Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Get Off the Internet and Take a Stroll

Linda, in Boston

"I did the best thinking of my life on leisurely walks with Amos [Tversky]." Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow, p. 40)

Consider those words, written by one of our greatest thinkers and scholars of the mental life, Princeton psychologist Daniel Kahneman. Begin slow-walking through life. This is essential for anyone who wants to think creatively and outside the box. Get off the creativity-quenching Internet and take a stroll.

Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow is on everyone's "Best Books of 2011" list. His "System I" and "System II" will be with us for a long time.

Kahneman: "I describe mental life by the metaphor of two agents, called System 1 and System 2, which respectively produce fast and slow thinking. I speak of the features of intuitive and deliberate thought as if they were traits and dispositions of two characters in your mind. In the picture that emerges from recent research, the intuitive System 1 is more influential than your experience tells you, and it is the secret author of many of the choices and judgments you make." (p. 13)

  • "System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control.
  • System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations. The operations of System 2 are often associated with the subjective experience of agency, choice, and concentration." (pp. 20-21)
This is such a good book - always brilliant, suggestive, and at times very funny.