Timothy's Reviews > Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
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Apr 15, 12

Read in April, 2012

Incredibly thought provoking.

Concerning "remembering self" vs the "experiencing self":

I feel that this book presented everything you would need to understand the absurdity of a remembering self, yet the book seemed to suggest that we value (even if it's irrational) the remembering self; the only reason stated was that most individuals choose to value their remembering self. I think we can do better.

Is it possible to think differently and free ourselves from these silly attachments to conjured memories?

There seems to be a tacit assumption that the remembering self make choices, does it? And more importantly, should the remembering self make choices?

Memory is memory, flawed and episodic giving no value to duration; reasoning from memory is an error prone approach to thinking.

If the mind can think differently, to cease the concoction of memories that lead to irrational fear and suffering, and instead engage fully into life with awareness of the world as it actually exists (that is, valuing only the "experiencing self"), then why not do it? Actual experience is actual, it can serve as the basis of actual science, actual art, actual learning, actual creativity, and actual everything else!

While human intuition is automatic and its biases cannot be turned off nor mitigated, the provably irrational fears from the "remembering self" can be entirely mitigated, and failure to do so seems absurd.

With awareness of the world as it actually exists (through the experiencing self), the more likely that our coherence seeking beliefs will model the actual world; at best this kind of awareness leads to sustainable bliss in each moment, and at the least you'd have more intelligent decision making and more effective strategies towards any perceived goal or desire.

With a remembered self, we lose much, and gain only needless suffering.

And despite all that, this book is absolutely amazing! The biases and heuristics discussed in this book, and much of the research by Kahneman and Tversky, have been some of the most influential factors in my life (my experiencing self, but we've already covered that).

Reading this material can be slightly depressing to your ego, and wonderfully empowering otherwise. An insightful overview of cognitive heuristics and behavioral economics. It's inspiring that these ideas are finally being discussed outside academic contexts (and beginning to show up in corporate and government policies).
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