Cart Before Horse

If the goal is to make less mistakes, then we ought to first understand how we make mistakes. Because if we don’t understand how we make mistakes, we will continue making the same mistakes, even worse, not know until it’s too late.

Before you read another book, or read the Bible, or make another decision, or voice an opinion on social media — you ought to consider reading The Undoing Project. If you do not have time to read the entire book, I suggest reading Chapter 6 The Mind’s Rules and you will quickly realize the importance of reading the rest of the book.

The point remains that people do not follow the correct rule, when left to their own devices.
— The Undoing Project

Last I checked, The Bible explains why the above quote happens, but I’ll leave that for another post.

There are two errors when it comes to understanding how we make judgments and decisions. One is to believe we understand how our mind works. The other is to believe we understand, and to not feel a need to question what we believe. Considering we use our minds everyday, we ought to understand how the mind works. It should come before anything else. We need to be careful we are not putting the cart before the horse.

The Internet is the most insidious source of bullshit and misinformation in human history. The book captures nicely how we deceive ourselves without knowing through the mysteries of the mind.

Following is an example of something I took away from the book.

What happened to Jane was serious. Jane committed to a biblical worldview in which Jane’s interpretation of the Bible made sense, and that afternoon Jane saw the appeal of another worldview in which Jane’s interpretation of the Bible looked silly. Jane wonders how she could have made such a silly mistake.

Something can make perfect sense to Jane, at the same time, be completely wrong. Everything we do and believe can be traced back to one thing, how we think.

Arbitrary Goals

“If your metric for the value of success by worldly standards is “buy a house” and “have a nice car” and you spend twenty years working your ass off to achieve it; once it’s achieved, the metric has nothing left to give you.

Its growth that generates happiness, not a long list of arbitrary achievements. In this sense, goals, as they are conventionally defined, “graduate from college,” “buy a lake house,” “lose 15 pounds” are limited in the amount of happiness they can produce in our lives. They may be helpful when pursuing quick short-term benefits, but as guides for the overall trajectory of our life, they suck.”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Mark Manson Chapter 7 – 7:48

Arbitrary – based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.

A meaningful goal would be to become smarter in order to identify what is meaningful.

Good Reads

How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (A Touchstone book) Revised Edition
Mortimer J. Adler

Tales from Both Sides of the Brain: A Life in Neuroscience Reprint Edition
Michael S. Gazzaniga

Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge Reprint Edition
Edward O. Wilson

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Malcolm Gladwell

Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead
Laszlo Bock

COMPLEXITY: THE EMERGING SCIENCE AT THE EDGE OF ORDER AND CHAOS 1st Edition
M. Mitchell Waldrop

So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
Cal Newport, Ph.D.

Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition
Michael J. Mauboussin

Intuition: Its Powers and Perils (Yale Nota Bene)
David G. Myers

God’s Debris: A Thought Experiment
Scott Adams

Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America First Edition
Barbara Ehrenreich

Research Methods and Statistics: A Critical Thinking Approach 5th Edition
Sherri L. Jackson

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
Ed Catmull

DARWIN’S DANGEROUS IDEA: EVOLUTION AND THE MEANINGS OF LIFE
Daniel C. Dennett

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Malcolm Gladwell

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business
Charles Duhigg

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
Peter Thiel , Blake Masters

You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself
David McRaney

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds
Michael Lewis