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Thinking Too Fast?

One of the dangers of our easy on/easy off use of Google is the fact that our gleaning may seem to have "found" something that makes sense but the answer may not be true. In his challenging article, "The Surety of Fools," Daniel Kahneman (NYT, 10/23/11, Magazine Section, p.30+) says "fast thinking is not prone to doubt." Well said. We may have confidence in our search skills and we may find information, but we are not critical enough and we do not allow enough time for ourselves to think it through. He points out a strange twist to how our minds work - if we can develop a good "story" then we are confident of the results. Our minds yearn for coherence and are very prone to grasping at the first alignment of the facts possible. The key principle here is challenge. We must be our our challenger. Open up that dialogue in your head and ask questions, "what if" and "how do you know" and "prove it." Ask others to review our conclusions. Think about it.

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