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Review of "The Art of Thinking Clearly"

Unknown Date


3 minute read

I often read books and forget what I've read so I think writing my thoughts about them is a good way to remember them.

Rolf Dobelli's book "The Art of Thinking Clearly" exposes the grim reality of our numerous detrimental cognitive biases.

He goes through 99 different types of biases and gives compelling stories to illustrate them which makes the book an entertaining read.

Despite being filled mainly by basic concepts like: confirmation, survivorship and availability bias, there were certainly some enlightening moments.

The most general takeaways I got from the book are:

  1. I can't predict the future, there is a lot of uncertainty.
  2. I believe many things, but I don't know if they are true.

Therewas definitely a business and investing focus to the book, but the concepts are still useful to anyone.

I didn't agree with everything Rolf Dobelli said, a lot of the book as focused on pointing out the negative realities of life in the 21st century and seemed to be a bit pessimistic, suggesting that we should often just accept things as they are.

This is a fair perspective if you think about probability and statistics, but from a psychological perspective, some of the cognitive biases that Rolf Dobelli points out may not be the best concepts to use to improve quality of life.

One example that struck me is his perspective on music and sports, while it's true that almost no one will become a professional musician or athlete, he seems to suggest that these things aren't even worth pursuing just because the probability of making money is so small which seems a bit naive but I'm sure if I had to opportunity to get Rolf to clarify his position that he would agree that there are other benefits to pursuing these things.

Either way, I think the book is worth reading, it's a quick read and it's filled with interesting stories and concepts. I definitely recommend it to anyone pursuing a career in business or investing, but I think it's also useful for anyone who wants to improve their own lives by understanding how their own minds work.