Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

June 19, 2008

Derren Brown – Person Swap

Filed under: books, science — Tags: , — codesmithy @ 9:29 am

I’ve been reading “Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind” by Gary Marcus.  The book builds on a few points in “The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations” by Dietrich Dorner.  However, Marcus goes a bit further and tries to provide an evolutionary basis for our errors in judgment.

Human beings have a number of quirks.  The egotism of the human species is somewhat astonishing in this regard.  One would think with our brains, we would be most able to recognize our faults and limitations.  “Kluge” goes through a number of ways humans behave irrationally from the ability to be primed to bias one towards a particular answer, to confirmation bias and motivated reasoning.  We are definitely creatures that very much live in the moment with some limited deliberative capabilities hooked in.

As such, the book recommends watching Derren Brown’s Person Swap.  It shows just how flaky our immediate memories can be.

So, without further ado:

Recognizing that we are creatures with limitations and whose reasoning is imperfect is the first step in avoiding some of the problems that can befall us.

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