Rationality in Action: Look at a Problem as an Outsider
Julia Galef explains how a "simple and easy mental habit" can help you overcome your biases.
What's the Big Idea?
Why are you still working at the job you don't like or staying in a relationship that is going nowhere or sticking with the same business plan that isn't working?
Julia Galef describes this as "the commitment effect," which is the condition of sticking with something "long after it has become quite clear that it's not doing anything for us" or is even hurtful. We do this because we have an irrational commitment to things we've been doing for a while and don't like the idea that our investment in that thing has been a waste.
Now here's the good news. Galef, the President of the Center for Applied Rationality (CFAR) says you can snap yourself out of the commitment effect through the technique of looking at a problem as if you were an outsider, or an outside party.
As Galef explains, this "simple and easy mental habit" can help you overcome your bias.
Watch the video here:
What's the Significance?
In addition to improving our lives, rationality leads to public good, argues Galef. When we look at risks such as terrorism and crime, for instance, we tend to view them irrationally. We "overweigh" these risks due to the way crime may be portrayed on the news. Galef says this bias prevents us from getting "the best bang for our buck" when it comes to risk reduction.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
New research identifies an unexpected source for some of earth's water.
- A lot of Earth's water is asteroidal in origin, but some of it may come from dissolved solar nebula gas.
- Our planet hides majority of its water inside: two oceans in the mantle and 4–5 in the core.
- New reason to suspect that water is abundant throughout the universe.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
SpaceX plans to launch about 12,000 internet-providing satellites into orbit over the next six years.
- SpaceX plans to launch 1,600 satellites over the next few years, and to complete its full network over the next six.
- Blanketing the globe with wireless internet-providing satellites could have big implications for financial institutions and people in rural areas.
- Some are concerned about the proliferation of space debris in Earth's orbit.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.