Link: Re-reading Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow

by toomanymetas1 min read4th Jul 20169 comments


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"A bit over four years ago I wrote a glowing review of Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow. I described it as a “magnificent book” and “one of the best books I have read”. I praised the way Kahneman threaded his story around the System 1 / System 2 dichotomy, and the coherence provided  by prospect theory.

What a difference four years makes. I will still describe Thinking, Fast and Slow as an excellent book – possibly the best behavioural science book available. But during that time a combination of my learning path and additional research in the behavioural sciences has led me to see Thinking, Fast and Slow as a book with many flaws."

Continued here:

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All the above points are minor in themselves. But together the shaky science, overconfidence and lazy storytelling add up to something substantial.

I disagree. I admit that Ariely and Kahneman may exaggerate or bend reality when they talk about the final results they found. So did the famous "robbers cave experiment" so did Mendel and his Pea counting.

The important part is that when you strip back the over-the-top rhetoric you still have a truthful valid point. Mendelian genetics and his punnet square tools are still used today. Even if he had to lie for the scientists at the time to take him seriously and accept the Submissions of his theory.

What truthful valid point? System 1 / 2 distinction?

Ariely's work on encouraging/discouraging cheating. Generally "it can be done" and "you should be careful to understand the system in which cheating occurs". (most of: analyse the incentives to do the right/wrong thing)

Kahnemann on s1/s2 on which many following concepts are built.

The article is short enough that I'm confused about why you didn't just crosspost it here in its entirety.

That'd be unfair to the author.

I (and probably Jayson) assumed you were the author. probably because of the start.

"A bit over four years ago I wrote a...

And illegal in most jurisdictions.

But it might possibly be worth contacting the author and asking permission; they might be willing, in which case the ethical and legal issues go away entirely.

Looks like a pretty good blog.