4 out of 4 stars
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I rate Effective Thinking by William Taddit 4 out of 4 stars. Overall, the book is extremely well-written and, while the topics Taddit discusses are taboo to the majority of people in this country, his logic is sound and I found it hard to disagree with many of the statements he made. This book is not for anyone with a closed mind or who is easily offended by political incorrectness. Taddit writes with the bluntness of your angry grandfather while tackling every emotionally charged topic available from corruption in politics and fake news to racism and religion. There were moments when reading this book that I cringed, physically turned my head away for a moment, or said out loud “I can’t believe he wrote that.” I like to think of myself as someone who is able to keep an open mind and experience a book for what it is, which is an opinion of the author, and for that reason I refuse to downgrade my rating due to the fact that I, myself, was offended at times.
I appreciated most that Taddit’s ideas are extremely logical and most of his arguments in the book can be summed up by this quote: “stuff does not just happen and there is no such thing as magic, only cause and effect and the unknown.” Many times throughout the book Taddit provides statistics and fact-checking along with his logic diagrams to display what he refers to as causal thinking, one of his four fundamental principles. Most of his discussions throughout the book are based in this principle and that the majority of people (specifically liberals) do not participate in causal thinking and are prone to groupthink, the psychological condition where “the desire for harmony and conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome.”
Taddit attacks liberals, specifically white liberals, throughout the book with a vengeance and it is very clear that he is a supporter of our current President, Donald Trump. At times Taddit quickly jumps to conclusions that give you pause until you continue on and see how he ties these rash generalizations together with logic and data. For example, when discussing the principle of honesty he states “If you are lazy and just absorb and regurgitate everything you have fed your mind, you will develop a liberal mindset that ignores this principle and will fail at life.” Yikes. That’s quite a leap from mindlessly absorbing information to failing at life. This was one of a few times I had to step back and reread. Taddit goes on to say that individuals should use causal thinking to “challenge conventional wisdom to ensure it follows fundamental principles” which by doing so “you are being honest with yourself and your interaction with the world and will be much happier and more successful.”
A personal point of contention for me was during the section that discussed the “hoax” that is man made climate change. As someone who believes in man made climate change I struggled through this chapter at parts. Ultimately, I realized that Taddit was more or less taking a jab at groupthink and the media unnecessarily propagating the idea of man made climate change as a catastrophic and inevitable outcome without valid scientific facts to prove it. While Taddit holds very strong opinions about the lack of solid scientific evidence or process when it comes to climate change, he does state towards the end of this section that “this doesn’t mean we should not move to renewable energy sources or be kinder to our environment and stop destroying our oceans. Quite the contrary!” There’s hope for our environment still.
If you can make it past certain sections of the book, there are some good overarching takeaways that everyone can learn from, like the many times that Taddit references The Golden Rule and treating others how you want to be treated. Taddit also shares that the continued success of our country depends on the youth to “dedicate themselves to continuous improvement by always questioning and learning”. I definitely want my own children to seek continuous improvement and always question the sources of their information, so that is a takeaway that I will carry with me.
Again, I’ll reiterate, if you are someone who is easily offended by political incorrectness, this book is not for you. If you have an open mind and are interested in reading the opinions of someone who very clearly has a strong, conservative mindset, this is a very well-written and thought-provoking read.
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