(REVIEW OF 'THINKING, FAST AND SLOW' BY DANIEL KAHNEMAN)
A couple of years ago, pop pundit Malcolm Gladwell gave us Blink, his much-talked about theory on why we really don’t need to think too much, because – according to him – we have inside us a sophisticated intuitive mechanism that enables us to make spontaneous judgements that are as good as (if not better than) the most carefully cerebrated ones.
And, in support of this, Gladwell produced a delicious collection of anecdotes, like that of museum director George Despinis, who was able to intuit, at one glance, that the Getty kouros – an ancient Greek statue, authenticated by expert testing – was, in fact, a fake. Gladwell attributed this to something he termed “thin-slicing”: our supposed ability to make better decisions, with limited information and instant judgements, than we can with volumes of analysis and cerebration. It was, as is the case with all of Gladwell’s writings, extremely seductive.