I’m reading Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I’ve read only a handful of books that have changed my life. Escher, Gödel, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter and the Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge come to mind. I have added Fast and Slow to that handful.
I pride myself of being a reasonably rational person. Sometimes I’m even arrogant enough to accuse other people of “intellectual laziness”. Fast and Slow presents a model for this laziness in terms of “System 1”, the fast. lean, and lazy system for solving problems, and “System 2” the slow, energy-hogging, sequential system. To literally conserve energy (glucose in the brain) we often resort to System 1. It probably worked fine 10 000 years ago when we didn’t manage complex enterprises or designed interplanetary spacecrafts. Many situations today call for the use of System 2 but we don’t seem to find the energy to do so.
I get very frustrated from time to time when trying to solve the devious problems in the book and learning that I’m not immune to the intellectual laziness trap.
This post is really just to announce that I found a nice word for the intellectual laziness in this article in Scientific American: “dysrationalia”.