Let’s top up that frosty adult beverage, reapply our sunblock, and head back poolside for some more great summer reading.
Thinking, Fast and Slow. Daniel Kahneman. (@DanielKahneman) I’m fascinated by behavioral economics—all the instances in which humans make decisions that make no objective sense, and do it again and again. (The wonderful Dan Ariely cites many surreal examples in his TED talk.) Kahneman is co-founder of this discipline, and in this book, he has compiled all of the systematic irrationalities documented by himself, Ariely, and other researchers into an overarching model of human behavior. He posits two modes that the brain can work in, which he calls “Systems 1 and 2,” and explains how the irrationalities are natural side-effects of some of the shortcuts that System 1, our pre-logical brain, evolved to keep us alive—one step ahead of the saber tooth tiger that was chasing us. Of course, we think that we spend most of our lives in the rational, conscious System 2…but we’re wrong.
After reading this book, humans just make more sense to me.
In other hands, this could be dry, but Kahneman treats it like a mystery story—a whodunit in which our brains are the investigator, the criminal, and sometimes even the victim. It’s a great read. At least, I think my System 2 thinks so.
ps – speaking of poolside, did you know you can take a KCS Foundations Workshop from poolside? If your wireless works there, anyhow. Check out our August 13-16 Virtualshop.