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How to Think

The subtitle, “A Survival Guide for a World at Odds”, is closer to what the book really is: not a manual for thinking, but rather a set of instructions for responsible use of, and participation in, social media circa late 2010s. As such it is quite useful, skipping briskly in its 100-some pages from Kahneman and Tversky’s Systems 1 and 2, through Kevin Simler’s Elephant in the Brain, to a few online anecdotes of people changing their minds after communicating with the other side — whatever the “other side” was in their particular front of the culture wars.

Left unsaid is why you would want to throw your hat into the social media ring anyway. The author Alan Jacobs has himself all but abandoned Twitter and seems to have limited his online presence to a one-way, comment-less blog. Jacobs may have correctly framed thinking as inherentialy social, but social media as they are just 4 years after the book’s publication are decidedly not the best medium for thinking.

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