Think! Why Crucial Decisions Can't Be Made in the Blink of an Eye
by Michael R LeGault
This book "Think!" was written in reaction to "Blink!", an earlier book that endorsed quick, emotional, gut-level decision making. The author of "Think," Michael LeGault, begs to differ: many problems in society today, he opines, are the fault of quick, emotional, instant decision making. In contrast, he espouses decisions that are thoughtful and rational.
Some chapter titles in Part One provide a feeling for his point of view:
4. Feeding the Feel-good Monster.
5. The Rise of the Political and Correct, the Fall of the Smart and Quick
7. "I'm Too Busy," the Myth of Stress and Information Overload.
In reality, you're going to employ both approaches. It is important to bring knowledge and wisdom to bare on decisions; but other times, you gotta go with your feelings 'cause you just don't got enough data at hand.
I like that he is against the current climate change hysteria, but not so keen that he minimized the influence of religion on people's thought making process. Christianity, for instance, merges Jewish mysticism with Greek logic, which prepped thinkers like Newton and Pascal. At best, he can only report that they dabbled in spirituality.
Which is a loss to the reader, for spirituality to these men was more than irrational feelings. It informed their world view, making possible the advances in human understanding, because they sought them out. Their line of thinking would have gone along these lines:
1. God exists.
2. Therefore there are reasons for how the world works.
3. Therefore there are rational bases for all activity, biological and otherwise.
4. Therefore there are rules that underpin the rationality.
5. Therefore I can discover these rules.
For thinkers like Newton and Pascal, ignoring spirituality may have led to a no-go process of thinking: no God, no reason, no rationality, no rules, nothing to discover.
Nevertheless, I found Part One to be good reading, and I heartedly endorse the first third of the book. But then Mr LeGault bogs down in Part Two. Entitled "Inspiration," it briefly describes numerous great thinkers that have become cliched. His collection of names and their stories are overly familiar to all of us: Einstein, Copernicus, Shakespeare, Edison, Newton... Far more interesting would have been great thinkers we've rarely heard of. I began to feel that the publisher asked the author to bulk up the page count.
I began to skip through Part Two's remaining chapters, and early into Part Three I blinked and gave up on this book. Part Three is "Fixes" -- the longest part and the most tedious. Mr LeGault looses the rationality that he preached about in Part One, and resorts to guesswork of what might fix our screwed-up society. Teachers will not be pleased of his criticism of modern classroom techniques.
Published in 2006 by Threshold Editions
viii + 356 pages
In paperback for $16.47 from Amazon.com; also available used. Click for more information about Think!: Why Crucial Decisions Can't Be Made in the Blink of an Eye