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(Aeon.co)   Because... we're stupid??   (aeon.co) divider line
    More: Asinine, Global warming, Sociology, colonial myths, multitude of studies, Norm, social cohesion, charity Aeon Media Group Ltd, Dan M Kahan  
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1585 clicks; posted to STEM » on 20 Apr 2021 at 3:55 AM (3 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



23 Comments     (+0 »)
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2021-04-20 4:59:06 AM  
... subjects had to answer a series of questions meant to probe their grasp of the correction made by the police investigator ... as many as 90 per cent of the subjects linked the fire's toxic nature or intensity to the cans of oil paint and gas cylinders, despite none being found in the closet. More surprisingly, when asked directly, most of these participants readily acknowledged the empty closet.

Maybe people just don't trust the police?
 
2021-04-20 6:19:45 AM  
It's the old information overload, only multiplied by at least a thousand - all thanks to the internet.  I like modern technology.  I bought my first Mac in 1990 - first with a 20MB internal hard drive.  Impressive!

However, modern tech also allowed conspiracy theorists, racists, and other terrible people to get together and waste even more time than they did pre computers and pre the internet.

I sometimes long for the days when 90% of the general public couldn't read or write.  (only like a 150 years ago)
 
2021-04-20 8:08:53 AM  
Consider this the first shots in the development of weaponized memes, ala John Barnes Meme Wars.

/One True to rule them all...
 
2021-04-20 8:09:37 AM  
We are dumb all over.

\and a little ugly on the side
 
2021-04-20 8:09:51 AM  
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2021-04-20 8:25:07 AM  
A few possible reasons without RTFA;

Laziness, it's easier to continue to believe, have faith, not question and assign responsibility to some fable passed down for generations.

Accountability, its easy to say it's "Fable's" will rather than step up to accept personal responsibility for our own actions, inactions or thoughts.

Technology, algorithms now filter information we have already touched to deliver more and more connections that entrench our own ideals for better or worse.  Without having the capacity to question the validity or quality of that source information is consumed as fact.

Individuality, personal belief has been reinforced that our beliefs and views are special and important.  To the detriment of NA society.
 
2021-04-20 8:47:19 AM  
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2021-04-20 9:25:47 AM  
Beliefs, for some people, define them.
 
2021-04-20 9:38:17 AM  
It is incorrect to label humans as "the rational animal." Rationality plays a much smaller part in our daily lives than we like to believe. Animals generally react emotionally to stimuli. Humans sometimes react rationally.
 
2021-04-20 9:52:26 AM  
wrong!  just like my grandma used to tell me, I am soooo smart!
 
2021-04-20 9:56:58 AM  

rockymountainrider: A few possible reasons without RTFA;

Laziness, it's easier to continue to believe, have faith, not question and assign responsibility to some fable passed down for generations.

Accountability, its easy to say it's "Fable's" will rather than step up to accept personal responsibility for our own actions, inactions or thoughts.

Technology, algorithms now filter information we have already touched to deliver more and more connections that entrench our own ideals for better or worse.  Without having the capacity to question the validity or quality of that source information is consumed as fact.

Individuality, personal belief has been reinforced that our beliefs and views are special and important.  To the detriment of NA society.


In the time it took you to type that out you could have RTFA, and found that it has next to nothing to do with anything you wrote.

I wonder if anyone has ever written any articles about people jumping to conclusions.
 
2021-04-20 10:06:07 AM  
"There is no nonsense so gross that society will not, at some time, make a doctrine of it and defend it with every weapon of communal stupidity."  ~  Robertson Davies
 
2021-04-20 10:11:08 AM  

Harlee: It is incorrect to label humans as "the rational animal." Rationality plays a much smaller part in our daily lives than we like to believe. Animals generally react emotionally to stimuli. Humans sometimes react rationally.


Pretty much what I was going to type earlier, before I got distracted by work.

For all of our much-vaunted intelligence, in some ways we're the least intelligent species on the planet because we're the only one that's willfully ignorant.  Every other animal does whatever is necessary to preserve its own existence.  We're the only species which knows something is dangerous and responds with, "F*ck it, let's do it anyway."
 
2021-04-20 11:37:12 AM  
We're a pile of self-aware low voltage meat, optimized to survive and reproduce.  Our brains are not efficient tools for understanding abstract truth. The need to do so is a very recent phenomena, in evolutionary timelines.  It's a skill you have to relentlessly work on to even be adequate.  The natural inclination for logic and pursuit of accuracy isn't exactly selected for in our species.

So, yeah.  Misinformation, fraud, comforting lies, pack mentality, advertising, optical or auditory illusions, fallacy of misleading vividness, base rate fallacy, primacy effect, confirmation bias, and a thousand other brain "failures" when it comes to processing and accepting accurate truth is the norm.
 
2021-04-20 11:54:16 AM  

The Crepes of Wrath: Harlee: It is incorrect to label humans as "the rational animal." Rationality plays a much smaller part in our daily lives than we like to believe. Animals generally react emotionally to stimuli. Humans sometimes react rationally.

Pretty much what I was going to type earlier, before I got distracted by work.

For all of our much-vaunted intelligence, in some ways we're the least intelligent species on the planet because we're the only one that's willfully ignorant.  Every other animal does whatever is necessary to preserve its own existence.  We're the only species which knows something is dangerous and responds with, "F*ck it, let's do it anyway."


Just to trigger the people steeped in Ayn Rand hate, Rand said this back in the 1940s. Paraphrased: "Man is a volitional animal, which is why he needs morality."
 
2021-04-20 11:54:34 AM  
"Yes" in answer to Subby's question.
 
2021-04-20 11:56:04 AM  

Khellendros: We're a pile of self-aware low voltage meat, optimized to survive and reproduce.  Our brains are not efficient tools for understanding abstract truth. The need to do so is a very recent phenomena, in evolutionary timelines.  It's a skill you have to relentlessly work on to even be adequate.  The natural inclination for logic and pursuit of accuracy isn't exactly selected for in our species.

So, yeah.  Misinformation, fraud, comforting lies, pack mentality, advertising, optical or auditory illusions, fallacy of misleading vividness, base rate fallacy, primacy effect, confirmation bias, and a thousand other brain "failures" when it comes to processing and accepting accurate truth is the norm.


It's almost like intelligence - like the antlers of the Irish Elk - might be an Evolutionary Trap.
 
2021-04-20 12:45:24 PM  
Article's wording:
Lies and distortions don't just afflict the ignorant. The more you know, the more vulnerable you can be to infection

Actual truth:
Lies and distortions don't just afflict the ignorant. lack of specific knowledge is not the same as lacking critical thinking skills. The more you know, the more vulnerable you can be to infection When someone lacks critical thinking skills, but does have some knowledge in a  field. We have a phrase about that situation, knows enough to be dangerous.
 
2021-04-20 3:03:05 PM  

Harlee: Khellendros: We're a pile of self-aware low voltage meat, optimized to survive and reproduce.  Our brains are not efficient tools for understanding abstract truth. The need to do so is a very recent phenomena, in evolutionary timelines.  It's a skill you have to relentlessly work on to even be adequate.  The natural inclination for logic and pursuit of accuracy isn't exactly selected for in our species.

So, yeah.  Misinformation, fraud, comforting lies, pack mentality, advertising, optical or auditory illusions, fallacy of misleading vividness, base rate fallacy, primacy effect, confirmation bias, and a thousand other brain "failures" when it comes to processing and accepting accurate truth is the norm.

It's almost like intelligence - like the antlers of the Irish Elk - might be an Evolutionary Trap.


No.  There's a difference between not being selected for and being maladaptive.
 
2021-04-20 4:38:56 PM  

Khellendros: Harlee: Khellendros: We're a pile of self-aware low voltage meat, optimized to survive and reproduce.  Our brains are not efficient tools for understanding abstract truth. The need to do so is a very recent phenomena, in evolutionary timelines.  It's a skill you have to relentlessly work on to even be adequate.  The natural inclination for logic and pursuit of accuracy isn't exactly selected for in our species.

So, yeah.  Misinformation, fraud, comforting lies, pack mentality, advertising, optical or auditory illusions, fallacy of misleading vividness, base rate fallacy, primacy effect, confirmation bias, and a thousand other brain "failures" when it comes to processing and accepting accurate truth is the norm.

It's almost like intelligence - like the antlers of the Irish Elk - might be an Evolutionary Trap.

No.  There's a difference between not being selected for and being maladaptive.


Perhaps I wasn't clear. I'm not talking about intelligent or stupid, but about the way the human brain works - the layer of "reasoning" that lies on top of the emotive animal brain. It's the reasoning part that gets screwed up.
 
2021-04-20 5:47:13 PM  

Harlee: Khellendros: We're a pile of self-aware low voltage meat, optimized to survive and reproduce.  Our brains are not efficient tools for understanding abstract truth. The need to do so is a very recent phenomena, in evolutionary timelines.  It's a skill you have to relentlessly work on to even be adequate.  The natural inclination for logic and pursuit of accuracy isn't exactly selected for in our species.

So, yeah.  Misinformation, fraud, comforting lies, pack mentality, advertising, optical or auditory illusions, fallacy of misleading vividness, base rate fallacy, primacy effect, confirmation bias, and a thousand other brain "failures" when it comes to processing and accepting accurate truth is the norm.

It's almost like intelligence - like the antlers of the Irish Elk - might be an Evolutionary Trap.


'Xcept for it to be considered as such you need to admit the notion of cultural evolution (and cultural selection).
 
2021-04-21 9:36:49 AM  

Social Justice Warlock: Harlee: Khellendros: We're a pile of self-aware low voltage meat, optimized to survive and reproduce.  Our brains are not efficient tools for understanding abstract truth. The need to do so is a very recent phenomena, in evolutionary timelines.  It's a skill you have to relentlessly work on to even be adequate.  The natural inclination for logic and pursuit of accuracy isn't exactly selected for in our species.

So, yeah.  Misinformation, fraud, comforting lies, pack mentality, advertising, optical or auditory illusions, fallacy of misleading vividness, base rate fallacy, primacy effect, confirmation bias, and a thousand other brain "failures" when it comes to processing and accepting accurate truth is the norm.

It's almost like intelligence - like the antlers of the Irish Elk - might be an Evolutionary Trap.

'Xcept for it to be considered as such you need to admit the notion of cultural evolution (and cultural selection).


I don't understand your point. Can you expand on that please?
 
2021-04-21 4:17:07 PM  

Harlee: Social Justice Warlock: Harlee: Khellendros: We're a pile of self-aware low voltage meat, optimized to survive and reproduce.  Our brains are not efficient tools for understanding abstract truth. The need to do so is a very recent phenomena, in evolutionary timelines.  It's a skill you have to relentlessly work on to even be adequate.  The natural inclination for logic and pursuit of accuracy isn't exactly selected for in our species.

So, yeah.  Misinformation, fraud, comforting lies, pack mentality, advertising, optical or auditory illusions, fallacy of misleading vividness, base rate fallacy, primacy effect, confirmation bias, and a thousand other brain "failures" when it comes to processing and accepting accurate truth is the norm.

It's almost like intelligence - like the antlers of the Irish Elk - might be an Evolutionary Trap.

'Xcept for it to be considered as such you need to admit the notion of cultural evolution (and cultural selection).

I don't understand your point. Can you expand on that please?


While cognitive abilities and mental faculties are surely *in part* hereditary (biologically speaking), and thus some of the previous examples are hardwired in the way our brains work (cognitive biases such as the confirmation bias, as well as auditory illusions and 3D illusions etc.) and can be passed on (and are therefore subject to natural selection), others are just not so clearly linked to our biology.

Credulity or inclination to hold and defend false beliefs (such as in the other examples mentioned, including mass manipulation, advertising and misinformation) are at least partly cultural phenomena.

And so, for intelligence (overall) to be considered an evolutionary trap, I think maybe we'd need to account for how it affects our fitness as a species (and thus account for how culture can become a positive or negative force for our survival).

It's like memes (in the academic sense. Not the internet pop culture sense)... Without inserting the notion of cultural evolution, there's something missing in order to consider intelligence an evolutionary trap (since intelligence generated cultural artifacts and those are the negative forces on our survival).

Just spitballing, here... I've got nothing against the notion (except some skepticism)
 
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