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The Reality Bubble

Blind Spots, Hidden Truths, and the Dangerous Illusions That Shape Our World
Written by: Ziya Tong
Narrated by: Ziya Tong
Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From one of the world's most engaging science journalists, a groundbreaking and wonder-filled look at the hidden things that shape our lives in unexpected and sometimes dangerous ways.

Our naked eyes see only a thin sliver of reality.

We are blind in comparison to the X-rays that peer through skin, the mass spectrometers that detect the dead inside the living, or the high-tech surveillance systems that see with artificial intelligence.

And we are blind compared to the animals that can see in infrared, or ultraviolet, or in 360-degree vision. These animals live in the same world we do, but they see something quite different when they look around.

With all of the curiosity and flair that drives her broadcasting, Ziya Tong illuminates this hidden world and takes us on a journey to examine 10 of humanity's biggest blind spots.

First, we are introduced to the blind spots we are all born with, to see how technology reveals an astonishing world that exists beyond our human senses. It is with these new ways of seeing that today's scientists can image everything from an atom to a black hole.

In section two, our collective blind spots are exposed. It's not that we can't see, Tong reminds us. It's that we don't. In the 21st century, there are cameras everywhere, except where our food comes from, where our energy comes from, and where our waste goes. Being in the dark when it comes to how we survive makes it impossible to navigate our future.

Lastly, the scope widens to our civilizational blind spots. Here, the blurred lens of history reveals how we inherit ways of thinking about the world that seem natural or inevitable but are in fact little more than traditions, ways of seeing the world that have come to harm it.

This vitally important new book shows how science, and the curiosity that drives it, can help civilization flourish by opening our eyes to the landscape laid out before us. Fast-paced, utterly fascinating, and deeply humane, The Reality Bubble gives voice to the sense we've all had - that there is more to the world than meets the eye.

©2019 Ziya Tong (P)2019 Allen Lane

What the critics say

“In a time of mounting global crisis, the kind of radical curiosity that fills this book - a commitment to probing the unseen, unknowable, and unthinkable - has become essential to our survival. In Ziya Tong's hands, we learn that it can be joyous, too, with thrilling facts, questions, and juxtapositions on every page. A kaleidoscopic guide to everything we're missing.” (Naomi Klein)

“This book will tear through your preconceptions like a meteor through space. Ziya Tong is a wonderfully erudite companion on a tour of reality, from the very smallest to the size of the universe and everything in between. It’s an incredibly illuminating and challenging but ultimately empowering book, and reading it delivers a shock almost on the level as when Neo took the red pill in The Matrix. Prepare to have your bubble well and truly burst.” (Rowan Hooper, New Scientist)

The Reality Bubble grabs your metaphoric lapels and rattles your mental cage. Page after page, Ziya Tong provides clear lenses for looking at the world, and entertainingly insists we use them - like, now, please. If you don’t want to destabilize your conceptions of space, time, biology, and geography, I suggest you back away slowly.” (Adam Rogers, WIRED)

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Great listen. 10/10

Narrator was great, very well written. Several chapters taught me a great deal. Highly recommend!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A great book on the importance of perspective

I really enjoyed this book. Though a bit repetitive, this book is thought-provoking an interesting with little nuggets and factoids even on topics I thought I knew inside out. It bounces back and forth but given the subject matter, I didn't mind the fluidity from subject to subject. Despite how grim some of the topics get, there is something slightly uplifting in the book and its end helps put into perspective our unique positions and roles.

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Super contribution to speed our awakening.

Ms Tong has researched and synthesized where and why we’re blind to the forces moving us to our own destruction while being a key to the epochal shift in our thinking that will move us towards a new paradigm for our continuing evolution. Her book is a shot of coffee and a call to hasten to our necessary awakening. Perfect for sharing and discussing.

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Sprinkled with good information, but bias apparent

I found that the book was just not even handed. Terms such as "Factory Farm", were thrown around with what seemed like a lack of understanding of rural life. There there was no appreciation or acknowledgment of how hard most farmers work to take care of their land and animals. At least from my perspective, similar bias was demonstrated with respect to other industries as well. Despite some good research and insights, I fear that this book will merely further contribute to the polarization of the western wold into desperate camps unable to communicate based on a common appreciation of the facts. Add to the pile of books that prevents common understanding by colouring facts with far too much opinion.

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this book was a bittersweet and very entertaining

The amount of research is mind boggling. This book is a beautifully packaged reality check for the planet at the eleventh hour.

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A fascinating read<br />

This was a truly eye-opening read, performed wonderfully, with excellent pacing. The book provided me with much to think about.

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A must read for all

Both entertaining and insightful, the Reality Bubble is a great read. Life is not always as you see it, and Ziya Tong does a great job of peeling back the layers of reality. Filled with valuable insights into what’s really going on and why we think the way we do, this book will open your eyes to a whole new reality.

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An Interesting Read

Don't get me wrong...I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't what I was expecting at all, but nonetheless...The author tells us that nobody talks about the 22nd century probably because nobody expects mankind to make it that far. It's going to be a battle for sure but at least Ms. Tong elucidates many of the pitfalls and always keeps it interesting.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-11-03

depressing yet motivating lol

a great call to action. unwraps so many complex topics clearly. it kept me hooked

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  • astrid
  • 2019-08-06

It kept blowing my mind

This is a must read. It makes you think about your own humanity and our interconnectedness. How the author managed to weave dense, scientific, physical and metaphysical themes in one clear narrative is beyond me.
I want to know more about the process of writing this book; it’s a masterpiece.

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  • P. Lio
  • 2019-07-13

Thought provoking

This is an interesting book. It is sort of a pop science take on a number of subjects, roughly at the level of Scientific American. I didn’t learn anything revelatory, and I wasn’t exactly sure what the over arching theme was beyond just better seeing the world, but I still liked it and it did reinforce some ideas and broaden my knowledge within. I feel like for a break high school student this would be mind blowing!

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  • harrow
  • 2019-07-08

fantastic. like science? you will love this.

ziya weaves an encompassing web of pre-history, history, perception, where all of that puts us as a species, and what we're looking at if we continue this course. everyone should listen to this.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-06-26

Some chapters are downright chilling.

I had to take a break and contemplate some chapters. Well read and written. Very eye opening.