Viser arkivet for stikkord rationality

How people fail to notice they are being proven wrong in arguments.

Often people ask questions like “Why don’t people fight climate change? Why don’t people fight ageing? Why don’t people fight AIDS? Why don’t people fight poverty?” and lots of other similar “good fights” they themselves undertake.
On the face of it fighting climate change, aging, AIDS, poverty, all seem like no-brainers. So why don’t people do these things?

1. They think doing something won’t help enough.
2. They think the outcome would not be good.
3. They think it is not a problem of theirs at this moment in time.

Number One is easy to understand. If you think what you yourself can do is not enough to fight climate change, ageing or AIDS then you will not do anything. Number two is present even when it comes to AIDS and aging in some cases. Three is also somewhat easy to understand, most often people have not been thinking about the problem and so it is like an uninvited object they don’t consider theirs. Like if you go up to someone with a random dog-poo bag and say “is this yours?”; they say no if its just a tiny bit negative or something that seem quite out-of-place (there’s a time and a place for everything, it seems).

Ageing:
1. People think they can’t do anything to help stop ageing (no one yet have managed to stop ageing, they think no one has managed to affect ageing, they think no one has a theory of how to succeed, they think ageing is a feature of humans untouchable by biotechnology, they believe this technology will come at the same time in the future no matter what they do).
2. People think the outcome of succeeding in stopping ageing will not be good (They think there will be overpopulation, that bad people will live forever, that science will progress slower if the old don’t die and make room for the new, they believe there will be lack of resources, they believe people should die to make room for the next generation, they believe stopping ageing will result in very poor quality of life because of boredom or very poor health, etc).
3. They think ageing is not a problem that they should concern themselves about right now (They believe they can’t do anything anyways, they believe it won’t be in time for them, they believe they have more pressing things to take care of first, they believe they might do it at another time and place when they can consider the question more, etc).

Climate change:
1. People think they can’t do anything to help stop climate change (fex because they think its not manmade, or because they think everyone else will just continue to pollute even if they themselves stop).
2. People think the outcome of succeeding in stopping climate change will not be good (They believe it will bankrupt the nations to stop it, and a whole bunch of other things).
3. They think climate change is not a problem that they should concern themselves about now (They believe it is still so far away they have more pressing things to take care of first, or that the climate is not changing at all, or that climate change is not due to man).

The same three points can be written for any number of things, including but not limited to:
-Crime.
-Education.
-Personal Health.
-Personal intelligence.
-Specific personal abilities.
-Roads.
-Healthcare.
-Laws.
-Public opinion.
-Traditions.
-Norms.
-Opinions (personal and others).
-What leaders do (prime ministers, presidents, CEO, social group leader etc).
-Pretty much anything, even atheism and agnosticism and ignosticism (“I can’t imagine how life formed” is Type One, Type Two; “I don’t think atheism/agnosticism/ignosticism gives a good quality of life even if I became one” and Type Three is that they don’t feel they have to do all this intellectual work about this particular problem right now).

Most people are not consciously aware of which of these three Types need to be argued in order for them to change their minds. If the main reason they don’t stop aging is type One, Two or Three. And as such, most people fall into the others once one type has been argued against. If you argue against Type One they retort with Type Two or Type Three as if that makes your argument against Type One invalid somehow. If you then argue against the Type they retorted with they retort with either of the other two Types again, as if your first argument against Type One was invalidated.

Quite frankly, I’m tired of meeting this phenomenon every time I argue for rejuvenation biotechnology. People want to force people to die of repairable decay because of three reasons they don’t notice have been proven to be bad reasons. They hop from Type to Type and in-doing so maintain the delusion of not being argued wrong.
I can imagine people that try to get people to stop climate change and cure AIDS and Religion and so forth also could do without this fundamental flaw in human being’s self-proclaimed rationality.

It can be summarized as such;
For something to be done it must be considered feasible, desirable and undeferable.
And subsequently, if it is not considered to be feasible, desirable and undeferable, it will not be done.

Immediate and long term gain.

In an experiment you are given the choice between two scenarios:
1. 100 dollars today.
2. 101 dollars in a month.
We usually think of this experiment as:
1. Immediate gain.
2. Long term gain.
And we assume that the more rational you are, the more likely you are to choose option 2.
But I propose both options are only decided based on the immediate gain they provide.

What is the immediate gain of both choices?
1. 100 dollars today.
This immediately provides:
A) The expectancy of receiving 100 dollars.
B) The feeling of making the superior choice by some rationalization. “Now is better than later” being the prevailing rationalization.
2. 101 dollars in a month.
This immediately provides:
A) The expectancy of receiving 101 dollars.
B) The feeling of making the superior choice by some rationalization. “More is better than less” being the prevailing rationalization.

Which immediate gain option has the most value is decided by which weighs most heavily; More being better than less, or sooner better than later.

Separating yourself from instinct and genes is impossible.

It is a commonly held belief that as you becomes more intelligent, you manage to separate yourself from the evolutionary, irrational instincts that are hard wired. But this is impossible.
It is like trying to float on water without water.

The hardware of my body and brain dictate my behavior, if I somehow separate myself from a part of my body or brain, I lose an ability, I don’t gain an ability. If I separate myself from the genes that make me like bread I lose the ability to like bread. I do not gain some new profound intelligent ability. I will whatever I do, not like bread, the same way I don’t like to eat sand. No matter how rational it is to eat bread, I can not make myself like bread without the genes that make me like the particular features of bread.
Same goes for the genes that make us reproduce, fight, feel pride, etc. Even if we manage to rid ourselves of the reasons that make up these things, we don’t gain intelligence or wisdom, we only lose an ability to reproduce, fight, feel pride, etc.

If you wish to somehow gain a level of intelligence by separating yourself from your innate instinct then your best bet is to learn what your instincts are. Learn about what genes do what task, how you behave in behavioral economics experiments, how you have behaved previously in life, etc. If you look back and find all sorts of stupid actions and thoughts and ideas, then you must admit it. If you merely rationalize away your previous behavior as the right thing to do so much so that you would do the exact same today, then you might as well be an Alzheimers patient who read this article, forget you read it, and then you read it again, forget you read it, and then you read it again, etc. Because you will never learn from your actions and your current level of wisdom is as far as you will go on the ladder of wisdom.
I Hope you now find lots of memories of your own actions that make you facepalm so you can improve.

PS: Floating on water without water, but with air, or some other liquid or system, is not “floating on water”. I know you were thinking about cheating.