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Part 1: Two Systems 
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 Part 1: Two Systems
Please talk about Part 1: Two Systems in this thread or feel free to create your own threads.



Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:13 am
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Post Re: Part 1: Two Systems
I get more depressed as I read more. Are any of our decisions really freely made and thought out? And another thing, are we really pre programmed to be afraid of spiders?


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Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:31 pm
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Post Re: Part 1: Two Systems
I just downloaded the book and am about to get started reading it. I take this stuff with a grain of salt. Do these scientists really have the evidence to say we're not really using free will?



Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:22 pm
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Post Re: Part 1: Two Systems
i better re-read part 1 as i didn't quite get that from it. though i did find myself rebelling against the "all your decisions are belong to us" vibe so then again maybe i did.

i find it hard to keep my mind stayed on this sort of material.

second time lucky? :D

i def. relate to two systems tho, the intuitive and the rational, i think of them more as conscious and subconscious.



Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:08 pm
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Post Re: Part 1: Two Systems
I believe free will is an illusion. Or at least, as most people define the concept. Where in any of your thoughts do neurons break the cycle of cause and effect? If nowhere, then your thoughts are determined. If any one of your thoughts are based on quantum indeteminacy, then such a random input would lead to a random output - seizures or turrets. :P

Good thinking is good because of good wiring, good knowledge. Not because of a good goblin turning some internal hamster wheel. Everything in your head is reliant on causality.

It's sort of like the weather, but far more complex. We understand the mechanisms well enough, but precision in predicting the entire system is far far away. That doesn't mean we consider the weather to have free will. It is a system with mechanisms too plentiful to put in your head all at once. But it seems that when some part of a system can't "fit" into people's heads, it turns to magic. Because we can't see how billions of neurons manifest in normal human behavior in all it's radiant complexity, we assume there is some magical buffer in there that allows freedom from causality. Lack of understanding is not a void to be filled with magical thinking.


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Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:49 am
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Post Re: Part 1: Two Systems
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And another thing, are we really pre programmed to be afraid of spiders?


It wouldn't surprise me. I find that I'm pre-programmed to enjoy looking at boobs. Looking at a spider tickles the same caveman part of my brain, but in a bad kind of way. 8)


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Post Re: Part 1: Two Systems
The 'two systems' of the chapter title are the fast thinking and slow thinking which give the whole book its title.

Fast thinking is intuitive and automatic.

Slow thinking is rational and systematic.

Fast thinking cannot be switched off while you are awake, and is part of your everyday conscious awareness of what is going on around you.

Slow thinking requires effort and concentration.

Fast thinking is used for things we are very familiar with, like how to drive a car in normal traffic for an experienced driver.

Slow thinking is for things that are new and require careful attention, like learning how to drive or doing complicated mental arithmetic.

This model of human psychology suggests that the assumptions we form through fast thinking routinely infect our rational faculties. For example, we like to pretend an opinion is logical when in fact it is sentimental. Kahneman gives the good example of an investment adviser who bought Ford shares based on sentiment, not on logic, but then pretended his decision was based on objective analysis.

Fast thinking is subjective, slow thinking is objective.

Rationalisation is the process whereby we pretend that fast intuitive sentimental emotional subjective conclusions are in fact slow, rational, logical, objective and evidence based. We jump to opinions on skimpy evidence or as a result of psychological manipulation such as propaganda, advertising and comments from family and friends. Using our routine irrational fast thinking, we then accept those views as articles of faith. We then try to justify our emotions after we have formed the conclusion by constructing a plausible explanation. But this explanation is often flawed because it is trying to justify a claim that is just based on intuitive emotion.


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Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:11 pm
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Post Re: Part 1: Two Systems
Is there any scanning/testing to show underlying mechanisms to these categories, or are they arbitrary? It sounds like a useful distinction, but only in the sense that it's one of many heuristics for understanding human thought. Simplify simplify simplify.


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Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:06 pm
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Post Re: Part 1: Two Systems
Robert, you sound as though you might agree with Jonathan Haidt after all. There isn't much real difference between rationalizing moral opinions and other types of opinions.



Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:32 pm
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Post Re: Part 1: Two Systems
DWill wrote:
Robert, you sound as though you might agree with Jonathan Haidt after all. There isn't much real difference between rationalizing moral opinions and other types of opinions.

There is a big difference between self-interested prejudice and objective knowledge, but both are types of opinion.

I haven't been able to find a copy of Haidt in any bookstores in Australia.. From your summaries he sounds like a curate's egg. I might agree with the good parts but disagree with the bad.


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Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:29 am
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Post Re: Part 1: Two Systems
To understand slow thinking, count how many basketball passes the white team make in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2 ... detailpage


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Post Re: Part 1: Two Systems
My book just arrived this morning so I haven't begin to read it yet. Having read the posts though, I would just like to say that I like spiders. OK, I don't want their webs all over my living space, but I don't mind how many live with the bats in our coach-house.

I also like snakes, although I know I'd be terrified of walking through long grass where heledd lives and of being bitten by a venomous one. But to look at, in the reptile house at the zoo, they are fascinating and rather beautiful. You can hold them sometimes at our zoo and I was amazed to find that they don't feel the least slimey.

I think we often get our prejudices from our parents and they take some fighting, especially the religion thing.

I don't know how it works, but I found that Yoga medition and breathing, helped me to think much more clearly. When you look at a tray of meat in the supermarket, for instance, one tends to get the feel of the whole creature, and have more respect for the life of the creature. It is possible now to look at brain waves and synapses in operation - when one has a brain scan. Womens' brains work differently to mens. A wonderful, and funny book called, 'Why Women can't read Maps and Men don't Listen' demonstrates this.


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Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:41 am
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Post Re: Part 1: Two Systems
There are snakes in UK too, Penelope!


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Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:32 am
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One more post ought to do it.

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Post Re: Part 1: Two Systems
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Interbane: Is there any scanning/testing to show underlying mechanisms to these categories, or are they arbitrary? It sounds like a useful distinction, but only in the sense that it's one of many heuristics for understanding human thought. Simplify simplify simplify.




They can see by scans that a woman can think with both sides of her brain at once, the intuitive, artistic side, on the left, and the rational, mathmatical side, on the right. I man only uses one side at a time. Hence, if a man is reading a book, he can't hear his wife talking. What do you do Interbane, if you are watching TV and the phone rings? A man will usually, turn down the TV and then answer the phone. A woman will answer the phone and carry on watching the TV. A woman can knit, watch TV and read all at the same time. This is not necessarily a virtue. Also we cannot read maps without a lot of brain effort. I have to turn the map upside down to the direction we are travelling. I have 'duff' spacial awareness....can't park sideways because I can't visualise what is happening to the wheels of the car as I turn the steering wheel. See, I know in my head 'why' I can't do it.....but I still can't visualise it.
Is this what you were asking?


I haven't begun to read Part I yet, but I am reading the introduction. Now, this is relevant.....I am listening to what this man says, because he is Jewish. How silly, but that is the way I was conditioned....religiously speaking. The Jews, according to the Bible, were meant to teach the rest us of how to live in a relationship with God. I don't believe the Bible, but I can't rid myself of the tendency to listen to Jewish teachers.

I trust this man though, because I like his face....This is not as silly as it sounds.....I have learned to read faces. I trust this ability, because of experience.....I can read a kind face, a cruel face or a face which reads indifference. Now, this is fast thinking.....but I trust it. I trust it because I have lived a long time, comparitively speaking, and I know it works. I only believe in his integrity, btw, not that he is the fount of all knowledge.

Do you think it might boil down to the difference between 'wisdom', learning through experience, as opposed to, 'knowledge', learning through absorbing facts?


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He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

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Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:56 am
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One more post ought to do it.

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Post Re: Part 1: Two Systems
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Interbane: It wouldn't surprise me. I find that I'm pre-programmed to enjoy looking at boobs. Looking at a spider tickles the same caveman part of my brain, but in a bad kind of way. 8)


You like looking at boobs? You're a young and ultra intelligent bloke with lots of life-force....of course you like looking at boobs!!!

Now what is puzzling is that I am not supposed to have any libido. But I like a certain British Actor called Sean Bean. He once played Mellors the Gardener in a BBC production of 'Lady Chatterley's Lover'. Phrooor!! This week I saw him in one of a series of plays on TV, called 'The Accused' - He played a transvestite. He is so butch looking. He is famous for playing 'Sharp' in the Bernard Cornwall Series of historical/military novels. In this play, he played a transvestite, and I can't stop thinking about him.....What's wrong with me? Well, I don't care. I'm glad. It's the life-force, and I've still got a libido. Hurrah!!!!!!! :lol:


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Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish.

He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

Rafael Sabatini


Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:46 am
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