While some works offer important scientific knowledge, others enchant us with their engaging fictional narratives. In Dark Truth: James Bonnet’s Dilemma, writer and chemical engineer C. S. Bolton does both by inviting the reader to go beyond entertainment.
More than a fascinating history, the book reserves a wide collection of information about Critical and Creative Reasoning. This is a line of thinking that encourages the critical analysis of dilemmas and the search for solutions focused on innovation, as well as being one of the skills that will be required of professionals of the future, according to the World Economic Forum.
Throughout the pages, it is possible to access QR Codes that give access to exclusive articles and videos with scientific discussions, curiosities and developments of the topics covered in the work. Added to this resource, the author also included explanatory tables that develop the concepts presented and expand the reading experience.
In the plot, a death awakens James to fight for his son’s life. In a desperate search, the scientist will enlist the help of Sandra, an expert in artificial intelligence, to create an innovative healing process. The problem is that this ends up attracting the attention of both those who want to get you out of the way and the greedy ones who want to steal your research.
To find a cure for little Gabriel’s rare disease, James and his team developed an artificial intelligence capable of diagnosing and finding the best treatment for virtually any ailment. However, nothing so grandiose would go unnoticed by large corporations, politicians and Wall Street investors. The challenge now is to ensure that this innovative feature doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Check out the interview!
By creating a true mixture of fiction and scientific knowledge, your latest book “Verdade Obscura – O Dilema de James Bonnet”, you end up managing to pass your knowledge with a better didactic to the public. How did the first ideas for this project come about?
From my mentors Dan Brown and Malcolm Gladwell and my dream. Let me explain: I had a dream of writing a book, and this one became possible after I started writing some articles on content marketing for my company.
Other ideas arose from the question, “What to write?” As my favorite authors are Dan Brown and Malcolm Gladwell (with whom I took classes) the answer was another question: “Why not mix a little of both authors in an original fiction-non-fiction story?”. That’s where the initial idea for Verdade Obscura came from (which, by the way, had its title revealed to me only after I finished writing it).
Based on a collection of information on critical and creative reasoning, his work has as one of its purposes the encouragement of these analyzes in our daily lives. What was it like to see the need to address these specific themes in literature and what are the main messages you wanted to convey to your audience?
One of the main messages is already (“Obscura”) on the cover and back cover (4th cover) of the book, and it remains as an initial exercise for the reader (the cover and back cover quotes are quotes from websites created by me, so the first lesson What are your sources? If possible, do not reveal this, Luca). The need for this topic arose from the observation of industry professionals, with whom I have a lot of contact, due to my consulting work.
There is, on the one hand, a deficiency in critical and creative thinking in this area, and, on the other hand, a need to develop this skill, which is even identified as one of the main skills of the professional of the future, according to the World Economic Forum. But I believe that this deficiency is not only of this branch.
In addition to all the knowledge present in the book, the pages also have some extra content available through QR Codes. Could you give some spoilers about what readers might expect to find in these bonuses?
I added some themes like fallacies, curiosity, the ‘Apollo 13 mode’ and others with QR Codes that direct the reader to video lessons and explainer articles. This is the “non-fiction” part of the book, where the reader does not need to watch them to understand the story.
In the book, there are some technical squares in which I explain in a simple way, topics that are a little beyond common knowledge such as: photochemical reactions, serendipity, confirmation bias, and the components of creative reasoning. These squares are also independent of the main text.
The book also has a challenge on the cover for the reader, which, if you can decipher it, will bring a very interesting bonus to the Critical and Creative Reasoning in Practice Course, which offers a much wider horizon for the reader who wants to improve this professional skill. of the future.
In the story told in the book, a death awakened James to fight for the life of his own son from a certain disease, causing him to request help from an artificial intelligence specialist, and with all this process, the situation attracted so many who wanted to support him. him as those who wished to steal his research. Where did this narrative come from and what were your inspirations for James’ plot?
The book contains some “Dark Truths” that I would prefer were not true. We will never know. I address some topics such as the struggle for power, fame and money that have plagued humanity since the beginning of time with a current reinterpretation tempered by “Dark Truths” on questions such as: Are we being watched and heard by our cell phones? Are we as honest as we think we are? Does the pharmaceutical industry need the disease to sell medicines? How far would you go to save your child’s life? The ends justify the means, so is anything worth it?
Still on the story of the book, one of the villains of the work are the politicians and investors of Wall Street, who by association, are often seen as controversial and people of cold and calculating personality in their goals and greed. Did the creation of the context of this story make you reflect in your books many impressions that we can have about real everyday life?
I don’t know if they are villains or ‘good guys’, I’ll leave the judgment to the reader. The book is based on my knowledge of companies, researched facts and actions based on business movements that are portrayed in the press. Some characters’ actions are fictional, or dark truths, which obviously spice up the story with strong emotions.
I’ve had countless comments from readers who hated the President (whose name I won’t reveal) and some who felt his decisions were always sensible. In the midst of the Obscure Truths, each head has a sentence. Who is right? Who is wrong? Is this a false dilemma in which there is no right and wrong? When reading the book you will be able to form(ta)r* your opinion.
- The parentheses are on purpose
The book also brought to light a great discussion on relevant topics of the present time, such as ethics and corruption involving health agencies and public institutions, in addition to various negative contexts of the human being, such as the wrong meanings given to events to justify decisions and the secrets to the traps of false correlations. In addition to the experience you passed on to the public, do you also consider “Verdade Obscura” an experience for yourself? What audience do you recommend reading your book to?
This is one of the interesting critical thinking elements that one of the characters uses almost all the time. It is the resignification of words to justify their corrupt acts. For example, she says that James needs help, when in fact she asks him for a “sign of goodwill” in return.
There is another big “gray zone” in which James, the main character, working in the drug development area, tests a prototype vaccine, early and secretly on his son, a patient in a terminally ill hospital. But if he doesn’t test his son dies, if he tests he goes to jail… Other gray areas that occur in the text: Is a betrayal justifiable? Is a theft out of necessity forgivable? Can one life be exchanged for 50,000 lives?
I recommend the reading of Verdade Obscura to people who enjoy action, information and entertainment, as the book was written to stick you to the pages and make you not want to stop reading. I also recommend it to people who are not used to reading books. They don’t have this habit because they haven’t found the right book, so I suggest the Obscure Truth, the best book you’ll read this year!