The Art of Thinking Clearly (2013) by Rolf Dobelli
First of all, I wants to say that I’ve been reading this book on and off about 6 month’s period. This book is very interesting and also very informative that I can’t simple read all of it in one sitting without really processing on what I’ve just read for days. The author shows how we are all guilty of cognitive biases (or assumptions or illusions or errors) we make in our thinking and decision-making processes in personal relationships and social interactives everyday of our lives. In writing this book, Dobelli wishes that “If we could learn to recognize and evade the biggest errors in thinking – in our private lives, at work, or in government – we might experience a leap in prosperity. We need no extra cunning, no new ideas, no unnecessary gadgets, no frantic hyperactivity – all we need is less irrationality.” We are prone to make mistakes because humanly speaking: #1 we paid off more on activity than reflection, #2 our brains are designed to reproduce rather than search for the truth, and #3 we often make decisions intuitively, even if they lack of logic, rather than rational reasoning.
There are major events in my life where I have to think critically, reasonably and rationally because of the possible consequences are large (i.e. important personal decisions, God’s calling in my life), and there are times – most of the time – when I minimize my rationalizations and let my intuition take over (i.e. Ron95 or Ron97, mineral or drinking water). Since major decision-makings are important [obviously!] it is good for me to minimize or avoid tripping on cognitive errors as explained in this book. “Eliminate all errors,” explained Dobelli, “and better thinking will follow.” In other words, eliminate or minimize our thinking errors, clear thinking will take over.
Since I reading this book, I recognized many fallacies in how we (I, particularly) think and make decisions. For example, we always try to solve a particular problem by linking it to our own areas of expertise where they don’t belong (“deformation professionelle” bias), or we tend to follow others in term of fashion, trends, hobbies and diets without even thinking about it because conformity is attractive (“social proof” bias), or we bought a 70% discount t-shirt impulsively because it was only five days last chance offer (“fear of regret” bias), or we make reckless decision because we supposed majority consensus is the best thing even though we might disagree with it or don’t want to be ‘troublemaker’ in the team (“groupthink” bias), and more. There are 99 biases explained briefly but sufficiently in this book. I recommend this book wholeheartedly, especially to thinkers out there.
[There are many biases, errors, and assumptions in Christian cultures today too that we need to have clear thinking, discernment from the Holy Spirit and uncluttered theology of the Scripture in order to identify truth and false, principle and assumption, orthodox and tradition]
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.