Thinking, Fast And Slow

obyvatel

The Living Force
Hi go2,
Before I read this book, I did read the wikipedia entry on Kahneman and started sceptical. However, as stated by others, this book does not present anything radical for this forum - the basic ideas have been described by other authors going back to Freudian contemporaries. This book just exposes the mechanical nature of man in a convincing manner with experimental data.

Regarding one of the links that you presented
_http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=14216
While {Time} magazine's (April 13, 2009) expose of the "behavioral economists" surrounding President Barack Obama has put an important spotlight on a dangerous disease, infecting the economic decision-making at the Oval Office, the author of the expose only scratched the surface of the actual evil
underlying this hedonistic madness. The bestial notion of man as an irrational creature, driven
by overwhelming impulses to seek pleasure and avoid pain, which is at the heart of the so-called "behavioral economics" dogma
, came directly from Venice, the wellspring of all modern financier oligarchism. The author of this schema, which ruthlessly rejects actual human creativity, was Paolo Sarpi (1552-1623).

The bolded part above is not very different from Gurdjieff's assertion that man is a machine and as predicted by him, this notion continues to evoke strong reactions no matter how it is presented to people. So the basis of behavioral economics cannot be called a "dogma" but it is rather rooted in reality however uncomfortable it may be. The PTB has known and exploited this situation for a long time. I do not know what Kahneman's motivations were for writing this book but it is a book that can motivate people to question their automatic thinking and provide them with some tools to discern the manipulation that we are routinely subjected to through various media.

Regarding your posts in this thread, to me you came across as more indignant than frustrated. What you were saying could have been said like "people, I have not read the book but I am sceptical and suspicious of the author based on what I have read about him". Instead you chose to be confrontational. As truth seeker mentioned, it does not seem to be about Kahneman but something deeper. IMO you come across as quite forceful when you find that your ideas do not match with the view point of others. Maybe something worth looking into - if you choose to.

My 2 cents
 

StrangeCaptain

Jedi Council Member
Laura said:
I actually did look him up and got an overall picture of him but, after reading a lot of his work, I realized that even if his work is used nefariously, that doesn't diminish it's importance. Obviously, the PTB want fairly accurate studies for their control methods and it definitely behooves us to know what they know!!! Seeing ourselves as they see us gives us an edge. So what is negative about that?

I think this is a point of great importance.

I have heard Ark say or see him write something a couple of times that gave me a sense of vague unease. He would refers to things as games, even physics, as a game. I can't say why it gave me unease other than perhaps it made me aware of my profound lack of everyday living skills at some semi-unconscious level.

So... I have been studying strategy in games lately, particularly backgammon and poker. There is a term in discussing strategy in these called "meta-game." It refers to the strategies one creates based on knowledge of the opponent's approach to the game. In other words, we are now talking about how your approach to the game changes with increased information. And furthermore, your opponent can change his play if he understands how you perceive him. So.... There can be layers upon layers of meta-game.

I think that the cold, inhuman approach for crafting winning strategy in a game is almost as close as a normal human can get to understanding the mind-set of the world's pathological power brokers. Even then, we fall short as they will see winning strategies that we do not because of their lack of inhibitions concerning, and even enjoyment of, human suffering.

If the folks at the backgammon world championship know about meta-game, then high placed power brokers with access to the conclusions of think tanks, endless numbers of polls and surveys, and virtually the entirety of the scientific establishment must know about it as well. And use it...

In this sense, knowing how they perceive us and how they allow the media to present them is very important.

And then for our own personal purposes, as has already been stated, information about the machine is information about the machine.

Although I am chronically behind in the various readings we have here, I am now beginning these cognitive science books. As I am very much studying my machine right now, I am kind of excited about these books and looking forward to seeing what is in them.
 

mamadrama

The Living Force
Go2,

Thanks for posting the background information on Kahneman. It helped clarify some of my own unease with his authoritarian style of writing and what I was suspecting was the probable intention of the book - to be used by authorities to justify and institute more control.

Fwiw, to me it seems like your reaction and frustration to this thread and Kahneman in general, stems from grief. As one who worked and enmeshed themselves in the financial world, it must be disturbing to see it all being dismantled so easily and spectacularly - as if a mere illusion. The thing is - it was and is - an illusion. I don't know if this helps and I know it's simplistic but sometimes we just need a reminder that in order for something new to be created, something old must be destroyed. And there will be inevitable pains involved in the process. I know you know this but just a gentle reminder that our financial system and just about every other system we have constructed, including our picture of ourselves, are based on falsities. Do not grieve a lie. Just keep breathing - and watch it go. Then be ready to hold the space for something new and better to come in. And even though we don't know exactly what that will be, the Universe knows and it can be trusted - even if maybe Kahneman can't. ;)
 

mada85

The Living Force
Laura said:
I actually did look him up and got an overall picture of him but, after reading a lot of his work, I realized that even if his work is used nefariously, that doesn't diminish it's importance. Obviously, the PTB want fairly accurate studies for their control methods and it definitely behooves us to know what they know!!! Seeing ourselves as they see us gives us an edge. So what is negative about that?

Black Swan said:
Thanks for posting the background information on Kahneman. It helped clarify some of my own unease with his authoritarian style of writing and what I was suspecting was the probable intention of the book - to be used by authorities to justify and institute more control.

I'm nearly half way through Thinking, Fast and Slow and I also am finding his authoritarian writing style somewhat disturbing. He's unable to avoid dictating how the reader's responses to the exercises should play out. Like others in this thread I've found myself having a different response while also understanding how another person could have the response Kahneman describes.

On the one hand Kahneman's dictatorial style could reinforce mechanical thinking in those – authoritarian followers? – who do not have a questioning mind, while on the other hand provides valuable knowledge for people such as ourselves.

You can bet your bottom dollar that the PTB know everything that Kahneman talks about and probably more, and you can see in everyday life – in print media, in TV, radio . . . everywhere – that people's mechanical nature is ruthlessly exploited for the pathocracy's gain. Now we have a good insight into exactly how this manipulation works.

It can only help that we have some understanding of how the mechanical mind works so that we can defend ourselves more effectively against such manipulation. I for one have found this book invaluable in that regard, notwithstanding that reading Thinking, Fast and Slow does evoke for me a quite profound sense of the terror of the situation.
 

Laura

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Just a note: while I see the authoritarian style, and over and over again I was saying mentally: "maybe that works on other people, but you blew it buckwheat with me..." I wasn't bothered by his authoritarian style. I actually found it amusing. Maybe that's because I expected it and was reading as I read everything: skeptically and with the attitude: "make it good, bud, because you'll lose me fast if I catch you lying to me..."

Well, he isn't lying, he's almost gleeful in his presentation of all the interesting things he found out because he's so clever... and I just found that amusing because I was seeing through him all the time.
 

mada85

The Living Force
Laura said:
Just a note: while I see the authoritarian style, and over and over again I was saying mentally: "maybe that works on other people, but you blew it buckwheat with me..." I wasn't bothered by his authoritarian style. I actually found it amusing. Maybe that's because I expected it and was reading as I read everything: skeptically and with the attitude: "make it good, bud, because you'll lose me fast if I catch you lying to me..."

Well, he isn't lying, he's almost gleeful in his presentation of all the interesting things he found out because he's so clever... and I just found that amusing because I was seeing through him all the time.

Thanks, Laura - that's a really refreshing way of looking at it.
 

curious_richard

Jedi Master
Laura said:
Well, he isn't lying, he's almost gleeful in his presentation of all the interesting things he found out because he's so clever... and I just found that amusing because I was seeing through him all the time.

Perhaps like a magician watching another magician do his act?
 

Psalehesost

The Living Force
go2 said:
I am surprised the forum sees Daniel Kahneman’s two centered model of man worthy of our time and effort. The two-brained model of man is the model of a psychopath, a being centered in the intellect, connected to the instinctive-motor center’s survival function without a feeling center of value of relationship. Mr. Gurdjieff’s model of man is a three-brained, self-developing being with thinking, feeling, and instinctive-motor centers or brains. Why bother trying to reconcile Kahneman’s two-brained model with Mr. Gurdjieff’s ancient esoteric three-brained model of man’s psyche?

You did not raise the same objections in the Adaptive Unconscious thread where, likewise, a system of two is discussed: The adaptive unconscious and the 'conscious' mind. Same thing as, in the terms used by Kahneman, System1 and System2.

Further, in relation to Gurdjieff, I think - provided that what I posted on this is more than wiseacring - that there is a case to be made for significant parts of the adaptive unconscious (or System1) corresponding to essence in G.'s terms (some parts would be common functionality apart from this) - and for the self of the 'conscious' mind (or System2) corresponding to personality. Seen thus - if it would turn out to be accurate - this model of two may better allow understanding a model of two described by Gurdjieff.
 

mb

The Living Force
Kahneman made it clear that he was an authority, if not the authority on the subject. I found it a little amusing that he kept mentioning his Nobel prize. If you think about what his what findings say about that sort of insertion, it seems likely that he does it to influence his readers and assert his authority.
 

mamadrama

The Living Force
Laura said:
Well, he isn't lying, he's almost gleeful in his presentation of all the interesting things he found out because he's so clever... and I just found that amusing because I was seeing through him all the time.

Yes, thanks for pointing that out. That was another thing that was troubling to me - his near glee over such dismal findings. Quite a difference from G's somber method of pointing out the mechanical nature of man, not to mention his dedication to ameliorate it.

I do appreciate you sharing your mindset while reading this guy. I was having a hard time getting past his pomposity.
 

Laura

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Megan said:
Kahneman made it clear that he was an authority, if not the authority on the subject. I found it a little amusing that he kept mentioning his Nobel prize. If you think about what his what findings say about that sort of insertion, it seems likely that he does it to influence his readers and assert his authority.

Yeah. But I right after I had started the book, the Pennebaker's book arrived, "The Secret Life of Pronouns", and I was VERY interested in that, so read it pretty quickly. Pennebaker seems to be a really nice guy, writes like Bob Altemeyer with a lot of self-deprecating humor and uses his own foibles as examples now and again. So, I was loaded for bear when returning to reading Kahneman.

He's actually not a magician, he's more a wannabe. He's got way too much ego, and plays the "I'm speshul and my buddy was too, and together we did so much..." card a number of times.
 
A

andi

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The way I understand it is that one needs to realize he is a machine and at the same time find why he is a machine. For example, trauma that remains unresolved can cause automatic reactions that make one a machine, a prisoner to something he does not know what.

I think this is where these books come in -they give clues, clues to this terror that make me a machine, and for me personally one clue is enough to make me want to read a 500 page book. Probably anyone who is trying to find a complete understanding in any of these books is only looking for a religion type dogma.
 

Ollie

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Black Swan said:
Laura said:
Well, he isn't lying, he's almost gleeful in his presentation of all the interesting things he found out because he's so clever... and I just found that amusing because I was seeing through him all the time.

Yes, thanks for pointing that out. That was another thing that was troubling to me - his near glee over such dismal findings. Quite a difference from G's somber method of pointing out the mechanical nature of man, not to mention his dedication to ameliorate it.

I do appreciate you sharing your mindset while reading this guy. I was having a hard time getting past his pomposity.
I'm having a hard time getting through this book too, less than a tenth of the way through, yet, despite an interest in the subject, I'm finding it very hard to pick it up and read.

I was interested in the concept of System 1 and 2, as many years ago I read, and practiced, a a coach, Timothy Gallwey's Inner Game 'Theory', the concept of Self 1 (False Personality inner dialogue) and Self 2 (innate qualities, natural awareness). Most of his books dealt with Sport and one with Music - these were mainly motor centre orientated - the last book that I read dealt with work - which moved towards a more cognitive approach. Put into a simple formula: Performance = potential - interference. 'Thinking Fast and Slow' is a different kettle of fish.
 

mada85

The Living Force
Prodigal Son said:
I'm having a hard time getting through this book too, less than a tenth of the way through, yet, despite an interest in the subject, I'm finding it very hard to pick it up and read.

Yes, I can understand your difficulty with this book, Prodigal Son. I find that I have to separate the baby from the bathwater, so to speak, because I do think that the information Kahneman presents is invaluable in helping to understand the mechanical nature of our human existence. But one can also see areas where one does not match the 'mechanical norm' so to speak, as described by Kahneman, and in that way I think this book can also help one to identify the less mechanical parts and possibly one can then find ways to help those parts to grow.

As andi points out:

andi said:
The way I understand it is that one needs to realize he is a machine and at the same time find why he is a machine. For example, trauma that remains unresolved can cause automatic reactions that make one a machine, a prisoner to something he does not know what.

I think this is where these books come in -they give clues, clues to this terror that make me a machine, and for me personally one clue is enough to make me want to read a 500 page book. Probably anyone who is trying to find a complete understanding in any of these books is only looking for a religion type dogma.

I agree with this assessment, even though Kahneman can be hard work. I tend to take him in hourly doses! Perhaps one could think of reading Kahneman as a bit like panning for gold. One sifts and searches in the riverbed for hours and days until one finds the nugget of gold.
 

Laura

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I suspect that those having the hardest time getting through the book are the ones most driven by System 1 and feel an emotional reaction to what is being said about them vis a vis their machine. Remember what Don Juan said about "the Predator," i.e. "System 1:

"'I want to appeal to your analytical mind, ' don Juan said. 'Think for a moment, and tell me how you would explain the contradiction between the intelligence of man the engineer and the stupidity of his systems of beliefs, or the stupidity of his contradictory behavior. Sorcerers believe that the predators have given us our systems of beliefs, our ideas of good and evil, our social mores. They are the ones who set up our hopes and expectations and dreams of success or failure. They have given us covetousness, greed and cowardice. It is the predators who make us complacent, routinary, and egomaniacal.' [...]

In order to keep us obedient and meek and weak, the predators engaged themselves in a stupendous maneuver - stupendous, of course, from the point of view of a fighting strategist. A horrendous maneuver from the point of view of those who suffer it. They gave us their mind! Do you hear me? The predators give us their mind, which becomes our mind. The predators' mind is baroque, contradictory, morose, filled with the fear of being discovered any minute now. [...]

Through the mind, which, after all, is their mind, the predators inject into the lives of human beings whatever is convenient for them. {Castaneda, The Active Side of Infinity, 1998, pp. 213-220}
 
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