9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Excellent but not perfect.
, 25 Sept. 2013
This review is from: The Art of Thinking Clearly: Better Thinking, Better Decisions (Hardcover)
The book is a nice, handy guide to showcasing just how badly human beings think and reason. It's a comprehensive guide to a huge chunk of major and minor psychological software errors that we humans are so prone to. Some will be already known by the reader, many will come as a surprise, especially the more mathematical ones. It's a great book to show to friends as the chapters are short and easily digestible, and can be read independently of eachother.
It is by no stretch a perfect guide. It makes mistakes and can often come across as far too cynical and cut-and-dry. It seems as if the book preaches that a logical solution is always within reach, but this is not always the case. I'd much rather the overall theme be one of keeping an open mind rather than trying to calculate the most logical course of action in any given scenario (important, yes, but not everything).
The book can also read as a bit disconnected from more common examples. I'd like to have seen some more general examples that most people are likely to relate to. The book emphasizes the business and finance world a lot, which I'm not unsympathetic to since that is the author's background, but it can feel like too much of a business/financial guide sometimes instead of a book on clear thinking. It can demonstrate how a businessman might be financially better off by thinking clearly, but how is the average person going to benefit from clear thinking? This is something I hoped the book would delve into more, as I think clear and critical thought should be encouraged universally, not just for academics.
As a book I'd probably give it 3 stars, but I rate it higher since books like this are so few but so very needed. Self-scrutiny and objective admission of one's stupidity is always a difficult process, so the book gets an "A for effort" even though I find I might disagree with moderate chunks of it (which, to be fair, the book itself states as a likelihood and even encourages).
I've found two other books similar to this which I'll read afterwards. At first glance they seem much more relateable and light-hearted, so I'll see how they all compare.
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