Article Link: http://io9.com/5974468/the-most-common-cognitive-biases-that-prevent-you-from-being-rational?utm_source=io9.com&utm_medium=recirculation&utm_campaign=recirculation
Article Title: The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational
While reading this article, I drove myself slightly mad. As I read each and every single one of these biases (most of them for the second time, as I have stumbled upon similar articles in the past), I tried to argue against them. For instance, the first bias, called the ‘Confirmation Bias’, states that we tend to seek information and opinions from people and sources that we know will tell us what we want to hear. I didn’t want to hear that, so I argued against it, and by doing that, I proved the bias to be accurate. The bias I found most interesting was the “Gambler’s Fallacy”, which basically means that if you’re on a certain streak, you think it ought to change soon. It is the most accurate bias I read, and unless you are a logistic mathematician 24/7, this bias will affect you eventually. Another bias that I found nerve-wracking was the ‘Probability Neglect’, and after reading the comments below the article, I found an interesting perspective on this specific bias: The reason why we fear going on a plane more than driving a car, even though the latter presents a higher probability of death, statistically, is because of the feeling of control. When in a car, things are nearby, and you know exactly where you are and where you are headed at all times, giving you a certain sense of control over the situation. However, flying above the clouds, miles above the ground, feels much less safe because we must simply conform with norms, sit down, and let somebody take control over the situation for a few hours—and that may be frightening. I also believe that the frequency with which something is practiced also has an effect on this bias. For instance, most (if not all) people fear climbing mountains more than they fear going down the stairs, although the latter, once again, presents greater odds of death. However, somebody who is very adventurous and climbs mountains often, with time and experience, will realize how safe it actually is, and that bias will most likely vanish over time.
Article: What is this thing we call science? Here's one definition ...
This article tells of a scientific council which devised a fresh definition of the word science: the pursuit of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence. The purpose of this definition was to distance genuine science from feigned science such as homeopathy. However, I have some reservations towards this definition. It defines science as a "pursuit" instead of "knowledge" itself which makes little sense to me. Equating science to merely the method of obtaining it would be paramount to saying "result" is the combination of all aspects culminating in a product. Rather, I believe science is the knowledge that has been, indeed, proven by evidence. It is not the process. It is the result, the product.
However, if one were to remove the words "pursuit of" then the definition would be truly optimal. Science is a broad term for it can span countless disciplines and fields, hence its definition has to be equally broad. The definition does not exclude the humanities or create any boundaries for science which is how it should be. Science is limitless. On the other hand, I think the article could have provided the previous definition for some contrast. it would be helpful to note what has actually changed. Otherwise, the article is pretty straightforward and cognizant of different attitudes toward the definition.
-Amondawa tribe lacks abstract idea of time, study says
It is interesting on how the Amondawa tribe doesn’t have a need to define specific time events in the past or in the future, even when they have the perception. This is known because they can easily understand time while learning Portuguese. But rather saying that they don’t specify time they do it; but in another way in my personal point of view after reading the article, that mentions they usually refer to their life in stages, what also happens in our modern society. As society defines that a child is a child since it is born until it is about 12 years old then from 13 to 18 you are considered a teenager and so on. My theory is that Amondawa still have a temporal use in their language but not as specific as day, month or year. The Amondawa may use time temporality unconsciously by classifying the stages an unconsciously classifying this stages through time. Thinking about how this tribe doesn’t formally mark time, makes me think on society in the past such as prehistoric people or medieval society. The prehistoric people may present the same as this tribe, where they may only have separated time in day and night, and possibly in the position of the sun and stars in further cases. The prehistoric society didn’t had knowledge of time but recognized the cycle of living that is a representation of time. Maybe this people didn’t have such special events in heir lives to have the necessity to specify time. Also they may just have monotonous lives until their evolution, which demanded a separation and definition of time. Now thinking about medieval society for our modern society it would be unthinkable to think they didn’t had the precise measure of time as we have today, what separate our busy schedules. Further thinking about the importance of time in our society made me think that maybe time becomes something necessary as we evolve as a specie, comparing us to animals, who doesn’t need or at least show the understanding of the concept of time.
The confirmation bias and the in group bias not only walk hand in hand, however are generated as a consequence of each other. The behaviour of agreeing with one, to "suck up" is commonly refereed to as child-like behaviour however we can identify that only these two bias implant the child like behaviour in all, even the ones considered the intellectual elite, by critiquing conformity of only reading and agreeing with what one feels appropriate fitting to.
The post-purchase rationalisation could be intertwined with why capitalism is so predominant around the world and and explanation of why communism in action could never be reached. The article retreated the post purchase rationalisation as a built in mechanism. By stating that the subconscious creates excuses for consumerism is explain in fact the human nature leads towards capitalism, which in all honesty, I agree with.
When reading the section of the article about negativity bias, I couldn't help but giggle at how identifiable it was. For holidays we always come to an interior in the south of the state and since its about 300 km from where we live, 9 out of 10 times there is an accident on the highway. My stepmom always asks me to distract my sisters, and not to let them look at the accident, however she always slows down and rolls down the window so she can search for a piece of information on the misery that happened. This is identifiable because it is a fact, that humans are drawn attention to the misery of other people. And they go around saying what a pity it was, and how horrible it is that accident keep happening, but everyone that occurred, people stop and slow down have a conversation starter.
Article: 10 of the Weirdest Futurist Scenarios for the Evolution of Humanity
Honestly, I am not even close to creative or knowledgeable enough to imagine what humans (if we can still be called humans then) will be like in the future. The possibilities are endless. The possibilities shown in the article are sometimes frightening. I do believe that in the future we shall be religion-less, culture-less, and gender-less; solutions to several grave issues we face today. The abolishment of religion through brainwashing will be seen as the ethically correct decision to stop all the violations of human rights committed in the name of religion. The same goes for culture. Some cultures violate human rights; these too will be eliminated for moral reasons. So that there is no discrimination of genders, then humans will all become androgynous or perhaps sex-less. Only with these will humanity be able to attain the complete equality it repeatedly claims to be seeking. I am simply stating what is likely to happen, not truly using my imagination for this. The world shows signs of heading down that path already. For example; many countries have chosen to be secular as to let people of all religions live peacefully as its citizens, and slowly people concentrate less on their faith. With the evolution of science, people are forced to recognize that explanations or stories from their beliefs are impossible and incorrect. Today, the androgynous look is getting more attractive. One sees masculine female models and effeminate male models more and more. The LGBT community is becoming more accepted, and some people are even saying that everyone is a little bisexual. With increased globalization, cultures are withering away, and through the internet we have attained a sort of “global culture” that can do nothing but expand. Someday globalization will reach such a point that we will no longer have countries, but instead simply be “global citizens”.
Why “global citizens” instead of simply citizens? Why the distinctive need for “global” when there is no other type of citizen? Exactly because there will be another type of citizen. I do believe that someday humans will be able to live on Mars or perhaps other planets. Imagining what we will look like is beyond me, however. With a growing population, and with wars becoming more scarce, land is a serious problem. Humanity must learn to live in a place other than Earth. And at the rate the Earth is being treated; the way its resources are being exploited and its territory polluted, I see only three solutions: extinction of the human race, humans evolved to breathe in carbon dioxide and eat waste, or humans technologically adapted to become more eco-friendly. I agree with philosophers philosophers S. Matthew Liao, Anders Sandberg, and Rebecca Roache when they say that “humans should resort to such measures as pharmacologically induced meat intolerance (since meat production is exceptionally hard on the environment), genetically engineering cat-eyes to reduce our need for lighting, and reducing our physical size to lessen our ecological footprint (they recommend a 21% reduction in body mass for men, and 25% for women). They're also hoping to see us increase our will-power, which they argue will have the peripheral effect of improving our feelings of empathy and altruism”. This is my opinion on the matter.
Article: Should we eliminate the human ability to feel pain?
Eliminating human pain is a rather delicate subject. It is difficult to defend something which we so many times wish would go away, but at the same time we cannot ignore its importance. The idea of completely abolishing pain is, in my opinion, completely absurd and should not even be considered. Diminishing pain, however, could be a considerable topic. Yet, as I believe most people will agree, pain serves as a biological warning that there is some sort of discrepancy within our bodies. By diminishing, especially by eliminating, wouldn’t our health be put at stake, making our lives more vulnerable? Pearce did answer this question, obviously saying no, but his explanation was just too insane and would probably have a low impact on humans, in comparison to pain. He mentioned a pain-replacement signaling, which would probably just let us know something is wrong, but wouldn’t rush us into finding out how much damage it is actually causing. Not to mention that there is not only one type of pain. Pain has levels, it’s not like all of them are absurd to a point where one will become insane. Those, as Pearce called phenomenal, should be moderated after serving their purpose. If something such as a turn off and on button could be created for pain, like some sort of medicine only hospitals would be permitted to contain and utilize, that should be acceptable, yet I do not agree that people should have something modified in their genetic system or available to them at home.
Article: Why people act out of line with their beliefs?
People tend to act out of stand when it comes to personal beliefs because to that person, whatever it is, it's seen as an absolute truth. The article explains how beliefs turn against each other, which is what generates conflicts in the modern day world. This experiment was designed to test the level of people's "goodness" and to when until what point they where going to sustain and when they would break and cave into boredom.
Personal, I thought that the people being paid 20 dollars and the people being paid nothing would have the same impression over the experiment, thinking that it was interesting as desiring to participate in future scientific experiments. However, they were the ones which showed less pleasure towards the experiment. I also believe that the people who only received 1 dollar would be the ones which were most frustrated, believing the wasted their time, and were underpaid, however, the result here was also the complete opposite. The explanation for this was based on the person's motives and what's they believed of themselves. Whether it was attraction to the innocent lady or whether they just wanted to be nice, the tension between their beliefs and their nice person act were collided. But, opposite of what I thought, this is a completely natural and healthy response.
Article: 10 of the Weirdest Futurist Scenarios for the Evolution of Humanity
This article has certainly changed my perspectives of how to view an advanced society. And responding to the prompt: “Create your own possible future for humanity”; I believe that a society in the future would be quite different from the article’s suggestion. I believe that people in the future will have micro-hips installed in their heads, where they will be able to send information to another person through mind power. Think about, having your Brain as a computer. Thus, it will work as a pc and it will be easy to send messages, “virtually” while the “micro-chips” would be transmitting the message to another brain. In this case we would not be using speech as a form of communication, in which would result throughout the years in language extinction. All individuals wouldn’t have to speak amongst themselves, and the microchips would automatically translate the information, if in another language, to another individual’s own. Hence, we would all constantly understand each other without the power of speech, or having to learn other languages. However, as amazing as this may seem, this is also quite dangerous. If we end up being worse in politics than we are now, it would be much easier to have governments controlling us like the “beehive” idealized by Frank Robert. If such future does become true, governments would as well have the ability to “cyber-hack”. Thus, agency manipulation would be easier as well as we would be living in an oppressive society. However, what is the scariest part is not the “brain-hacking”, and yes that we wouldn’t notice being manipulated. Furthermore, I believe that in my idealized future, capitalism would reach its apogee. People would be able to be controlled enough to be regarded as products. Not only would they not have mind privacy, but as well individuals wouldn’t use ID`s anymore. It would be perceived as unecological and retro. In this case to proxy ID’s, human beings would have barcodes imprinted on their skin. These barcodes would be directly connected to their brains, which would process all information about themselves in seconds. This method would be very easy to be adapted in schools as well. Where the attendance would be taken when students got to to their classes and would have their barcodes scanned in the teacher’s desk as they arrive. Thus, teachers would spare themselves from doing such a tiresome job.
However, you may ask me why would you believe that humans in the future would be more “controlled” than “freed”? According to the “Voluntary Human extinction”, we need to save the world from ourselves. Human beings are the smartest animals in the planet, and apparently the dumbest and most dangerous of all. We don’t think twice about our action`s consequence. Notice that Humans not only harm themselves but everything around them. So I believe that Thomas Hobbes’s theory would prevail in the microchip, barcode imprint future. In order to save ourselves from ourselves, human beings would become more altruists. In which, would result in our acceptance of delegating our freedom to “Leviathan” in name of a better world. “LEVIATHAN” would be in this case the governmental computer that would manipulate everyone into acting according to rightness. Thus, human beings would be manipulated into never thinking out of the box. This box is what will not allow humans to kill other humans; or cheat or steal. Unfortunately, the scary “beehive” is what will allow us to live in accord with each other, and keep us in line always. Even though we are being objectified, it is a high price to pay to afford peace, such as your critical thinking.
Article: Would it be boring if we could live forever?
Its quite interesting to answer our limit of living. In fact its just impossible. We never know the day of tomorrow. Although it would`t be boring at all if we could live forever. Fear and pain, would be only causes for us not sleep. Our conscious would be clear, making none expectations about us towards other. Our life basically would be more fun, since new opportunities would appear in our lives every day forever. However, we would be more worried about our way of living. Certainly the population would be more worried on global warming and on hunger. As I could read this article, I could notice that the author was unhappy on his statements. At first, its just impossible in my view in halting aging process. Is how God intended to be, and this is how is going to be. Everyone will die at some point. Second, for some reason if we could live infinitely, we would never reach boredom. New things, places and persons are surging every day in life. Third, our life wouldn't lose its meaning at all. Unlike, it would gain a thousand reasons to be happy since we would never die. As if we would take risks that we would take if we knew we were going to die at some point. For last, mortality is just a minor subject for someone who is immortal, although death can be anywhere.
As if we would take risks that we would never take, if we knew we were going to die at some point.*
Article: Amondawa tribe lacks abstract idea of time, study says
The professor of psychology of language at the University of Portsmouth, Chris Shina, has no logical evidence as to why the Amondawa people don't have an event free notion of time. Chris Sinha informed BBC that the tribe has no word for "time" or time periods such as years. The Amondawa tribe is located in Brazil, a country that one could argue that has no seasons. Seasons mark changes in weather and hours of daylight. In Brazil seasons are not drastically different from each other as in other places of the world and they are defiantly not regular. For a society that has no calendar tracking time without significant weather changes can be almost impossible. Pierre Pica's counterarguments to Chris Shina's theory also has to be taken into consideration. Even if research shows that the passage of time is not present in their language one can't assume that the tribe doesn't acknowledge time as being independent from the events that occur. It may be impossible for the Amondawa people to track time as the western
society does but it is not impossible for them to measure time in their own ways. Even if no significant event happens during the day, night time still comes, and when the moon appears the Amondawa people must recognize
that time passed. The evidence presented by Chris Shina is understandable and logical but it does not prove the
theory. As Shina said himself the only way to resolve this conflict is to further study the tribe.
ARTICLE: SHOULD WE ELIMINATE THE HUMAN ABILITY TO FEEL PAIN?
This was one of the best articles I ever read. Its a delicate topic to talk about. I love articles that makes me stop to think about things "outside the box". At first, the idea of eliminating pain sounds great, it may sounds crazy, however I would consider that a insane idea. Pain its not only a warning but a consequence of some act. Humans may learn because of the pain. By eliminating the pain, we would put our health in a "game". When you feel strange, when you feel pain, you are warned to take a medicine, and that prevent yourself from many other things. Pain could be controlled by many things, but its important to mention that its significant to our health. I think that eliminating the human ability to feel pain is a insane idea, if instead something was created to eliminate the pain right after you feel it, its a great idea because you are already warned by that. I think that the article itself left many questions not answered overall, however I stopped to think if humans had the "privilege" to eliminate the ability to feel pain, would we act the way we act, would we take care of ourselves? I'm pretty sure that the actions of the human would change drastically. Even though pain is a horrible thing, its important to each and every human being.
Article: Why people act out of line with their beliefs?
Personal, I thought that the people being paid 20 dollars and the people being paid nothing
I personally think that beliefs is actually a delicated thing to talk about. People act the way they act because they think that is the right way. Every human have the right to believe in something, you can try to persuade others to have the same belief, but never judge different opinions. The article basically says that many beliefs can turn against the others and many of them generate conflicts in today’s world and the experiment was a test to test the others to take a look and analyze until when they could sustain what they believed in. Its actually kind of interesting the difference between the ones that were paid 20 dollars and the ones that were paid nothing over the experiment. I don’t know how my personal reaction would be over it, but I think that I would not feel good if I was paid only 1 dollar, it may sounds crazy but I think it looks like a waste of time. However if I was paid 20 dollars, the story changes.
I posted 2 different responses here, sorry about that =/
Should we eliminate the human ability to feel pain?
Living in a pain-free society is truly a tempting idea. It would definitely change society and create new opportunities. People would finally do the things they long wanted to do, but didn`t do because they were afraid of feeling pain. However, we need to look at this from a different perspective. Eliminating pain also has its cons which need to be evaluated before even considering this technology. Like every other feeling and body part, pain has its purpose, otherwise it wouldn`t exist. I like to think of it as a warning. Pain warns you that something is wrong and that it is harming your body. For example, imagine playing a basketball game and during a rebound dispute you break your finger. You will immediately feel pain and stop playing because the pain is so uncontrollable that you can`t even think right. Now imagine if you were pain-free and you broke your finger. You would keep on playing because nothing is bothering you. You would keep on using your injured finger and probably harm it even more to the point where not even surgery would fix it. In the end, you would have lost your finger for life. Pain can also prevent diseases from reaching their full potential. People with an undeveloped tumor most of the time feel pain on the region where it is located. This pain won`t go away and it will keep on bothering the host which will eventually go the doctors to get it checked. The tumor will be discovered and immediately removed since it was still developing. What if pain was eliminated? The tumor wouldn`t bother at all and would grow to the point where nothing could be done to save the patient. In my opinion, this pain-free technology would be great for people that suffer from diseases or chronic conditions, but not for healthy people. Another possibility would be a technology that decreases pain but doesn`t kill it completely. Pain is necessary for a healthy life and can`t just be removed from our lives.
Would It Be Boring If We Could Live Forever?
I don’t even know how I feel about this one. I don’t know if this is actually true or just some geeky rant but if it is true then I am absolutely impressed. Living forever? Not too sure, I think that it should definitely be handled carefully. Maybe there should be a test or prototype generation maybe give them around 200 extra years and see how the world holds up. What this article did for me more than anything else was remind me how fast humanity is advancing. My grandparents always talk about all the changes that they got to see in the world; inventions and so on. I am sure that in my lifetime I will be able to see even more invention and advances. The rate of technological progress to me seem to be exponential getting faster and faster every year.
Why people act out of line with their beliefs?
It took me a while to understand the experiment, but now that I see it, it truly is a great experiment. It somehow also showed a way of manipulating human mind. I agree that people from this experiment may have enjoyed their time because of what the first participants said. In my view, they probably acted that way because, as the first group told them it was fun, many must have look forward to it. When they started they looked for reasons why the precedent person had enjoyed their time. These people were only thinking about the good side of their job and forgot the bad and tedious side. We tend to depend on what other people say. One thing I would add to that to the experiment would be to make part of the first group say it was boring to see if the second group repeated the same answer.
Article: Would It Be Boring If We Could Live Forever?
This article reminded me of two other texts, “Tuck Everlasting” by Natalie Babbitt and the Twilight saga, since in all three texts, the theme of immortality is present. Regardless of their different approaches and targets, they appear to agree on one thing: the ones living forever find immortality a sin and would like to have a simple, normal and mortal life while the mortals envy the immortal and want to be like them in most cases. Actually, this dissatisfaction is very common between humans: if your hair is curly, you wanted it to be straight , but if it is straight you wished if had some movement and curls. Humans will never be satisfied with what they have and that is it. As to regards the immortality questions, I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer since each person has its own preferences. Personally, my answer is that life’s transience does add a meaning to it. We want to make a good use of our time because we don’t have all the time we want, and in that sense I agree with Cameron: “Living an exceedingly long life without the threat of death, he argues, will only impose meaninglessness to our lives”. However, I don’t agree with him that the major problem we would face as immortals would be boredom, but rather that the world would worsen. People would be even more greedy and only care about themselves. Also, our life would be unlimited but our resources would continue to be limited, which would increase the fights over food, water and gold. In addition, the only ones that would be able to live forever would be the ones who would pay the most for it, increasing not only the wars but also the inequality in the world.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.