I finished Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow PDF” with the feeling that few books in my life had managed to present themselves as lucid, intelligent, intellectually stimulating and, moreover, a joy of reading. And few, I fear, will shadow the memory that leaves one of the works I have recommended most friends and strangers in recent years.
Mr. Kahneman is a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize for Economics and this book brings his research closer for more than 25 years – first with Amos Tversky, who has passed away and whose memory permeates much of “Think fast, think slowly” , Then alone – to a non-specialist audience. In fact, if something resembles this book is an intellectual testimony, a gloss of experiments, wrong hypotheses and great discoveries that Kahneman presents with simplicity but without false modesty.
Thinking, Fast and Slow PDF and who we are
I could try to summarize this book by citing its sections or giving some examples – it contains so many brilliant paragraphs that it is tempting – but above all I think this book is about who we are. Not in the philosophical or purely biological plane of human nature but in the functioning of the mind, decision making, understanding, valuation and our experience and memory of life .
“Think fast, think slowly” shows the refutation of the models in which the human being has been assumed as a rational agent that weighs the different variables within their reach to make decisions. Kahneman puts on the table a compelling argumentative and experimental repertoire to conclude that we must distinguish between two modes of thought: “system 1” is fast and automatic, effortless and without a sense of control (generates impressions and feelings, decide intuitively ); System 2 is in charge of mental activities, it is with which we really identify ourselves as being the “conscious and rational self” that makes choices.
From that distinction Kahneman begins a fabulous journey explaining how each of these systems are activated in our minds, how they interact and how each has its virtues … and its limitations. The journey through the biases of our intuition, how associations affect us, how we formulate beliefs and decide what is true and what is not, how “we tell stories”, where creativity emerges and how risk aversion, halo effect Or the heuristic of affection influence our decisions. All this review is done in “Think fast, think slowly” with scientific and experimental evidence as an argument, fleeing from the pastel world of self-help books written – these yes – based on intuitions without constraint or from exceptions .
Moreover, it concludes that we have “two selves”: the one who experiences things and the one who remembers them, who also have different interests. This is a theme – remembering the past, living the present and how they are conjugated – is a topic that I was passionate about since I was a young reader of Javier Marías (whose characters, anchored in the past and what happened and could have Past are a sort of literary reflection of Kahneman’s theories). With this Thinking, Fast and Slow PDF leads to the study of well-being and happiness , on which it manages to leave a flavor of intelligence and analytical capacity showing its complexity and difficulty of being measured.
Personal and political conclusions
To an attentive mind, as he reads “Think fast, think slowly”, he gets dozens of applications of what was discovered thanks to the book. From how to manage the personal economy to how to face the priorities of professional and personal life. But it is not a self-help book, it lacks the simplicity and silly utilitarianism of most works labeled as such. If anything, Kahneman’s title could be defined as what self-help should always have been: a genre that leverages itself in contrasted knowledge to deepen one’s own understanding and of others without cheap formulas to learn in five minutes.
Moreover, many conclusions that come should reflect public policy, from the trust that must be given to the judgments of experts in certain contexts to how to avoid the fallacy of planning (tendency to overestimate the benefits of a project And underestimating their costs and duration by basing themselves on judgments of those involved and not comparing them with other cases, also happens personally with the reforms of the home or in the company with projects that “want” them to leave).
I could give a thousand examples from Kahneman’s book, but I would not do it justice. If, by putting some “but”, there are areas in which it enters and leaves the stage very open due to the little scientific evidence on the subject, having to assume the hypotheses presented as an approximation. These cases are the least in the overall book and, like any good essay, what causes is to take you to more works and authors to delve into.
I leave you a couple of videos about and with Kahneman. They do not do justice to “Think fast, think slowly”, is much brighter in prose than live, but did not want to deprive anyone of enjoying something that our societies have been discarding: listen to an old wise man who has acquired An essential knowledge for our future.
Your Ted Lecture on Knowledge and Happiness
One hour, nothing more and nothing less, about the book on video (here subtitles in English)
If someone is looking for an intellectually brilliant, stimulating and inspiring book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman is the first recommendation he would make. In Amazon it is on sale for 25 dollars on PDF and 15 in Epub. Worth a hundred times every penny it costs, do not miss it.