I'm a fan of Michael Lewis's books, and I just finished reading The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis. I had enjoyed his book The Big Short before as well as some of his later ones.
This one focused on the unique relationship between Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, who conducted some of the most impactful psychological research over the past 50 years, coining now-famous effects like framing, endowment, and others. Daniel's book Thinking, Fast and Slow was an amazing treatise in psychological research and cognitive biases and errors.
This book by Lewis had its focus less on the research and more on the backgrounds of the two protagonists and their intensely creative and productive relationship, as well as the problems it eventually ran into. The title refers to how our minds often use fantasy to try to "undo" parts of reality, and that creates various feelings like frustration, regret, and envy (and how a lot of this wishful thinking is very human but not very rational).
I enjoyed the book and reading the stories about how these guys got started, met, and worked together. My full notes are below.
Psychological aspects of the baseball moneyball story
1 man boobs
Knowledge is prediction
But models limited
2 the outsider
Incredible memory for textbooks
But major emotion was doubt which caused him to go deeper always
Feeling like he’s a mind without a body
Connoisseur of human memory
Writing essays on his own since childhood outside of school
Halo effect in interviewing
Helping Israeli army analyze candidates in interviews
3 the insider
Antagonism between thinking and perceiving
Cocktail party effect
Magical number 7
Action song to memorize
5 the collision
People not good Bayesian statisticians
Israeli discussions strong willed and confrontational
Very different personalities
6 the mind’s rules
Anchoring and adjustment
7 rules of prediction
Give yourself a day before accepting invitations
Regression to mean
11 rules of undoing
Counterfactual emotions like regret and frustration or envy and how mind considers fantasy
Possibilities of undoing
Harm to relationship when credit not shared between both
Psychology versus decision theory
People don’t choose between things but between descriptions of things
Don’t fantasize about things u want because then don’t work as hard
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