[PODCAST] #461: SPEED AND POLITICS (Part One) – Rules For Radicals


What is wrong with John Oliver? What's wrong with Donald Trump? What's wrong the anti-Trump anti-reality protestors? What was wrong with me the other day when I suddenly felt impelled to hatch a conspiracy theory about Trump's election being part of a "larger plan" with no evidence? What's wrong with an alarming number of the interactions in School Sucks Facebook group lately?

Political thinking is often quick thinking.

Thinking quickly is an evolution-driven feature that was once necessary for our survival. But in a vastly more complex world than the one our species grew up in, this mode of thought is often dangerous and destructive. Look around.

Sometimes some people, even libertarians, use mental shortcuts to arrive at faulty conclusions, and then engage in a process of rationalization for those conclusions.

This series will combine observations of the left and pro-Trump right over the last year with the valuable lessons from Daniel Kahneman's book Thinking, Fast and Slow. The goal is utilize examples of thinking errors to avoid making them ourselves, often without even noticing.

Related Series:
Logic Saves Lives
A Young Person's Guide To Politics

John Oliver blows up 2016 - an analysis.

-Tom Woods: Don't waste Your Breath Reasoning With the left
-Rules For Radicals: learn to take advantage of mental shortcuts
-Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
-System One: thinking that operates automatically, intuitively, involuntary and almost effortlessly
-System Two: thinking that requires slowing down, deliberating, reasoning, computing, focusing, considering other data

Look Closer:

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  1. I remember reading Kahneman’s bestseller awhile ago, but I don’t remember him saying that System 2 was better or more likely to lead to objective truths than System 1 thinking. In fact, I think the point of his book was to point out advantages and shortcomings of both systems of thinking, fast and slow. Consider Serena Williams is not thinking slow when playing in a tennis tournament; in fact, she’s functioning at a very high level of accuracy by not thinking slowly and “logically”. I wonder: are you putting your own spin on the reading, confirming your own biases, or are you summarizing Kahneman’s central ideas accurately?

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