Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Published by Books on Tape, with ISBN 9780739357996.0. First read on 2022-08-04

Thursday August 4, 2022


Book PDF

Books referenced: - The Black Swan Talib - Herbert Simon - - Prospect theory - choice and consequence Thomas Shelling - Nudge

21 hours of this book. What are the key takeaways for me? - substitution biases - What you see is all there is and all - The ways it biases - Californians aren’t actually happier because they don’t think about what they have.

“The acquisition of skills requires a regular environment, an adequate opportunity to practice, and rapid and unequivocal feedback about the correctness of thoughts and actions. When these conditions are fulfilled, skill eventually develops, and the intuitive judgments and choices that quickly come to mind will mostly be accurate. All this is the work of System 1, which means it occurs automatically and fast.”



Chapter , - remembering self vs experiencing self. We do not - We only remember the peak and the end. Not duration. - Happiness is a function of time you spend with people you love and who love you. - Ill health has a huge impact on happiness. - Religion doesn’t reduce depression. - Being poor makes someone miserable, but being rich has little positive impact on happiness. - Having an ambitious goal and not achieving it creates more dissatisfaction than not having a goal at all - Miswanting: misprojecting what you think will make you happy given your preferences will change and your tastes will adjust. - Focus illusion: what you think about isn’t as important as when you’re not thinking about it.


Framing - keep vs lose. - France lost the game. Italy won. - Losses are not costs. → paying $5 for a lottery ticket vs paying $1 and losing $4 are very different. - 10% mortality rate vs 90% survival rate → people pick the positive. - People have a hard time making choices against the frame. If it’s framed as the wrong choice then they’re likely to do the “right” thing - gallons per mile or miles per gallon? Gallons per mile is a much better framing.

Sunk cost anxiety: it takes longer than you think. Do you keep going? Depends on at that point how much time it’ll take.



Decision weighting according to Kahneman – Shane Gryzko’s Blog

Decision weights


Better planning: - how long do you think it’ll take? - Why? - What’s a similar project in the past you’ve done? - How long did it take you?

Bad planning: - overestimate benefits, underestimate costs. Overestimate abilities, underestimate time it takes

Validity: how predictable is the environment? How much time does the person have in the environment? What’s the feedback loop? Anesthetist vs radiologist.


Application: - Why do I believe X model is good? Am I at risk of substitution: when you swap one piece of information for another



How to unbias an intuitive prediction allowing for regression to the mean

Reading she and college grade. Reading age =

  1. Start with an estimate of average GPA (base rate)
  2. Determine the GPA that matches your impression of the evidence (conjuctive average)
  3. Estimate the correlation between your evidence and GPA (correlation between base rate and evidence’s impact on base rate)
  4. If your correlation is .30, move 30% of the distance between the average to the matching GPA (move from base rate to conjunctive base rate )




System 1




Bryan lives somewhere at the intersection of faith, fatherhood, and futurism and writes about tech, books, Christianity, gratitude, and whatever’s on his mind. If you liked reading, perhaps you’ll also like subscribing: