Book Cover

Read the book!

This week we complete the material in Thinking Fast and Slow. The Conclusion Chapter is the last of the main material in the book. There are two appendices, notes and an index, I will leave those to the readers of the blog to consume at their leisure. Next week we finish the re-read in earnest with a few closing thoughts. 

There are three related areas in the Conclusion I want to comment on.  The first is Kahneman’s delineation between how econs (Economists and decision theorists) and humans define rational. I would have called both sets humans–neither are AIs–but I did not win a Noble Prize nor did I write the book. Econs define rational as beliefs that are internally consistent while humans define rational as reasonable. Humans are swayed by many System 1 biases as they assess what is reasonable. Help is sometimes required for humans to make better decisions.    

One approach referenced was nudge theory (see the book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness). Nudges, as described by Thaler and Sunstein, are “any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives.” The classic example is having 401k benefits as an opt-out rather than opt-in. The 401k participation rate goes up (a lot) if the participation decision requires a conscious opt-out. Keven Kruse, the leadership guru, and author described how to use nudges as a tool to get people to remember and use leadership assessments. Nudges and Nudge Theory are a great tool to guide behavior. 

Kahneman points out that System 1 caused decision errors are simple to fix (tongue in cheek). You recognized that you are using System 1 thinking to make a decision so you slow down and invoke System 2 thinking. The tongue in cheek comment comes from the fact that slowing down when your brain thinks it needs to use System 1 is not very likely to happen without help mechanisms and decision heuristics. Frameworks like Scrum are tools to help avoid over-reliance on System 1 thinking decisions (until they become markers for biases that stop deep-thinking in their own right). 

Next week we will cap the re-read with a few closing thoughts.  I have been saving the concept of “what you see is all there is” (WYSIATI) since about Chapter 3 for just such an occasion. 

The previous installment of Re-read Saturday is:

Week 36 – Life As A Story – 

Or start at the beginning

Week 1: Logistics and Introduction

The next book in our Re-read Saturday Feature is Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler. I have never read this book, I just ordered the book using the link (using the link helps support the blog and podcast). If you do not have a copy or have tossed it at someone during a crucial conversation, it is time to buy a copy. Please use the link above!  

Remember that, the Business Agility Conference (March 11 -12, 2020 in New York City) is sponsoring the Software Process and Measurement Podcast. If you are a friend of the podcast and blog and are shopping for a great business agility conference, this is one I recommend. Check out the conference at, and use the special code “spamcast” to get a 20% discount!