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58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do

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Simone Weil had it right about our thinking, "Imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our real life."
-sword (October 26, 2014, 06:37 PM)
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Curious. I wonder on what theory or research that statistic was based. Not the Pareto Principle, anyway...

From my notes on science and thinking:
"Nullius in verba/verbo." Motto of the Royal Society, London. Literally, "Take nobody's word for it; see for yourself".
This motto indicates that currently, legitimate science seems to be based on the rejection of trust.
Thus, saying something purely on the basis of trust does not resemble genuine knowledge.
This is a new paradigm from the old, where scientific method can be seen to have developed from the 16th century perspective (Montaigne - no harm in the fact that "almost all the opinions we have are taken on authority and credit".) to the 17th century perspective (Gilbert, Bacon, Descartes and Boyle) where the approach is to take nothing on trust/authority.
So today we seek natural knowledge founded in evidence in nature - using individual reason - NOT in authority of tradition.
Thus real knowledge is NOT based on trust but on direct experience. - because reliance on the views of others produces errors.
The best scientist is thus incapable of functioning as a member of society.
The puzzle is that objective truth may exist, but human nature may preclude us from being able to experience it.

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Sort of what @mouser says?:
...Without biases you would be a terribly ineffecient computational device -- slow to react and learn.
-mouser (June 20, 2014, 10:15 PM)
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We Are All Confident Idiots - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society

Tying in with my comment above re the "Nullius in verba/verbo." motto of the Royal Society, London, I have cross-posted this from the "Peer Review" discussion thread:
A new Decalogue for Peer Review and the Scientific Process
Here is some sage advice on thinking from Bertrand Russell, in regard to teaching, and which could equally well be applied to science and peer review. I have copied it below from an RSS feed I subscribe to at (well worth a read)
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
British philosopher, mathematician, historian, and social critic Bertrand Russell endures as one of the most intellectually diverse and influential thinkers in modern history, his philosophy of religion in particular having shaped the work of such modern atheism champions as Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins. From the third volume of The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell: 1944-1969 comes this remarkable micro-manifesto, entitled A Liberal Decalogue — a vision for responsibilities of a teacher, in which Russell touches on a number of recurring themes from pickings past — the purpose of education, the value of uncertainty, the importance of critical thinking, the gift of intelligent criticism, and more.
It originally appeared in the December 16, 1951, issue of The New York Times Magazine, at the end of the article “The best answer to fanaticism: Liberalism.”
Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:

* 1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
* 2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
* 3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
* 4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
* 5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
* 6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
* 7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
* 8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
* 9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
* 10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell is a treasure trove of wisdom in its entirety — highly recommended.

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-IainB (November 03, 2014, 03:53 PM)
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