A collection of books that have shaped my thinking in some way.

This is a bit of a weird category to have because it's so general. It's also... distressingly short. I need to read more long-form non-fiction. Instead I mostly read essays and blog posts.

The Righteous Mind

This is Haidt presenting his Moral Foundations Theory, the basic idea of which is that there are a number of distinct axes to morality which people prioritize differently.

I find moral foundations theory very useful. I don't know whether it's true, but it's an excellent mental model to work with to convince yourself of the plausibility of someone genuinely believing a thing. This is especially useful if you find yourself often wondering whether anyone could really believe what they're claiming to.

Smarter Than You Think

This is an excellent light read about one of my favourite topics: External complements to thinking. It's both a deconstruction of the idea that "the internet is making you stupid" and also summarizes a bunch of good information on how we learn.

Making It Stick

A good account of the research on learning and how to do it better.

Proofs and Refutations

I confess it's been a long time since I've read this book, but it's an excellent introduction to mathematical thinking.

Seeing Like A State

This is something of a qualified recommendation, as it's a very dense read, but it's informed a lot of my thinking.

It's essentially about how attempts to make sense of a society and make it "legible" change it, and why many high handed attempts to improve efficiency make the world worse.

Epistemology and the Psychology of Human Judgment

This is a bit of a weird recommendation. It's actually originally a recommendation from my brother, who studied this subject for his masters.

It's somewhere between a textbook on naturalized epistemology (epistemology is the study of human knowledge. Naturalized epistemology is epistemology done as if it were a science) and a polemic against the classic study of epistemology, but as such it manages to be an excellent and fairly approachable introduction to the heuristics and biases program.

It also taught me a lot about interviewing people and how to run a hospital.