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Thinking Slow in the Fast Lane - Transience Divine
February 3rd, 2013
05:51 pm


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Thinking Slow in the Fast Lane
I have been reading Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow with something between fascination and indignation. I was taught, during and after college, to worship my "System 1": it is more intelligent, eloquent, and aware than me, and better at everything from math to social cues. It surprises me daily, and at every step seems to already be ahead of me. I don't deny Kahneman's science, but he constantly takes implications that I would not.

If one day you met someone who, you learned, had been setting the course of your whole life; who crafted your perceptions, and not only controlled your desires, but designed them for your betterment; who knew what you were going to say before you knew it, and who fed you those things to say, so that if you were not their puppet, you were certainly an actor playing a part they wrote, wouldn't you worship them?

I don't doubt that I (my "System 2") has a greater role to play in my life, and I think that Kahneman's book can help me learn that, but it is not, as Kahneman presumes, by faults or ill-suitedness of "System 1". I will never walk on equal footing with the being that constructs my world, but perhaps I can be a more keen observer of it.

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