Mike Kueber's Blog

November 25, 2013

Sunday Book Review #112 – The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli

Filed under: Book reviews — Mike Kueber @ 2:23 am
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I stumbled across The Art of Thinking Clearly while recently browsing the New Book section at the Igo Branch Library.  The title seemed like something that has greatly interested me since reading Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow, a book that analyzes decision-making (both intuitive and rational) and suggests ways to improve it.  I was so impressed by Kahneman’s book that I wrote an open letter to a State Education Board member suggesting that it be incorporated into the standard high school curriculum in Texas.

When I reviewed Kahneman’s book, I noted that it was similar to popular writer Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink:

  • “… but it is much more in-depth and comprehensive.  Gladwell is relatively a subject-matter dilettante compared to Kahneman, who has won a Nobel Prize in Economics and has been studying this subject (decision-making) his entire life.  Kahneman does an especially good job in describing how fast and efficient intuition is, which he calls it System 1.  But he also vividly describes the slower, lazy System 2, which monitors the functioning of System 1 and overrules it where necessary.  This overruling of System 1 by System 2 is necessary because, although System 1 is generally accurate, it makes lots of fundamental mistakes.”

If Gladwell is a dilettante compared to Kahneman, so is Rolf Dobelli.  His 306-page book consists of 99 of Dobelli’s insights into clear thinking, with each insight neatly described in 3 pages of print.  Although the insights are accurate, they are generally things that are readily apparent to thinking people.  And if you aren’t a thinking person, then you probably won’t take the time to plow through 306 pages.

But it might work as a textbook for high school students.





1 Comment »

  1. Is it a book for the older generation? I am always interested in books that help improve myself at my age. I have just enjoyed the book, “Rich in Years” by author Johann Christoph Arnold. http://www.richinyears.com I’d like to learn how to grow old well from someone who is on the same journey and talks candidly about his own struggles. It’s a great read!

    Comment by Lauren Smith — November 25, 2013 @ 6:55 am | Reply

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