We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"...thinking, Gladwell tells us—or, more precisely, thinking too much —can trip us up. Consider the curators at the Getty Museum who were offered the opportunity to purchase a rare sixth-century Greek marble statue of a young man. After a year of sophisticated archaeological and geological analysis that included core sampling and electron spectrometry and X-ray diffraction, they handed over nearly ten million dollars, cer-tain that the piece was authentic, a find. Meanwhile, two leading art historians, Frederico Zeri and Evelyn Harrison, and Thomas Hoving, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, each came to a different conclusion after simply eyeballing the piece: even in the face of such compelling scientific data they felt it was a fake. And they were right:
In the first two seconds of looking —in a single glance—they were able to understand more about the essence of the statue than the team at the Getty was able to understand after fourteen months. "
Thus begins Susan Halpern's review of two books which deal with "intuition" and unconscious thinking, one by Malcolm Gladwell and one by Elkhonon Goldberg. The point, I suppose, is that we don't know what we know..but you already knew that, right? We bring much more to bear on decisions that we are aware of, so that quick decisions - not impulsive decisions - can be pretty good ones. An example from relationships:
"as Gladwell reports, there is speed dating, where unclaimed singles scurry around a room sizing up potential mates in a couple of minutes. Gigerenzer's work shows that most people need not spend a lot of time, or encounter a tremendous number of new prospects, to find a suitable partner."
Re the latter - duh. How about anyone who would talk to you. Read entire interesting but long piece in NY Review of Books here.