Blind Spot? What Blind Spot?

Companies should hire magicians and poker players as strategic advisors. Magicians know how the human visual system works. They know that you only see about 5 degrees of your visual field in one “saccade,” which is a snapshot your eye takes. It takes twenty of these per second, and your brain fills in the rest. In other words, your brain fills in 95 percent of what you think you see based on tiny images, similar to shining a flashlight around in a dark room.

A cool illusion - looks like the rectangle is tilted down and to the right, yes? It isn’t, but our brains don’t believe that.

A cool illusion - looks like the rectangle is tilted down and to the right, yes? It isn’t, but our brains don’t believe that.

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In this wonderful book, Stephen and Susana take you on a journey into the cognitive world of magic, pulling back the curtain on how magicians fool us into thinking what they want us to think. I highly recommend the book, and yes, it’s also available on Audible.

If you don’t have time to read a book, watch the master Apollo Robbins show you how misdirection works. Notice that Apollo has 95 percent of the available space to work with, while the subject is, as we all are, narrowly focused on 5 percent at a time, it’s magical:

Thinking Fast and Slow

I will write often about books I think are important (see the book list here). The first book I usually ask people to read is Thinking Fast and Slow, by Danny Kahneman:

 
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Even though this is an amazing book, several of his claims in the book have been challenged, and he says himself, in his conversation with Tyler Cowen:

There were whole sets of results that I published in Thinking, Fast and Slow that I wish I hadn’t published because they’re not reliable.

I’ll discuss some of those findings that weren’t so reliable in a future post. Kahneman is working on a new book on noise - differentiating between statistical thinking and causal thinking. It’s going to be an important book, and you can get a preview by listening to or reading the interview. Please tell me if you’ve read Thinking Fast and Slow and I’ll report the results in a future post:

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