Sunday, April 16, 2006

No such thing as thinking without thinking

Nice review of Malcolm Gladwell's 'Blink' in the March/April issue of Skeptical Inquirer. This is a widely popular and well-written book that suggests that quick, unconscious decisions are better than informed but time-consuming deliberations. Here is a good summary by Wesley Cecil of why one should not take this book too seriously:
By the measure of books by New Age mystics or anti-science religious fundamentalists, Malcolm Gladwell's Blink is not exceptionally irrational. However, due to its popularity and critical acclaim, Blink stands as potentially far more damaging to rational discourse. Replete with errors both logical and factual, it advances an argument hostile to the traditions of reasoned thought: that one can think without thinking. Primarily, Gladwell's Blink demonstrates that the dangers of not thinking are as prevalent as ever.


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