Jul

12

Thoughts, from anonymous

July 12, 2018 |

It's a common thing, when people either witness a dramatic event or watch video of the event, that they see things they think are anomalous and insist on some nefarious interpretation. It's similar to the statistical mistake of not knowing the base rate of an event. I remember times when people would show me video of the WTC collapse and point out aspects that "proved" there were explosives in the towers. And I would ask them if they had seen so many skyscrapers collapse after being hit with fuel-filled commercial jetliners that they knew what it *should* look like and therefore that the WTC situation presented clear anomalies. Not that they gave up the argument, but at least I tried.

anonymous writes: 

This is very true.

It's another cognitive bias. We tend to try to match the cause of an event with the severity of an event. (I hope I recall it correctly) List of biases.

We are brilliant apes. Thankfully brilliant, yet apes nonetheless.

Larry Williams posted a discussion with his son a while back. At the end they refer to the Baloney Detection Kit by Carl Sagan. Michael Shermer published an updated Baloney Detection Kit. Great every day tools.

We are easily tricked by others and by ourselves.

In the end even Carl Sagan was tricked by the Russians about nuclear winter.


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