Being wrong

is an excellent book by Kathryn Schulz (isbn 978-0-06-117604-3). As usual I'm going to quote from a few pages:
One extremely good way to become wedded to a theory you just idly expressed is to have it contradicted... from noncommittal to evangelical in a matter of milliseconds.
We take our own certainty as an indicator of accuracy.
The instant an implicit assumption is violated, it turns into an explicit one.
When we ask people to look for something specific they develop a startling inability to see things in general.
The genius of statistics was that it did not ignore errors, it quantified them. [Laplace]
In ancient Indo-European, the ancestral language of nearly half of today's global population, the word 'er' meant "to move", "to set in motion", or simply "to go."
It is all too common for caterpillars to become butterflies and then maintain that in their youth they had been little butterflies.
the stakes of our mistakes.
Realizing that we are wrong about a belief almost always involves acquiring a replacement belief at the same time.
"fallor ergo sum" (I err, therefore I am) [St Augustine]
When other people reject our beliefs, we think they lack good information. When we reject their beliefs, we think we possess good judgement.
As with so many systems, the strengths of inductive reasoning are also its weaknesses. For every way that induction serves us admirably, it also creates a series of predictable biases in the way we think...
When a framework serves us well... we call it brilliant, and call it inductive reasoning. When it serves us poorly, we call it idiotic, and call it confirmation bias.
Being wrong can be funny; other people being wrong can be very very funny.
Without some kind of belief system in place, we wouldn't even know what kinds of questions to ask, let alone how to make sense of the answers.

No comments:

Post a comment