Think for Yourself:Restoring Common Sense in an Age of Experts and Artificial Intelligence

We’ve outsourced too much of our thinking. How do we get it back?

Have you ever followed your GPS device to a deserted parking lot? Or unquestioningly followed the advice of an expert—perhaps a doctor or financial adviser—only to learn later that your own thoughts and doubts were correct? And what about the stories we’ve all heard over the years about sick patients—whether infected with Ebola or COVID-19—who were sent home or allowed to travel because busy staff people were following a protocol to the letter rather than using common sense? Why and how do these kinds of things happen?

As Harvard lecturer and global trend watcher Vikram Mansharamani shows in this eye-opening and perspective-shifting book, our complex, data-flooded world has made us ever more reliant on experts, protocols, and technology. Too often, we’ve stopped thinking for ourselves. With stark and compelling examples drawn from business, sports, and everyday life, Mansharamani illustrates how in a very real sense we have outsourced our thinking to a troubling degree, relinquishing our autonomy.

Of course, experts, protocols, and computer-based systems are essential to helping us make informed decisions. What we need is a new approach for integrating these information sources more effectively, harnessing the value they provide without undermining our ability to think for ourselves. The author provides principles and techniques for doing just that, empowering readers with a more critical and nuanced approach to making decisions.

Think for Yourself is an indispensable guide for those looking to restore self-reliant thinking in a data-driven and technology-dependent yet overwhelmingly uncertain world.

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