Daniel Kahneman: Thinking Fast and Slow — A Seminar Flashback

Posted on Saturday, August 16th, 02014 by Mikl Em
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In August 02013 Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman spoke for Long Now about two types of thinking he’s identified and their implications. The pioneer of behavioral economics gave an insightful and humor-filled presentation on how we think and make decisions. Kahneman contrasted his pessimism with Stewart Brand’s characteristic optimism in their on-stage conversation after the talk (which was ended prematurely by a fire alarm). Twice a month we highlight a Seminar About Long-term Thinking (SALT) from our archives.

Video of more than 170 Long Now Seminar lectures is free for everyone to watch including Thinking Fast and Slow. The SALT audio podcast is also free for all on our Seminar pages and via podcastLong Now members can see all Seminar videos in HD.

From Stewart Brand’s summary of this Seminar (in full here):

Before a packed house, Kahneman began with the distinction between what he calls mental “System 1”—fast thinking, intuition—and “System 2”—slow thinking, careful consideration and calculation. System 1 operates on the illusory principle: What you see is all there is. System 2 studies the larger context. System 1 works fast (hence its value) but it is unaware of its own process. Conclusions come to you without any awareness of how they were arrived at. System 2 processes are self-aware, but they are lazy and would prefer to defer to the quick convenience of System 1.

Daniel Kahneman is professor emeritus of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. His books include the bestselling Thinking, Fast and Slow (02011). He won the 02002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his work in prospect theory, and he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 02014.

Daniel Kahneman

The Seminars About Long-term Thinking series began in 02003 and is presented each month live in San Francisco. It is curated and hosted by Long Now’s President Stewart Brand. Seminar audio is available to all via podcast.

Watch video of Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow or another Long Now lecture today, complete and ad-free. Long Now members can watch more than a decade of Long Now Seminar talks in HD.

You can join Long Now here. Membership starts at $8/month and includes lots of benefits.


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