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An Outsider's Guide to Humans
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An Outsider's Guide to Humans

What Science Taught Me About What We Do and Who We Are

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WINNER OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE

An instruction manual for life, love, and relationships by a brilliant young scientist whose Asperger's syndrome allows her--and us--to see ourselves in a different way...and to be better at being human


Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of eight, Camilla Pang struggled to understand the world around her. Desperate for a solution, she asked her mother if there was an instruction manual for humans that she could consult. With no blueprint to life, Pang began to create her own, using the language she understands best: science.

That lifelong project eventually resulted in An Outsider's Guide to Humans, an original and incisive exploration of human nature and the strangeness of social norms, written from the outside looking in--which is helpful to even the most neurotypical thinker. Camilla Pang uses a set of scientific principles to examine life's everyday interactions:
- How machine learning can help us sift through data and make more rational decisions
- How proteins form strong bonds, and what they teach us about embracing individual differences to form diverse groups
- Why understanding thermodynamics is the key to seeking balance over seeking perfection
- How prisms refracting light can keep us from getting overwhelmed by our fears and anxieties, breaking them into manageable and separate "wavelengths"

Pang's unique perspective of the world tells us so much about ourselves--who we are and why we do the things we do--and is a fascinating guide to living a happier and more connected life.


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