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

post by toomanymetas · 2016-07-04T06:32:21.010Z · LW · GW · Legacy · 9 comments

"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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comment by Elo · 2016-07-04T06:41:48.376Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

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.

Replies from: toomanymetas
comment by toomanymetas · 2016-07-04T11:34:46.289Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

What truthful valid point? System 1 / 2 distinction?

Replies from: Elo
comment by Elo · 2016-07-05T01:51:50.746Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

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.

comment by Jayson_Virissimo · 2016-07-05T02:15:15.006Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

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

Replies from: toomanymetas
comment by toomanymetas · 2016-07-05T22:12:15.647Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

That'd be unfair to the author.

Replies from: Elo, gjm
comment by Elo · 2016-07-06T11:31:22.975Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

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

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

Replies from: Jayson_Virissimo
comment by Jayson_Virissimo · 2016-07-06T18:12:27.601Z · LW(p) · GW(p)


comment by gjm · 2016-07-06T11:27:17.706Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

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.

comment by John_Maxwell (John_Maxwell_IV) · 2016-07-05T07:23:59.043Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Looks like a pretty good blog.