Pragmatic Thinking and Learning- review

By Gavin Davies on 29 August 2012

I just finished reading Pragmatic Thinking and Learning…

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning front cover I just finished reading Pragmatic Thinking and Learning. having read The Pragmatic Programmer, I expected great things, and it came recommended by a top drawer clever boy. I wasn’t disappointed, although nor was I blown away. I was more… I suppose… thoughtful about the book!

This book is a very readable overview of how the brain functions and how we can be more creative, efficient and organised. It stresses things like having an “exocortex” – i.e. writing things down and using tools like Trello (which is my current way of organising my life). Andy Hunt runs through a lot of psychological/cognitive science stuff and filters it down to comprehensible and applicable concepts – how pragmatic!

I alternated between two ways of reading this book. Sometimes, I’d read chunks, get excited, then blather them at anyone who stood still for long enough for me to bore them with my poorly reassembled version of something that I’d got very animated about. The other state was reading two or three lines then burrowing off into a maze of my own thoughts and ideas. I found that thinking about thinking gave me a lot of very good ideas and stoked the creative fires, and also helped me record these sensibly. It is this cognition, rather than my energetic proselytising of the book’s concepts, that I feel Mr Hunt would be pleased to know that he had inspired.