The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis

This wasn’t anywhere near as good as Lewis’ prior works,  The Boomerang,  Moneyball Flashboys, or The Big Short.  Still,  it’s well worth the read – very interesting subject I’ve always wondered baout

Lewis is a journalist and he loves explaining things,  especially things involving statistics.  He does it well,  writes very clearly and keeps the interest up.  There are also two very moving biographies involved here.


The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds
by Michael Lewis
2016/ 362 pages 
read by Dennis Boutsikaris  10h 18m
rating:   8.75  / nonfiction / psychology 

In The Undoing Project he examines how humans make decisions and why it’s not always consistent or rational – even often goes against statistical.  There are all sorts of reasons why we make decisions which are not in accord with our own best interests,  not rational,  sometimes silly.  This includes decisions in our financial lives, work lives, relationships and most every other area.

Of interest to readers is my own take-off question:  Why is it we are more willing to finish a book we’ve purchased than one we’ve borrowed from the library?   The money’s spent – why not go ahead and dump the purchased book if we don’t like it?  Is it rational to read a book we don’t like a bit just because we’ve thrown some money away in exchange for it?

The major portion of the  narrative follows two Israeli psychologists, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, as each they go through WWII and establish themselves as adults in war-torn and then the more stable Israel.  They eventually became the most intimate of friends and collaborated on ideas of rationality and the nature of man from a psychological viewpoint,  not philosophical.  We seem not to be naturally rational beings but there are patterns to our irrationality

“They eventually established a cognitive basis for common human errors that arise from heuristics and biases and developed prospect theory.” (Wikipedia)  The two developed new ideas about a lot of other things, too.

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