|- Ideally we collect the evidence and we form the Framework or Picture of the subject we are thinking about, but if we get imperfect evidence then we end up with a distorted picture which is different from reality.|
- Is there any wonder that people are confused as their evidence comes through distorting filters ? They don't see much raw evidence as most of their idea of the world comes through the Popular media, films, Politics, religion and advertising material.
- Popular media distort the evidence by choosing the most dramatic headlines and a secondary level as things which are closer to them get reported ie. stories involving London or the media get reported more frequently than things that happen to other people in other parts of the country.
- Mainstream Films are usually made to a formula like there must be beautiful people, must fit exisiting actors, there must be a love/sex interest, the big nation of the target market like Americans, Chinese, Indians etc must be the winners. Things can't be too difficult or complicated cos it has to fit into 90 minutes etc. Hence people think love is so easy. Note how in novela arguments are not settled by rational argument, but rather by load emoional entertaining drama.
- politicians shout loudest and longest about the things that suit their own agenda.
- Advertising and marketing has to sell it's product so ends up teaching people that they are not beautiful nor happy until they have the product. marketing tells us things like natural = healthy etc. Does it make us unhappy by telling us that we are being ripped off by other supermarkets ? Note how things that are more enjoyable and healthier like fruit and tap water water lose out in attention to processed products. There are no brainwashing adverts telling people to eat fruit or how to pickup things for free or second-hand.
- Frames of reference : There are 2 things the evidence itself and our frame of reference. When you think about it when any evidence comes along we also see it with reference to our own existing culture.
- Living in a Bubble - people often seem to be living in a bubble & really can't understand some elses point of view. In a debate both sides often seem to be living in different bubbles, but I do believe there is some real objective truth & both sides have reached it cos they are stuck in a bubble they have assumptions "it's obvious isn't it", which haven't been properly tested. (I not sure if this is just a different way of expressing what I just said)
- Things that effect our Frames of reference : Newspapers/media, your family friends, school, workplace, Movements like the green movement, feminist, gay, Religion etc
- Religion - And in many cultures people would be accustomed to seeing things through religion glasses.
- If it fit's our bubble we'll accept it
Bertrand Russell* pointed this out many years ago: “If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence.”
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts", said Richard Feynman.
- Fake Dreams - Partly due to culture and partly due to marketing the public don't have realistic anticipations. Instead they have dreams of perfect house, perfect marriage, perfect car, perfect holiday.
- advertising tells you the Porshe will be so much better, but it pratical use a Lada will get you to work the same way ...And you don't have to worry about the Lada being scratched or stolen.
- So instead of garbage put some INSPIRATION and ENLIGHTENMENT into your head by listening to the stuff on my Radio and Lecture podcasts page
|Popular Media is the enemy of promoting good reasoning : |
- The drive for ratings distorts
|- A high percentage of our idea of the world comes through the distorting lens of the media.|
- However the truth is just not sexy enough to get the highest ratings/profits - so the media resort to Information Porn i.e. hyping headlines and twisting the story to appeal to the emotions. -Popular News media distorts for ratings/profits
- 1. The need for a sexy headline is the root of media distortion - Stories begin with a headline - "Survey shows your life is in peril !" is always chosen over "Survey shows nothing new at all"
- 2. Focusing on the emotional angle sells, but distorts - In popular media see how the emotional tale of 1 mother counts more than a scientific analysis of a 1000 situations. Note how the two things are often balanced against each other as if they carry the same weight.
- Likewise notice how in soap operas overemotion is used all the time. "Oh, mother my whole world is falling apart"
- Films formula for profits also distorts- Mainstream Film and Movie makers conform to FORMULA : beautiful people, love interest, baddies - and thus reinforce an untrue picture of real life.
-Reality TV in a similar way provides a distorted view of reality through manipulation and editing for ratings
- modern movies usually waste my time. They can't just take an original story they have to twist it to fit a formula, they have to have a love scene, a sex scene, violence. I hate the characters Time and time I invest my time in watching a film and end feeling disappointed
- How can we deskew the market so that truth makes the most money ?
|The Road to Better Reasoning |
FOCUS and FLOW
- We are always busy busy, we assume and think about things in a peripheral way, but to understand a topic we have to drop thoughts of other things and FOCUS
- Once we have focus I find we can FLOW i.e. build up a framework of the topic joint by joint and use this framework to build things and solve problems
|Critical Thinking and Scientific Method Method vs Rote Learning|
- Critical thinking is scientific thinking as pointed out in the essay AN INTRODUCTION TO CRITICAL THINKINGbySteven D. Schafersman
and justified true belief is the same thing
evidence based vs science based is different as pointed out by SGU's Steven Novella
- Rote learning is the enemy good thinking - it teaches people to believe everything authority says, so it comes unstuck the moment authority gets it wrong whereas with critical thinking the arguments are retested by every individual so mistakes are not so easily carried forward.
- teaching raw maths can be seen as rote learning ..applying it is critical thinking
- Good ideas often come from not thinking about the subject actively, but actually out of sudden inspiration
- not finished the analysis of this essay
|Magic is a key to promoting reasoning skills|
|-Teaching Kids Magic teaches good reasoning skills - It teaches kids to say "OK it seems that X has happened, but maybe there is another explanation which also explains the situation without the need for something mysterious and magical." |
- see "I can Derren Brown's trick"
- Magicians like Derren Brown, Richard Wiseman and writers like Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and Vonnegut who constantly come up with alternative thinking in their writing really contribute to promoting thinks skills.
|Humour is the 2nd key to promoting reasoning skills|
|-clever jokes cause people to exercise their minds as to alternative ways of thinking. |