Review: The Art of Thinking Clearly

The Art of Thinking Clearly The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dobelli works his ways through some 98 different biases and faulty thinking practices that he has witnessed and experienced in his life as an author and businessman. With each, he introduces the concept in clear and easy to understand prose with some great examples to illustrate how each works. While the format remains largely the same, the text is still lively, fun, and helpful. I enjoyed learning about and realizing the different fallacies that I have regularly stumbled with and ways of trying to get around them. He smartly emphasizes that we cannot use a list like this all the time, but when we are pressed to make the big decisions in life, it is useful to go through such a list to make sure we're not missing something in our thinking. The one strong critique I have of the book is that his final chapter, labeled, "Why You Shouldn't Read the News: News Illusion" entails many of the fallacies to which he has discussed. He argues that there is no value to the news and that it's distracting in most people's lives. He claims to rely on his friends and associates to filter news of relevance to him and that ultimately, people should read books and forgo news. Of course, this seems to be a blatant case of the man with the hammer or as he says, "if you take your problem to an expert, don’t expect the overall best solution. Expect an approach that can be solved with the expert’s toolkit." That is, the book author is telling the reader the fix is more books rather than more strategically engaging with news. Besides that one issue, the book is a solid collection of wisdom and food-for-thought when making big decisions.

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