A reflection on the books studying our decision-making process. Trust your gut, boost your memory, de-bias your decision making… The contrasting books by Daniel Kahneman and Malcolm Gladwell, "Thinking, Fast and Slow" and "Blink", respectively, are some of the most influential materials on the subject of the human mind. But, Steven Poole asks, can a better knowledge of our subconscious help our brains perform better? "A deeper problem with the smart thinking genre as a whole is that it commits the sin identified half a century ago by the Frankfurt School philosopher Max Horkheimer, in his Critique of Instrumental Reason (1967). '"Reason is considered to come into its own,'" he lamented, 'when it rejects any status as an absolute ('reason' in the intensified sense of the word) and accepts itself simply as a tool.'"