One of the first times I met Danny Kahneman was over dinner, just after SuperFreakonomics was published. Shortly after we were introduced, Danny said, “I enjoyed your new book. It will change the future of the world.” I beamed with pride at this compliment. Danny, however, was not done speaking. “It will change the future of the world. And not for the better.” While I’m sure many people would agree with his last sentence, he was the only person who ever said it to my face!
If you don’t know the name, Danny Kahneman is the non-economist who has had the greatest influence on economics of any non-economist who ever lived. A psychologist, he’s the only non-economist to win the Nobel Prize in Economics, for his pioneering work in behavioral economics. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that he is among the 50 most influential economic thinkers of all time, and among the ten most influential living economic thinkers.
In the years since that dinner with Danny, I’ve gotten to know him quite well. Every time I am with him, he teaches me something. His particular brilliance, I have decided, is being able to see what should be totally obvious, but somehow no one else manages to notice until he points it out.
He has a fantastic new book aimed at a popular audience entitled Thinking, Fast and Slow. It is a wonderfully engaging stroll through the world of behavioral economics – the kind of book people are going to be talking about for a long, long time.
Danny has generously offered to take questions from Freakonomics blog readers. So post your questions in the comments section, and if you are lucky will you get to a response from one of the wisest sages of our time. [Addendum: the answers to your questions can be found in this post.]
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