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Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:19 PM

"Thinking Fast and Slow" -- Kahneman

I just want to rec this book to the group, some very useful insights and he's no worse a writer than Jared Diamond for example.

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Thinking Fast and Slow" -- Kahneman (Original post)
bemildred Jan 2013 OP
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #1
bemildred Jan 2013 #2
Neoma Jan 2013 #3
bemildred Jan 2013 #5
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #4
bemildred Jan 2013 #6
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #7
bemildred Jan 2013 #8
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #9
bemildred Jan 2013 #10
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #11
bemildred Jan 2013 #12
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #13
bemildred Jan 2013 #14
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #15
bemildred Jan 2013 #16
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #17
bemildred Jan 2013 #18
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #19
bemildred Jan 2013 #20
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #21
caraher Jan 2013 #22

Response to bemildred (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:21 PM

1. Now that's left-handed compliment for sure!

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:24 PM

2. I like Mr. Diamond, but lets face it, he's a scientist, not a writer.

Which is why this Kahneman guy reminds me of him ...

But I read boring people all the time because they have something to say, so it's not as insulting as you might think.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:32 PM

3. Some scientists are good writers...

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Response to Neoma (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:50 PM

5. Yes, they are, but it is not the way to bet. nt

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Response to bemildred (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:37 PM

4. I read Guns, Germs & Steel several years ago...

I enjoyed it...didn't find it plodding at all. I have The Third Chimpanzee and I suspect Collapse is here as well....(I buy way too many books, some of which end up being buried in huge piles) I moved 13 months ago...the books were unpacked in no particular order....I really should try to organize them... Just bought my first Kindle, just what I needed. It arrived yesterday, I've downloaded 3 books and finished the first one earlier today. I seem to get through a book more quickly with the e-reader.

In any case, I was not criticizing your post, just enjoying the way you worded it.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 02:01 PM

6. I've read the first two.

Very interesting stuff, but I would lose interest after a while when he'd wander off on his "human interest" material. I suppose that does say more about me than him.

I know just what you mean, as I sit here I am surrounded by piles of books: reference, failed ambitions, and ambitions not yet carried out. And more on the computer waiting for me to take a look at them.

I am very thick skinned, not to worry, if I'm annoyed it will not be ambiguous.

I consider it obvious that we are really a variety of ape with strange mental powers we developed in the course of our arms race with ourselves, and I consider it one of my main jobs in life to keep the little ape inside sedated, happy, and out of the way.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 02:08 PM

7. For which books are the perfect formula!

By any chance did you catch the NOVA program about Neanderthals? Turns out they were not a dead end evolutionarily speaking. Modern humans have anywhere from 1 to 4% of the Neanderthal DNA in their genomes...with Africans containing the least amount of Neanderthal DNA.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 02:16 PM

8. Neanderthals.

I don't watch TV much, and usually when I do that means my brain has stopped, so ...

But in any case, I'm a guy, so I know that guys will screw pretty much anything, if the opportunity presents itself we are in the mood, so I have never doubted that the differences are much exaggerated and the separation between the breeding pools imaginary.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 02:22 PM

9. LMAO...

I think without thousands of years of societal constraints, women would too. In fact the missionaries were horrified by the free wheeling females of the Hawaiian Islands...to name just one instance.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 02:30 PM

10. Yeah, I don't think anybody thought twice about it until we invented property.

And the notion that people could be property. Then all the "owners" started worrying about what their "property" was up to in its spare time, and also about passing their accumulations of "property" to their genetic descendants and not some interlopers, and so on. And soon you have the whole structure of morals and law that surrounds us as we speak.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:19 PM

11. Exactly!

Most Americans don't realize what sets the US constitution apart from any written before or since, are the extraordinary "property rights' it enshrined. It's not life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. It's not civil rights or human rights, but the rights of owners to their property.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:24 PM

12. Slavery was a curse, and it remains a curse.

And when you combine that with racism and an economic class system, you got us.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:27 PM

13. It's not just slavery....

It's he rights of individuals to own guns, it's the right to be protected from search and seizure etc. The constitution is full of it...but then most of the framers were rich, so we shouldn't expect anything else. It is purely coincidental when average Americans benefit.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:39 PM

14. That is true, all of it.

A lot of worrying about "excess of democracy" among the founders, and still with us.

I used to not understand (when I was a kid) when these racist neanderthals would start going on about liberty and freedom and property, that they meant THEIR liberty and freedom and THEIR property, not any general human rights or freedoms or liberties, THEIRS, the people who have property and therefore have rights, to keep what they have and take more.

Rights belong to people with property, people with no property have no rights either. And is that not how it is?

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Response to bemildred (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:58 PM

15. That's how it is.

As far as the founders were concerned if you were female (women were not allowed to own property in their own right) or a male who didn't own property you did not have full citizenship...you couldn't vote. There is still a large segment of the population that wants to restrict the rights of others. It took us almost 200 years to achieve near universal equality in this country...and less than 40 to destroy it again.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 04:43 PM

16. I've read your sig line, have you read mine?

Bastiat is not our sort of guy, but I liked that one. Quite apropos to the conversation, anyway, like yours.

I think of it as two steps forward, then 1.5 steps back. "President Obama" is a real change, a "Black Swan" if I ever saw one (pun intended).

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Response to bemildred (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 05:13 PM

17. I like your sig line very much....

and they are both quite apropos as you say.

Well he has that capability...but in order to effect that change he has to make his moves very carefully and with every bit of his brilliance.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #17)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 06:37 PM

18. I find that a difficult question to resolve, what to think of his performance so far.

On the one hand, as the first AA President, I think his first and most important job was to "succeed", to get re-elected, which he did, and handily too, brilliantly. And I find that an inarguable good thing, very important, maybe the most important thing, that he could do.

And he also seems to have brought into being the first new ruling electoral coalition since the "Solid South" gave way to the "Southern Strategy"; based on women, "minorities", and the young, and I find that very hopeful, the prospect of finally breaking the stranglehold of the plutocrats, war lovers, and racists on our politics.

But i find it easy to argue that he started out naive and has been more cautious than might have been necessary, and he is clearly not a "left-winger" such as you or I would think of it. But then so were Carter and Clinton, in their individual ways, if anything O has been a quick study. So it's also easy to come up with excuses. It's mainly the extension of the wars I find hard to swallow, strategically I see it, but morally and ethically I cannot.

So I'm kind of waiting to see how the 2nd term goes before I try to sum things up. So far there has been much to complain of, and yet we can already see a more assertive tone in the second term, and I think he is going to beat the Republicans like a gong from here on out, as long as he keeps the Democratic Congress at his back and stays safe.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #18)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 07:05 PM

19. I think in terms of a bigger picture and a longer time line.

We agree that his most important assignment was to gain re-election. Which means he was laboring under enormous pressure to perform and the GOP obstructionism was (and will, no doubt, continue to be) criminal. Had he failed to earn a second term many African Americans would have lost what little faith they still had in the system. The base of the GOP would have used every dog whistle at their disposal to write a false narrative along the lines that 'Blacks just don't have what it takes...' I can't tell you how filled with admiration I am for all those who stood in line for endless hours in order to cast their votes.

I have called him an opportunist for running when he did. I believed he jumped the gun, so to speak, and had too little political capital to spend. I no longer think that was such a bad thing because of that new coalition. Robert Gibbs was talking about using the enormous Obama data base for other things now that the election is over....That would be incredibly wonderful.

I think his next assignment, should he choose to accept it, is to lay the groundwork for the election of another Democrat to the WH in 2016. That would be the first time since FDR/Truman that we have held onto the WH for more than 2 terms. It will take at least 2 more terms of Dems in the WH to undo the damage caused by Nixon, Reagan, Bush I & II. It is imperative that we retake the House and retain the Senate as well. In any case, I suspect he will be too moderate for many DUers who seem to be historically ignorant and very short-sighted.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #19)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 07:22 PM

20. Yes.

Especially the people standing in line. Very little in US politics chokes me up like that.

I've always thought he was very ambitious, have to be, really, which explains much, the opportunism, and the chutzpah to try it, the ability to make it work, then the caution when it did work. And very smart, not a one-trick pony, sang-froid.

And the next 6-8 elections, yes, it's a big mess to clean up, best not have to do it twice.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 07:30 PM

21. A Psychology prof of mine

once posited that those who run for the WH suffer from megalomania in varying degrees. That was in 1968...

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Response to bemildred (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:22 PM

22. Great book

And since I teach, a lot of food for thought.

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