What is the most efficient process to build logical thinking?
I would start by learning propositional logic, then predicate logic depending on what you are looking to use if for. If you just want to understand basic logic rules then propositional logic will tell you how to encode statements into logic and reason about those logical formula, solve problems with them.
Study An Introduction to Logic course by Dr Leonard Peikoff.
How much carry over is there between book practice of logic and applications in daily life? I've always suspected that symbolic logic has very little relationship to right thinking on a day to day basis.
I think you are right about symbolic logic. That seems like crap. The course I mentioned above has ten lectures covering the basic topics: common fallacies, syllogism, generalization, and definition. Written exercises are given to the listener and corrected in the lectures. This course is a preliminary to another of his: The Art of Thinking. I *highly* recommend both.
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