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Mirkat

Mirkat Always Reading

I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.

Currently reading

Needful Things
Stephen King
The Walking Dead, Vol. 30: New World Order
'Robert Kirkman', Stefano Gaudiano, Cliff Rathburn, Charlie Adlard

Thinking, Fast & Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow (Audio) - Patrick Egan, Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman uses the metaphor of "System 1" and "System 2," coexisting "characters" in our brains responsible for the two types of thinking the book's title alludes to.

 

* System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control.

 

* System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations.  The operations of System 2 are often associated with the subjective experience of agency, choice, and concentration.

 

System 1 is in charge of our brains most of the time, making quick, intuitive judgments.  System 1 relies heavily on our biases, without our necessarily being aware that this occurs.  When confronted with a complex question that needs the resources of System 2, System 1 is liable to make a quick substitution, answering a simple, replacement question instead.

 

System 1 can serve us well, except when it doesn't.  It's a feature that can sometimes be a bug, and this book provides a series of frameworks that can help identify when it's useful to hack our systems and get the most out of the two systems.

 

As I mentioned in my review for The Undoing Project, I've become fascinated by behavioral economics and the thinkers whose work has shaped it.  I will say that this is very much a system 2 book.  It should be read carefully, and I hate to say it, but I realized by listening to this, that audiobooks lend themselves more to system 1.  The upshot is I often found myself rewinding to listen to something I realized my brain had only partially taken in (because it decided to go off on a side trip).  I also checked out the hardcover edition from my library, and I intend to review it.

 

The value of this book is understanding how to make better decisions and create frameworks that also help others to do so.