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Rationality 2012-2014

Am I over-thinking this one?

After finishing the series of books on the God debate in 2012, I realized that I should start a little more basic before diving into more difficult, emotion laden, and culturally divisive issues. If I’m going to confront more difficult questions that human beings have either just figured out, or have failed to figure out for thousands of years, won’t it be a good idea to see where minds go wrong, and how to make them go right?

This general survey is meant to cover some cognitive science, decision theory, probability theory, and critical thinking. It’s pretty unbalanced, but it’s a start. In the least, I hope this helps me avoid the most common pitfalls of thinking about tough issues, and internalize good rules of thinking and evaluating arguments.

Survey of Popular Science Introductions to Rationality and Cognitive Science (2794 pages)

1. Dean Buonomano – Brain Bugs (Audiobook – 321 “Pages” – Complete 9/26/12)

2. Eliezer Yudkowsky et. al – Less Wrong Sequences (500 pages estimated – Complete 10/26/12)

3. Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein – Nudge (320 pages – Complete 11/19/12)

4. Leonard Mlodinow – Subliminal (272 pages – Complete 1/16/13)

5. Stuart Sutherland – Irrationality (256 pages – Complete 1/23/13)

6. Keith Stanovich – What Intelligence Tests Miss (325 pages – Complete 2/3/13)

7. Robert Kurzban – Why Everyone Else is a Hypocrite (289 pages – Complete 3/3/13)

8. Daniel Kahneman – Thinking, Fast and Slow (511 pages – Complete 4/13/13)

9. Richard Wiseman- 59 seconds (336 pages- Complete 7/15/13)

Textbooks (2188 pages) ( Begin March 2013?)

10. Lewis Vaughn – How to Think About Weird Things (352 pages – Complete 5/16/13)

11. Jose Bermudez – Cognitive Science (516 pages – Complete 8/6/13)

12. Jonathan Baron – Thinking and Deciding  (584 pages – Complete 9/30/13)

13. Keith Stanovich – Rationality and the Reflective Mind (344 pages- Complete 12/15/13)

14. Reid K. Hastie, Robyn M. Dawes – Rational Choice in an Uncertain World (392 pages- Complete 12/25/13)

Epic Works of Scholarship (1792 pages) (Begin October 2013?)

15. Thomas Gilovich, Dale Griffin, Daniel Kahneman – Heuristics and Biases (880 pages- Complete 2/10/14)

16. Keith J. Holyoak, Robert G. Morrison – Oxford Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning (864 pages- Complete 5/8/14)

Total: 6726 pages
Estimated Completion: February 15th, 2014
Actual Completion: May 8th, 2014.

Status Updates:

11/19/12: 5633 pages remaining, 3/16 read, 16% complete
2/3/13: 4780 pages remaining, 6/16 read, 29% complete
7/15/13 : 3628 pages remaining 10/16 read, 46% complete
12/25/13:  1792 pages remaining, 14/16 read, 74% complete
5/8/14: 0 pages remaining, 16/16 read, 100% complete

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  1. A Short Course in Rationality - 2 Great Lights

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