Today is my birthday (79) and I intend to resume my blog, something I’ve been meaning to do for some time. Usually it’s a trip that we are going on gets me writing again, but this time it’s not that at all. I have no explanation, nor do I think one is needed.
Teresa and I are having a birthday event for the next two days. It starts with a Birthday
Breakfast at home and a visit to Torrey Pines Park this afternoon, and a night at Torrey Pines Lodge. Tomorrow we spend the day at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, using passes given to us by our houseguest, which expire on the last day of May. One of the features of our excursion is that I’m not taking my laptop, something I’d never done in my life before, since owning one. I hope it’s going to be liberating. (I’m still taking my cell phone and my Samsung tablet, though.) I’m taking the tablet because I’m reading a book, “Thinking Fast and Slow”
by Daniel Kanehman. It’s a fascinating discussion of how the brain works in two modes, intuitively and analytically, and why in today’s world our intuition often fails us. I’m just getting into the book but I am sure part of the reason is that our brains evolved in simpler times, and is having trouble coping with the complexities and scale of today’s world. This is a very well-known book, but one reason I found it is that it is referenced in my previous book, “Think Like a Freak” by Levitt and Dubner, which is a follow-on to “Freakonomics” and “Super Freakonomics”.
The point of the third book is that to think like a Freak you have to first of all be willing to say “I don’t know,” instead of making your best guess. Then you have to be willing to look at the evidence, and if necessary, go get it. And finally, when you are thinking about how people behave, make sure to realize the “incentives” that people actually respond to, which are often counterintuitive.