Substitution Heuristics

Substitution Heuristics

I think heuristics are underrated. We should discuss heuristics as a society way more than we do. We barely acknowledge heuristics, but if we look closely, they are at the heart of many of our decisions, beliefs, and assumptions. They save us a lot of work and help us move through the world pretty smoothly, … Continue reading Substitution Heuristics

What You See Is All There Is

What You See Is All There Is

In Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman gives us the somewhat unwieldy acronym WYSIATI - what you see is all there is. The acronym describes a phenomenon that stems from how our brains work. System 1, the name that Kahneman gives to the part of our brain which is automatic, quick, and associative, can only … Continue reading What You See Is All There Is

pharmaceutical advertisements

Thoughts on Pharmaceutical Advertisements

"The reality is that most people hear more from pharmaceutical companies (16 to 18 hours of pharma ads per year) than from their doctor (typically under 2 hours per year)." writes Dave Chase in his book The Opioid Crisis Wake-Up Call. Chase is critical of American's looking for a quick fix and expecting a pill to … Continue reading Thoughts on Pharmaceutical Advertisements

An Illusion of Security, Stability, and Control

The online world is a very interesting place. While we frequently say that we have concerns about privacy, about how our data is being used, and about what information is publicly available to us, very few people delete their social media accounts or take real action when a data breach occurs. We have been moving … Continue reading An Illusion of Security, Stability, and Control

Two Messages

In The Elephant in the Brain Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson write about the ways in which we act to signal something important about ourselves that we cannot outright express. We deceive ourselves to believe that we are not sending these signals, but we recognize them, pick up on their subtle nature, and know how … Continue reading Two Messages

Sabotage Information

"Our minds are built to sabotage information in order to come out ahead in social games." In The Elephant in the Brain, Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson write about the ways in which we act out of our own self-interest without acknowledging it. We are more selfish, more deceptive, and less altruistic than we would … Continue reading Sabotage Information

Our Brains Don’t Hold Information as Well as We Think

Anyone who has ever misplaced their keys or their wallet knows that the brain can be a bit faulty. If you have ever been convinced you saw a snake only to find out it was a plastic bag, or if you remembered dropping a pan full of sweet potatoes as a child during Thanksgiving only … Continue reading Our Brains Don’t Hold Information as Well as We Think

Our Devious Minds

"We now realize," write Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson in their book The Elephant in the Brain, "that our brains aren't just hapless and quirky - they're devious. They intentionally hide information from us, helping us fabricate plausible pro-social motives to act as cover stories for our less savory agendas. As Trivers puts it: "At … Continue reading Our Devious Minds