Thinking, Fast and Slow

“A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow


I had a strange affinity towards this book while I was reading it perhaps to two main reasons:

  1. The author states that this book was heavily influenced by Nasim Taleb’s book “The Black Swan” which I love to refer to it’s lessons frequently.
  2. The book almost builds upon the idea of the book “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell and infers the irrationality of some of it’s thought. This has a profound effect on me as “Blink” is one of the first non-fiction books that I picked up (other then a text-book) and I account heavily to changing my view on the world as a young adult. The essay in my application to the University of Washington referred heavily to the work done in “The World is Flat,” “Freakanomics” and “Blink.”

The main point of the book explains that the human mind as two specific thought capacities that Daniel refers to as “System A and System B”.

Basically that ‘System A’ works mainly on the intuitive processes making split second decisions that draws upon our memory bank. It’s an evolutionary trait that has helped protect ourselves from potential danger. Let’s say something causes pain such as a hot stove. Now we are programmed by that memory to avoid stoves instinctively due to that memory.

‘System B’ is our thinking counterpart that infers logic and reasoning but is according to the author, inherently lazy. There are many moments when our ‘System A’ will come to a quick conclusion of a scenario and our ‘System B’ may review the problem and address certain facts to the situation but with the limited information presented in certain scenarios, may just agree with your intuitive mind. This is a common issue of “what we see is all there is.”

It’s gives a real fascinating perspective to how the human mind works and how this affects our decision making, as much as we hate to admit it. A person therefore that is raised in a specific society will have it’s thoughts shaped in a certain fashion because of the exposure of various instances, believes and perceptions commonplace in the person’s upbringing. With how much media surrounds, it will effect our intuitive mind, no matter how minute the detail is.

This is a book I see myself applying the principles and knowledge laid out within it to how I see the world and something I wouldn’t mind picking up again to reinforce what I may have missed. Definitely a must read for any seeker of knowledge and the further understanding of people.

References:

  1. Thinking, Fast and Slow By Daniel Kahneman

 

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