Thursday, 7 June 2007

We're wrong a lot...

Excellent list of ways that we humans regularly and often unintentionally misunderstand or misrepresent the world around us. They're a little academic so it's good that there are links to some sort of definition (although I probably wouldn't have chosen Wikipedia for so many of them). Read through them if you can... I particularly like some of the comments, or rather am somewhat dismayed at the comments -- too many of them are needlessly critical or bring up unrelated issues.

My favourite is the first one that says that these are "26 things which differenciate humans from logic machines" and that it's "a partially upsetting, partially comforting list… i.e. it's ok to have human faults!" The very first sentence in the post describe these biases as things "that our minds commonly do to distort our own view of reality". It's ok to have a distorted view of reality? You're proud of it? Yes, there's very little we can do to avoid all errors and biases at all times, but isn't it a good idea to be aware of some of the ways we make those mistakes? Shouldn't we try to make fewer? Human limitations are not something to revel in, nor should they make us feel ashamed. They are to be seen as challenges, things to be accepted as natural and sometimes unavoidable but ultimately areas for improvement.

Am I right? Or did I commit one of those biases listed? Please tell me... I'll try to do better next time, I promise. LOL

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