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MOBI ‫‬‮‭The knowledge illusionwhy we never think alone

FREE MOBI ë DOC ‫‬‮‭The knowledge illusionwhy we never think alone 9780399184352 » GWAIRSOFT ï [PDF] ✓ ‫‬‮‭The knowledge illusionwhy we never think alone By Steven Sloman – Gwairsoft.co.uk Humans have built hugely complex societies and technAntly drawing on information and expertise stored outside our heads in our bodies our environment our possessions and the community with which we interact and usually we don't even realize we're doing it The human mind is both brilliant and pathetic We have mastered fire created democratic institutions stood on the moon and seuenced our genome And yet each of us is error prone sometimes irrational and often ignorant The funda Our point is not that people are ignorant It's that people are ignorant than they think they are We all suffer to a greater or lesser extent from an illusion of understanding an illusion that we understand how things work when in fact our understanding is meager 8It's remarkable how easy it is to disabuse people of their illusion; you merely have to ask them for an explanationWe have also found that people experience the illusion not only with everyday objects but with just about everything People overestimate their understanding of political issues like tax policy and foreign relations of hot button scientific topics like GMOs and climate change and even of their own finances We have been studying psychological phenomena for a long time and it is rare to come across one as robust as the illusion of understanding 22Storytelling is our natural way of making causal sense of seuences of events That's why we find stories everywherePeople see stories everywhere 64Why do we so naturally tell stories that reuire reasoning about counterfactual worlds? Perhaps the main motivation is that it allows us to consider alternative courses of actionThe ability to think counterfactually makes it possible to take both extraordinary and ordinary action Some of humankind's greatest discoveries are due to counterfactual thought experiments 65In a community of knowledge what matters than having knowledge is having access to knowledge 124Public opinion is extreme than people's understanding justifies Americans who most strongly supported military intervention in the Ukraine in 2014 were the ones least able to identify the Ukraine's location on a mapApparently the fact that a strong majority of people has some preference does not mean that their opinion is informed As a rule strong feelings about issues do not emerge from deep understanding They often emerge in the absence of understanding 172This discussion yields a variety of lessons about our political culture One is simply a confirmation of an obvious fact about our political discourse It's remarkably shallow Citizens commentators and politicians freuently take a stand before engaging in a serious analysis of the pros and the cons of proposed legislation TV shows often masuerade as news but in fact consist of participants screaming at one another It doesn't have to be this way As individuals we tend to be ignorant But our airwaves are an important medium to provide correctives and give thoughtful experts a voice We don't expect shows not to be biased; all reporting has some bias but the public does deserve an analysis; public voices should consider the actual conseuences of proposed policy and not just overwhelm us with slogans and spin If we encountered detailed analysis it might influence our decision making 188Deciding on who has expertise and whether that expertise is biased is a difficult problem But it's not insoluble Indeed society has many institutions in place to help Experts come with recommendations that speak to their knowledge and credibility They have histories that can be checked and reputations that can be assessed Although information from the Internet does not come with a guarantee of accuracy there is a fairly effective web industry that has developed to report clients' ratings of experts As long as there are enough clients and the websites responsible for collecting and reporting the ratings are themselves credible this can work well Discovering the credibility of an expert is certainly a manageable problem than asking everyone to become an expert and is in fact the only way to solve social problems 189direct democracy is vulnerable to manipulation just like other forms of governanceThere are a lot of reasons to be critical of ballot measures voted on directly by citizenry Our main concern is that such measures neglect the knowledge illusion Individual citizens rarely know enough to make an informed decision about complex social policy even if they think they do Giving a vote to every citizen can swamp the contribution of expertise to good judgment that the wisdom of crowds relies on 190We have seen that a good way to reduce people's extremism and increase their intellectual humility is to ask them for an explanation of how a policy works Unfortunately the procedure does have a cost Exposing people's illusions can upset them We have found that asking someone to explain a policy that the person doesn't really understand does not improve our relationship with that person Freuently they no longer want to discuss the issue and indeed often they no longer want to talk to usWe had hoped that shattering the illusion of understanding would make people curious and open to new information about the topic at hand This is not what we have found If anything people are less inclined to seek new information after finding out that they were wrong Causal explanation is an effective way to shatter the illusion but people don't like having their illusion shattered In the words of Voltaire 'Illusion is the first of all pleasures' Shattering an illusion can cause people to disengage People like to feel successful not incompetentA good leader must be able to help people realize their ignorance without making them feel stupid This is not easy One way is to demonstrate that everybody is ignorant not just the person you're talking to Ignorance has to do with how much you know whereas being dumb is relative to other people If everybody is ignorant then no one is dumbLeaders also have the responsibility to learn about their own ignorance and effectively take advantage of others' knowledge and skills Strong leaders make use of the community of knowledge by surrounding themselves with people who have deep understanding of specific issues More important strong leaders listen to those experts A leader who spends significant time collecting information and talking to others before making a decision can be seen as indecisive weak and lacking vision A mature electorate is one that makes the effort to appreciate a leader who recognizes that the world is complex and hard to understand 192 193A real education includes learning that you don't know certain things a lot of things Instead of looking in at the knowledge you do have you learn to look out at the knowledge you don't have To do this you have to let go of some hubris; you have to accept that you don't know what you don't know Learning what you don't know is just a matter of looking at the frontiers of your knowledge and wondering what is out there beyond the border It's about asking whyAs individuals we know little There's not too much we can do about that' there's too much to know Obviously we can learn some facts and theories and we can develop skills But we also have to learn how to make use of others' knowledge and skills In fact that's the key to success because the vast majority of knowledge and skills that we have access to reside in other people 220 221Individuals don't make decisions by themselves Other people formulate options for them other people present those options and other people give them advice Moreover people sometimes copy decisions that are made by others for example when stock market guru Warren Buffett makes a decision to buy a stock many people copy him We should be thinking about decision making from a

BOOK ☆ ‫‬‮‭The knowledge illusionwhy we never think alone È Steven Sloman

Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies but most of us don't even know how a pen or a toilet works How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little? Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach argue that we survive and thrive despite our mental shortcomings because we live in a rich community of knowledge The key to our intelligence lies in the people and things around us We're const Challenging PowerThe Knowledge Illusion is a demonstration of the thesis it articulates Our intelligence resides not in individual brains but in the collective mindthe hive mind Each of us as the 18th century philosopher Frederick Leibniz proposed contributes to what we perceive and conceive as reality In fact everyone who has ever existed contributes to that reality We each contribute but none of us can know all that is known Human knowledge floats in a world beyond human understanding Plato implies this same idea in the earliest Western philosophy His eternal Forms are one way to express the inscrutable reality that is shared but not controlled by conscious beings There is than a hint of divinity in the potentially infinite power of this shared knowledge We can only define it in the way that Anselm devised in the 12th Century as that of which nothing greater can be conceivedThis reality is not necessarily true In fact it cannot be true because it is continuously changing as new minds emerge and affect other minds through communication But the idea of an ultimate reality truth is essential in order for conscious beings to function in the world without going mad Truth is that reality which has been constructed or revealed if one happens to be religiously oriented by the collective mind at the end of time The American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce proposed just this definition of truth in the mid 19th CenturyIn the 20th Century Ludwig Wittgenstein recognised that language itself is the carrier of reality We are born into it and cannot escape its independent power Language manipulates us every time we use it Through language we progress or not but as Wittgenstein's contemporary Martin Heidegger uipped Language speaks man as much as man speaks language Sloman and Fernbach have given a modern sociological voice to this ancient philosophy In an age of increasingly ideological politics this voice is crucial It is a voice that reminds us that no one has the right to claim a privileged view of reality much less truth It undercuts both the individualists by insisting on the social foundation of our existence and the collectivists by pointing out the necessity of individual experience Taken seriously this is a voice that continuously exposes power of any sort for what it is coercion and calls it into uestion

Steven Sloman È ‫‬‮‭The knowledge illusionwhy we never think alone READER

‫‬‮‭The knowledge illusionwhy we never think aloneMentally communal nature of intelligence and knowledge explains why we often assume we know than we really do why political opinions and false beliefs are so hard to change and why individually oriented approaches to education and management freuently fail But our collaborative minds also enable us to do amazing things This book contends that true genius can be found in the ways we create intelligence using the world around u I loved it While still about general cognitive biases and illusions it goes well beyond many of the typical books about it Its main premise is that knowledge at least the vast majority of it isn't in our heads per se but rather our intelligence lies in the people and things around us Despite this though we feel that it's part of our own knowledge Sloman and Fernbach see this effect which they call the “illusion of explanatory depth” People believe that they know way than they actually do Best exemplified by how little we understand everyday devices like toilets zippers and cylinder locks The typical narrative of human bias is put at the individual but Sloman and Fernbach rightful put it in the social context as well much forgotten yet very needed Very well written with helpful analogies and always supported by scientific evidence