Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The Elephant in the Brain

The main idea of The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life is that sometimes we're better off not consciously knowing things, so as to deceive both others and ourselves. Our brains evolved in such as a way as to have figured out what's important to know, and perhaps as importantly, what's important not to know!

The first third of the book was a bit of a snooze, as it goes into background discussing how we have figured out that the human brain has these systemic issues. There isn't much new here if you've read Kahneman or other guys like that.

But the rest of the book was amazing. The authors dig into a few topics in order to reveal why we do what we do, and I found it fascinating. In particular, I enjoyed the chapters on education, giving to charity, and laughter (I read this chapter twice, it was so good).

I highly recommend the book!

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