Book Review : Mindware

Our minds are constantly active, fantastically complicated, massively impressive and also often fatally flawed machines.

What we’re capable of with the lumpy bit of meat sitting at the tops of our bodies is in equal parts fascinating, confusing and amazing.

How we think, learn and make decisions is one of the things which is fascinates me. Which is one of the reasons I, at a recent trip to the bookshop, picked up the book I’m reviewing today…

Mindware : Tools for smart thinking (31)

by Richard Nisbett

Effectively this book does ‘exactly what it says on the tin’….it provides tools to make better decisions through first understanding and then using a range of concepts.

Initially it explores how often we make flawed choices through some of our own biases and misconceptions and explores some of the ideas of one of my favourite social psychologist Mr Daniel Khaneman (if you haven’t read Thinking Fast and Slow and have any sort of interest, even a passing one, in how we all make decisions…you really should!)

However where this book differs from many books of this kind is that it goes into more depth in some of the techniques you can use to make better decisions.

From Logic to Statistics all the way through to testing different approaches and simplification, Mindware explores many useful techniques designed to help you have a clearer picture of a particular situation and make choices based on more accurate information.

One particular interesting element of this book, and one I’ve never considered before, is how western and eastern cultures have different ways of looking at (and reacting to) life and how sometimes these particular cultural perspectives have a place in making more informed choices.

This book is good but it isn’t perfect. It’s dense in parts and may require a second (or third) reread to understand all the techniques. Whilst this isn’t necessarily a bad thing I also think that more effort could have been made to ensure many of the tips were written in a more accessible and less academic way.

Saying that ‘Mindware’ whilst not perfect is worth reading if you’re looking for actionable, practical tips designed to help you make better decisions today…

You can pick up your copy of ‘Mindware’ here


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