ALPHABETICAL BRAIN™ VOCABULARY
HUMANIST GALAXY OF
SECULAR BRAIN SCIENCE STARS
July 15, 2019
THE UNDOING PROJECT:
A Friendship that Changed Our Minds
by Michael M. Lewis.
W. W. Norton & Company,
2017 (362 pages)
QUOTE = "Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is not an absurd one." by Voltaire. (page 9)
INTRODUCTION — Problem that never goes away (15-19)
1) N BOOBS (21-51)
2) THE OUTSIDER (52-84)
3) THE INSIDER (85-115)
4) ERRORS (116-141)
5) THE COLLISION (142-164)
6) THE MIND'S RULES (165-195)
7) THE RULES OF PREDICTION (196-211)
8) GOING VIRAL (212-237)
9) BIRTH OF THE WARRIOR PSYCHOLOGIST (238-267)
10) THE ISOLATION EFFECT (268-290)
11) THE RULES OF UNDOING (291-312)
12) THIS CLOUD OF POSSIBILITY (313-338)
CODA --- BORA (339-352)
A NOTE ON SOURCE (353-360)
AUTHOR NOTES, SUMMARY,
AND BOOK DESCRIPTION
AUTHOR NOTES = Michael Lewis was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 15, 1960. He received a BA in art history from Princeton University in 1982 and a Masters in economics from the London School of Economics in 1985. He is a non-fiction author/journalist of mostly financial themes. His books include Liar's Poker, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, The Money Culture, Boomerang, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine and The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds. – Bowker Author Biography.
SUMMARY = Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis's own work possible. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms.
BOOK DESCRIPTION = The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield--both had important careers in the Israeli military--and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. Amos Tversky was a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, was an introvert whose questing self-doubt was the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn't remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. They flipped a coin to decide the lead authorship on the first paper they wrote, and simply alternated thereafter.
This story about the workings of the human mind is explored through the personalities of two fascinating individuals so fundamentally different from each other that they seem unlikely friends or colleagues. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind's view of its own mind.
 PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW = Actor Boutsikaris narrates Lewis's latest with finesse. He creates and sustains the sense that he's right there telling you this story about two brilliant friends, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, who profoundly influenced the way we all think about thinking. In such areas as economics, medicine, sports, and government policy, they showed how intuitive judgments are generally mistaken. Boutsikaris adroitly highlights their process of discovery, their responses to their own findings, the intensity of their feelings about their evolving personal and professional collaboration and about public responses to their revolutionary theories. This is a great listen for anyone familiar with the field; Boutsikaris reads clearly but quickly, so uninitiated listeners may need to hit pause to think through Kahneman's and Tversky's concepts. A Norton hardcover.
BOOK LIST REVIEW = *Starred Review* Early on in bestselling Lewis' latest inquiry (Flash Boys, 2014; The Big Short, 2010), he appears to have hatched a hybrid of sorts: a biography of two gifted Israeli psychologists, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, fused with a primer on the field of cognitive and mathematical psychology. But with each page, the book reveals itself as a radiant if cerebral romance about two brilliant minds, novel ideas, truth, country, and duty. The psychologists' personalities could not have been more different. Tversky was a charismatic genius, a fearless thinker and warrior who served his country as a paratrooper and platoon commander. Kahneman, who grew up in Nazi-occupied Paris and ended up serving as a psychologist for the Israel Defense Force, is portrayed as philosophical, continuously in need of approval by others, and possessing a depressive disposition. As opposite as these men seem to be, Lewis writes, They'd become a single mind, creating ideas about why people did what they did, and cooking up odd experiments to test them. Tversky, in particular, was fascinated by how people make decisions and looked for ways to undo accepted theories of decision-making.
Their intellectual synergy produced provocative and groundbreaking theories about the workings of the human mind, including the origin of biases and the mechanisms responsible for mental errors and for formulating judgments. They challenged intuition and gut instincts, relying instead on carefully constructed algorithms which invariably proved to be more reliable than expert opinions. Tversky and Kahneman's publications made psychology increasingly relevant to medicine, law, and public policy, while their treatise, Prospect Theory, became essential to the understanding of behavioral economics. Clear in its explanation of complex subjects, tantalizing and tender, Lewis' chronicle of a scientifically fruitful friendship reveals not only what made two talented intellects click, but also what makes the rest of us tick. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Lewis is an irresistible storyteller and a master at illuminating complicated and fascinating subjects and his fans will follow his lead, wherever he goes.--Miksanek, Tony
BOOK REVIEW HIGHLIGHTS
 Editors Select --- December 2016 - My team knows that I have some very obvious "author crushes" - as in, whenever I hear that one of said authors is coming out with a new release, I jump on the opportunity to listen to their book as soon as possible. Michael Lewis is one of these people. He's known for his accessible and incredibly interesting "backstage pass looks" into the inner workings of a particular industry - in my current favorites, Flash Boys and Liars' Poker, it's the world of finance - and in The Undoing Project (which is gunning for a top spot on my Michael Lewis list) it's behavioral economics...partially. It's about a friendship that completely revolutionized what is known as "Big Data" and increased the use and reliability of algorithms. Dennis Boutsikaris, with his clear and knowing voice, does an incredible job of highlighting the conversational tone Michael Lewis is known for. – Laura, Audible Editor
 Publishers Summary --- Best-selling author Michael Lewis examines how a Nobel Prize-winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality. Forty years ago Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred systematically when forced to make judgments about uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis' own work possible. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms.
The Undoing Project is about the fascinating collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield - both had important careers in the Israeli military - and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. In the process they may well have changed for good mankind's view of its own mind. by Michael Lewis, published by Simon & Schuster, 2016.
AMAZON READER REVIEWS
 I loved this book. The linkages between the chapters made the complexity of the relationship between Kahneman and Tversky understandable. This book showed me that ego has a powerful presence in everyone. Even though these two men formed an unbreakable partnership and genius collaboration, the friction from the world around them broke them over time. One lesson from the book, is find the value in every relationship and treasure it for as long as you can.
 Absolutely wonderful. Michael Lewis successfully blends two biographies, an intellectual love story (there really is no other way to describe the Kahneman/Tversky partnership), astute sketches of the work they did (in heuristics and biases), and how the partnership had ripple effects in a myriad of areas (from economics to psychology, from medicine to the military, and beyond). The book moves at a brisk pace, never dull, and fleshes out the men behind the scientific work. This vantage point into where Kahneman and Tversky came from, the events that shaped them, their intellectual make-ups, and the alchemy of their partnership is a real treat. This added depth to the scientists only makes me appreciate their work all the more. Highly recommended for anyone, but especially those who have read Thinking Fast, And Slow, any book on behavioral economics, or students of how human cognition leads us astray. A fantastic book that I couldn't put down. I think that what most people love about Michael Lewis is his attention to detail.
 This book goes into the deep thoughts between two Israeli doctors as they discover psychology of the "irrational"consumer. My comment is --- great job on the research and the writing! I expected more details about their research and the data which was collected. There were just a couple of times where I was not clear about what their research was trying to represent. Overall I loved the story of the meaningful purpose between these two men as I have read other books which often quote their work. It is interesting to know about the sweat and tears behind their success.
 First, let me say that I'm a big fan of Kahneman's book "Thinking Fast and Slow". I've read it several times and always feel like I've learned something new and become a better person as a result. It's one of the few books that I feel should be must-reading for every human being.
 This book is basically half biography of these two people (Kahneman and Tversky) and half analysis of their life and work. It's very interesting, but I will have to say that it is not as good as his other book, "Moneyball".
 Total delight. Totally informative. A little sad. Wow, Lewis is a great writer.
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