Farsighted by Steven Johnson


Farsighted is a nonfiction book by American journalist Steven Johnson. The book is concerned with the complexity of decision-making and demonstrates why decision-making can be so difficult, and how hard it can be to predict the outcome of any given decision.

Farsighted also provides some helpful tools that can help anyone make better decisions, despite the difficulties.

The main themes of the book are:

Decision-making is difficult for each and every one of us. That’s because humans have a hard time predicting what the future outcome of any given decision will be and whether we will be happy with that outcome.

Good decisions arise from considering a variety of points of view. Generally, governments and companies are organized as hierarchies. The bosses make the decisions, and everyone else follows. However, this approach can lead to poor decisions because the people at the top don’t always have all the information they need to make the best choices.

The group’s decisions are better when there is diversity within a group. So, when you create a project team next time, make a conscious effort to involve people with different backgrounds. As the diversity of experience increases in the group, better results will be achieved by helping the group to make more representative decisions.

Useful takeaways:

  • Decision-making is complex and requires careful consideration of multiple factors.
  • Good decisions require input from a diverse group of people.
  • Empathy and storytelling can help improve decision-making skills.
  • It’s important to consider the long-term consequences of decisions.
  • Making decisions is a skill that can be improved with practice and the use of helpful tools.

What I Liked

It was a thought-provoking book and made me eternally grateful for all the people who made decisions generations ago for the good of generations ahead. It made me want to be more cognizant of what is being planned now. I like how he focuses on the quality of decisions rather than quality of outcomes. They are different things and we usually combine them.

What I Did Not Like

Nothing – great read,

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