How To Build Persuasion Machines
You can create mental machinery for decision making.
Intuition pumps are sometimes called thought experiments. But they’re not really formal arguments typically. They’re stories. They’re little fables. In fact, I think they’re similar to Aesop’s fables in that they’re supposed to have a moral. They’re supposed to teach us something. And what they do is they lead the audience to an intuition, a conclusion, where you sort of pound your fist on the table and you say, “Oh yeah, it’s gotta be that way, doesn’t it.” If it achieves that then it’s pumped the intuition that was designed to pump. These are persuasion machines. Little persuasion machines that philosophers have been using for several thousand years.
I think that intuition pumps are particularly valuable when there’s confusion about just what the right questions are and what the right – what matters. What matters to answer the question. I think we’re all pretty good at using examples to think about things and intuition pumps are usually rather vivid examples from which you’re supposed to draw a very general moral. And they come up in many walks of life.
Anytime you’re puzzled or confused about what to do next or whether something’s true or false, you might cast about for an intuition pump that could help you.
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It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.
- At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
- See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
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Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
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