Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman | The Parody by Sasha Manuel
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Scanning the shelves at a bookstore for a title that will somehow call out to me, I’m happy to report that I wasn’t disappointed. I’m slowly beginning to accept that it’s a good thing to let yourself enter into certain situations without really thinking about what will happen; only carrying this hope that you’ll discover and experience something terrific, something new, something that will be surprisingly relevant to your present state. Each instance that solidifies this thought has been wonderful for me.

I’m trying remember the last time I was this excited about a book. Looking at the stack of unread books in my room, I know how I can be: I’d be psyched about a certain book while I’m queueing up at the counter but the next thing I notice, it’s gathering dust and still unread. But to give myself credit, I do get around to reading them eventually. It’s just that I reckon I need to have things (my mind, mostly) to be at a right condition. However, I’m also considering that it’s not a question of timing rather it’s more of a discipline. Hence, my plan to finish at least 2 books in a month.

I have to admit, I’m currently transitioning. The past few months have been a mixture of highs and lows; eureka moments and brick walls. I’ve been evaluating my life, my person. I guess I’m trying to figure out how not to simply dodge but to plow through obstacles, self-imposed or not.

As you can probably tell, I spend a lot of time thinking. Part of my predicament is that I’m starting to somewhat question the way I think. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. If it is done to come up with a solution or to a certain end somehow, then yes, by all means, question it. But if you continue to question the question, it’ll just be a never ending stream of unresolved thoughts. Unhealthy, unproductive, and bordering on dangerous.

That’s why this book makes so much sense to me. Seeing it, the only copy left sitting on the top shelf, with clean type on a plain white jacket, the word THINKING captured my interest.

Thinking, Fast and Slow
Daniel Kahneman

I didn’t mind the bulk and weight of the 418-page (499 if you include the appendices) hardbound book. I just knew I had to find out what it was about.

Apparently, D. Kahneman is a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal work in psychology and is considered to be one of our most important thinkers. In this book, he takes the reader on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think.

Broken down into five parts, with 38 main points. To give you an idea, let me share the book’s table of contents.

Part I. Two Systems

1. The Characters of the Story
2. Attention and Effort
3. The Lazy Controller
4. The Associative Machine
5. Cognitive Ease
6. Norms, Surprises, and Causes
7. A Machine for Jumping to Conclusions
8. How Judgments Happen
9. Answering an Easier Question

Part II. Heuristics and Biases

10. The Law of Small Numbers
11. Anchors
12. The Science of Availability
13. Availability, Emotion, and Risk
14. Tom W’s Specialty
15. Linda: Less is More
16. Causes Trump Statistics
17. Regression to the Mean
18. Taming Intuitive Predictions

Part III. Overconfidence

19. The Illusion of Understanding
20. The Illusion of Validity
21. Intuitions vs. Formulas
22. Expert Intuition: When Can We Trust It?
23. The Outside View
24. The Engine of Capitalism

Part IV. Choices

25. Bernoulli’s Errors
26. Prospect Theory
27. The Endowment Effect
28. Bad Events
29. The Fourfold Pattern
30. Rare Events
31. Risk Policies
32. Keeping Score
33. Reversals
34. Frames and Reality

Part V. Two Selves

35. Two Selves
36. Life as a Story
37. Experienced Well-being
38. Thinking About Life

I do have this thing about perusing that bit on top the usual blurb before buying a book. Is that weird?

Anyway, I had to look up Heuristics to find out what it is and I reckon I can see myself doing a lot of that as I read the book.

It seems nerdy but I do like the idea that I’ll be reading about how we think and according to some reviews, I can expect that it will somehow transform the way I think about thinking (hopefully, all without being too sappy). Don’t you think that bit is exciting? I do and I’ll be taking notes! And I’m hoping I can find a way to blog about a few of the things I’ll learn along the way. That way, we can start talking about how we think on here, too!

What are you currently reading? Read anything new lately?


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