November 18, 2023
3:00pm - 4:30pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
Collis Family Gallery (Entire Room), Salem Family Auditorium

Event Organizer

Profile photo of Siobhan Egan
Siobhan Egan

More events like this...