Doing and Undoing

“The Undoing Project” is almost a companion to “Thinking, Fast and Slow”. I wish I had read these two together. Or better still, I should have read this book in advance of the other one. The author has such a talent of turning boring subject into interesting stories that he has made the science of decision making more fun than it really is. The best part is that the book gives a personally digested view of Daniel and Amos, their backgrounds, their personalities, their idiosyncrasy, how other people describe them. The author selects the most interesting information to outline these central two characters. Even though sometimes I don’t completely agree with author’s opinions or views, I have to say I admire his skills and his way of describing an occurrence which can excite his readers.

It’s regrettable that Daniel and Amos didn’t continue their cooperation after their successful publication of the prospect theory. Well, life is like that. Friends come together and then drift away. Every party has an end, no matter how joyful it is. I have heard many stories of husband and wife getting separated because they are both PhDs and they cannot find two positions in one place. If Daniel and Amos were to stay together, there had to be at least three or four positions available for the two couples to settle down in one place. Since academic openings have always been scarce, it is almost impossible to achieve this goal.

What can one expect? Amos is outgoing and well liked and aspiring while Daniel seems to be on a survival mode, or sometimes even bookishly silent. Anybody who encounters the two would have chosen Amos. No wonder Amos was favored. And the book seems to suggest that Amos’ success makes him less critical and astute towards his academic endeavors. That might be true. An who can blame him?

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