The Myth of ‘Just do it’: Thought and Effort in Expert Action preface

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CHAPTER 5: Thinking Fast

The thought of the war, introduced the thought of delivering up the king to his enemies; the thought of that, brought in the thought of the delivering up of Christ;

and that again the thought of the thirty pence, which was the price of that treason.

. . . and all this in a moment of time; for thought is quick.

—Thomas Hobbes (1651/2000: p. 133)

In minute there is time

For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse

—T. S. Eliot (2005/1917: p. 10)

It is nearing 7 AM when a call comes through to the trauma center of a large hospital in the New York City metropolitan area, alerting the staff that a pregnant woman with multiple abdominal gunshot wounds is due to arrive in about three minutes. The head nurse on duty—let me call her Denise—jumps into action, putting out a call for intubation, x-rays, anesthesia, surgery, and due to the special circumstances, sonography, and the labor and delivery team. The emergency medical service team slides the gurney into the hospital and the trauma center staff goes to work, with Denise coordinating and overseeing the action.

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