Otto Lehto's Reviews > Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
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it was amazing

A fantastically rich and important book, which should be required reading in the social sciences. Its importance is compounded by the prevalence of the sort of illusions that the book aptly describes.

Although mere knowledge of our all-too-human nature might not be enough to make us behave more rationally and cautiously (or, when it is needed, less cautiously), the understanding of "System 1" and "System 2" should make social policy better equipped to handle the "predictably irrational" (Dan Ariely) nature of human beings. That said, it is not obvious whether the proper policy response is to increase the power of experts and the state, since these actors are also subject to severe planning fallacies and other errors in judgment. The "libertarian paternalism" of Sunstein and Thaler (the authors of Nudge), which is also recommended by Kahneman, is certainly an important and promising research program.

But perhaps freedom, stripped of the unreasonable rationality assumption, in the organized form of free markets, might be a better arbiter of human fallacies than even the most benevolent of political nudger?

At any rate, many of the empirical findings and theoretical frameworks expressed in the book (e.g. nudging, framing, priming, availability heuristics, planning fallacy, focusing fallacy, etc.) should become common knowledge and common tools for individuals and organizations alike, in improving human happiness and increasing the likelihood of achieving our own goals.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 1, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
May 1, 2013 – Shelved

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