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How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life

Thomas Gilovich · 3 HN comments
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Amazon Summary
Thomas Gilovich offers a wise and readable guide to the fallacy of the obvious in everyday life. When can we trust what we believe—that "teams and players have winning streaks," that "flattery works," or that "the more people who agree, the more likely they are to be right"—and when are such beliefs suspect? Thomas Gilovich offers a guide to the fallacy of the obvious in everyday life. Illustrating his points with examples, and supporting them with the latest research findings, he documents the cognitive, social, and motivational processes that distort our thoughts, beliefs, judgments and decisions. In a rapidly changing world, the biases and stereotypes that help us process an overload of complex information inevitably distort what we would like to believe is reality. Awareness of our propensity to make these systematic errors, Gilovich argues, is the first step to more effective analysis and action.
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Oct 26, 2020 · ci5er on Surviving Disillusionment
1) I have for a long time. Now with Kindles, I don't have to load 10 paperbacks into my computer bag every time I go on a global jaunt. A lot of time in airplanes and hotels gives you a lot of time for this (on average - which is why I said "per week", not "per day"). But, most under 250 page non-fiction books can be polished off in less than two hours. A lot of people spend two-hours/day watching some Netflix movie - this is the same thing.

2) I guess the ones that are based on subjective interpretation instead of objective fact (whatever that is today). There is a book called "How we know what isn't so" (, and it talks a fair amount about humans can clash by developing different interpretations of reality that they think are really real. I guess this isn't "touchy-feely"; I guess it is just that the reason I got into engineering is that machines are a lot more predictable and understandable than humans (to me). I did not mean to denigrate anyone's choice of book; I just didn't have a better term at hand (I still don't!)

I've spent a long time trying to speed read and I'm still much slower than where I'd like to be. How are you able to read through 2 pages per minute and still have context on what's going on? Do you have any advice for learning to do that?
I suspect a lot of it has to do with the kinds of books one reads.

Many years ago a friend claimed to read a book a day. She was referring to cheap paperback fantasy books, her preferred genre. She could read them very fast because she already knew what was in them. She told me she mostly read the dialogue, which would definitely cut down on the time spent reading.

So perhaps the OP is reading mostly books they're already familiar with -- novels in a genre they like and nonfiction on topics they already mostly know. If so, you might be able to do similar things.

Maybe. I would say that for fiction, this is almost certainly true, but for non-fiction, a lot has been molecular biology, or nonlinear economics. Which are neither native to me. YMMV.
I'm sorry ... I don't!

My father expected me to do so, at the age of 7, so I did. I don't think of it of speed reading - maybe it is. I did lose half my speed when I lived in Japan for a decade (learning to read in Japanese slowed my English input speed,

While there can be advantages to reading a lot and reading fast, I would also suggest that there is value to reading less (but still consistently) and letting your brain mull things over. Some thoughts really do require time.
Reading two hours gives you 22 hours to "mull"

(Not disagreeing at all, btw)

I love psychology!When I was an undergraduate I read a lot of psychology books and take some courses which totally change my life .

I figure out that introduction to psychology is pretty boring to me because it is too broad and not relevant with everyday life ,so I highly recommend to learn two significant branches of psychology:

Positive Psychology : Great course taught by great teacher.

Cognitive bias:

Modern psychology is very interesting and powerful,enjoy it!

Hi, you're new here. In the USA when someone in government says something that you agree with, it may because they are sincere, or it may be because its what you want to hear. Politicians, and humans in political roles, may lie. Lying is when they say something that isn't true. They may do this for many reasons. A common reason is when they want an outcome X, and they say to you that they don't want outcome X. "Oh thank goodness! They don't want outcome X either! I can go about my business." They might say they "don't want a backdoor". Technically, this isn't even a lie. Comey does not intend to put a backdoor on your phone. Your phone is not a house. Clearly it cannot have a door. But Comey very much wants to be able to decrypt the information on your phone and says so specifically and at great length. A technical person would call this "a backdoor". It is clearly not a backdoor, and no form of door will be installed on your phone. When Comey says "we dont want access to devices built in in someway", what he means is that of course your phone wont be built with the access mechanism. Your phone is an inert piece metal, plastic and silicon etc. What he wants is that when your phone is first connected to electrical power, at the factory, then it will have the access software installed. Not built in, but installed at the factory.

If you are curious about how you might incorporate what people say into your reasoning about reality and outcomes, this is a good book:

Thanks for being a condescending asshole.
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