Thinking Fast and Slow (Amazon) is about two modes of information – superficial and quick (system 1), and in depth and slow (system 2). It’s interesting to be reading this book after Brexit, amidst the US election, because what occurs to me is that the slogans of Brexit (now demonstrably false) and the nonsense of the Republican President Elect appeal to system 1 – superficially plausible (to a certain segment of the population), but don’t stand up to deeper thought or investigation.
The fifth and final section about our remembering selves vs our experiencing selves was really interesting, and shows how much how we want to remember what we did influences what we choose to do – even when the choice is clearly worse.
The rest of the book has some interesting factoids, like coming to a stop whilst walking when something significant arises (I had noticed that I do this! But now I see why), but feels drawn out for the amount of information it provides. Beyond our own thinking, I wanted to understand how to influence other peoples. How do you get someone who has accepted something superficially (system 1) to find it worth exploring in depth? How do you present information that can only be processed by system 2 thinking?
Overall, I don’t recommend it. It’s a long read and the writer irritatingly self satisfied. Much of the more interesting content is available elsewhere in a better format.
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