GUY HARRISON ~ HOW TO THINK LIKE A SCIENTIST ~ THINK BEFORE YOU LIKE ~ 2017

~ RLAS-PATBMADIM-AGIATATATM-AASSWSYWOSM ~ React Like A Scientist – Pause And Think Before Making Any Decisive Intellectual Moves – Avoid Granting Immediate And Total Acceptance To Anything That Matters – Adopting A Scientific Stance Will Serve You Well On Social Media

~ DYR-THTITHBCBTUWICTSI-PL;PBC;AETMSAHAUOGFW ~ Do Your Research – The Hard Truth Is That Human Beings Cannot Be Trusted Unconditionally When It Comes To Sharing Information – People Lie; People Become Confused; And Even The Most Sensible And Honest Among Us Often Get Facts Wrong

~ CUWYOHOT-TTEHACMBTOF-S-IPEFAIOC-TNTDTDWOTIMLTBT ~ Come Up With Your Own Hypothesis Or Theory – Try To Explain How A Claim Might Be True Or False – Speculate – Image Possible Explanations For An Idea Or Claim – Then Narrow Them Down To Determine Which Of Them Is More Likely To Be True

~ CYOEOT-FOHTTACCBD-BIIDMOTN-FOIOHATOITT ~ Conduct Your Own Experiment Or Test – Figuring Out How To Test A Claim Can Be Difficult – But It Is Doable More Often Than Not – Find Out If Others Have Already Tested Or Investigated The Topic

~ SYC-NITTAOPTLFEIYR-SYCW-TS-MS-PYK ~ Share Your Conclusion – Now It’s Time To Ask Other People To Look For Errors In Your Reasoning – Share Your Conclusion With – The Smartest – Most Sensible – People You Know

~ LO-C-C-APA-YCOD~ Let Others – Consider – Challenge – And Pick Apart Your Conclusion Or Decision

~ F-IIVTYCWIYRFOABWTCYMIN ~ Finally – It Is Vital That You Consider Whatever Input You Receive From Others And Be Willing To Change Your Mind If Necessary

~ IS-POAMOAF-IYR-DBTIOO-BGTYHBGTCTMALCT-TAR ~ If Someone – Points Out A Mistake Or A Flaw – In Your Reasoning – Don’t Be Too Irritated Or Offended – Be Grateful That You Have Been Given The Chance To Move A Little Closer To – Truth And Reality

GUY HARRISON ~ THINK BEFORE YOU LIKE ~ 2017

~ AWB’ESOO’?~ Are We Becoming – “Efficient Shadows Of Ourselves”?

~ FAS-FM-DOD ~ Fleeting And Soon-Forgotten Micro-Doses Of Dopamine

~ WWMP? ~ Will We Miss Privacy?

~ YOASNDYAAP-B-I-TD ~ Your Online Activities Should Not Define You As A Person – But – Increasingly – They Do

~ WD-‘F’-C? ~ What Does – “Free” – Cost?

~ ATMAMOTTCBBFU?-WCK-BTCTBITSWOPTAADHTTUWTK-O-WTTTK-AU-WDHTLRTCT ~ Are There Misinformation And Misinterpretations Out There That Could Be Bad For Us? – We Can’t Know – Because The Companies That Barter In The Shadows With Our Private Thoughts And Activities Don’t Have To Tell Us What They Know – Or – What They Think They Know – About Us – We Don’t Have The Legal Right To Check Them

~ WCPTH-HEAMC-WWDEKTTE ~ We Can’t Petition To Have – Harmful Errors And Misjudgments Corrected – When We Don’t Even Know That They Exist

~ TRONWBD ~ The Renaissance Of Nonsense Will Be Digitized

~ TPV-BPN-WUB-CA-C-A-TSD ~ The Positive Features – Become Powerful Negatives – When Used By – Con Artists – Crackpots – And – The Sincerely Deluded

~ TLSM ~ Terrorists Love Social Media

~ SPB-SMWDNLTSTWBUIANAOC-O-H-WTSMMHTFDUAIASCO-F/H/S ~ Some People Believe – Social Media Will Do Nothing Less Than Save The World By Ushering In A New Age Of Connectivity – Others – However – Warn That Social Media Might Help To Finally Drown Us All In A Sad Cesspool Of – Fear / Hate / Stupidity

~ SOTWMVADGCUSMTOAGTRIPODG ~ Some Of The World’s Most Violent And Destructive Groups Currently Uses Social Media To Organize And Grow Their Ranks In Pursuit Of Dark Goals

~ WT-YVO-C-B-B-O-PR-M-AL ~ Welcome To – Your Very Own – Customized – Biased – Bubble – Of – Psychological Reinforcement – Manipulation – And Lies

~ ROTA ~ Rise Of The Algorithms

~ OTA-CB-TCBSEIT-EHI-A-EUI-C-BHIAHAIEOMYMVTTPO-CB-RTLV ~ One Thing About – Confirmation Bias – That Cannot Be Stressed Enough Is That – EVERYONE HAS IT – And – EVERYONE USES IT – Counterintutively – Being Highly Intelligent And Having An Impressive Education Often Makes You More Vulnerable To The Problem Of – Confirmation Bias – Rather Than Less Vulnerable

~ TRB ~ The Reality Bubble

~ IYWTAALDITVOT-TYMBHETBH ~ If You Want To Always At Least Dwell In The Vicinity Of Truth – Then You Must Be Honest Enough To Be Humble

~ WWDKITLDUARNHFSMTBAFEIWTT ~ What We Do Know Is That Lies Dressed Up As Respectable News Have Found Social Media To Be A Fertile Environment In Which To Thrive

~ HCSWBAKN? ~ How Concerned Should We Be About Fake News?

~ FN-I-DN-THBCAPFTSPOM-R/L/V-WKFI-TGCIA-F-GCFP-T-MPG ~ Fake News – Is – Dishonest News – That Has Been Crafted And Published For The Specific Purpose Of Misleading – Readers / Listeners / Viewers – With Knowingly False Information – That Goal Can Include Anything – From – Garnering Clicks For Profit – To – Making Political Gains

~ HNNBACIAWAFN ~ Humour Need Not Be A Casualty In Anyone’s War Against Fake News

~ CFOF’ ~ Contradictory “Fountains Of Facts”

~ WBTS? ~ Who Believes This Stuff?

~ ACCASIINSAAAOF-TFTBF ~ Accepting Crazy Claims And Stupid Ideas Is Now Seen As An Aspect Of Freedom – The Freedom To Be Fooled

~ BSOE ~ Be Skeptical Of Everything

~ CTS ~ Consider The Source

~ DSG ~ Don’t Spread Garbage

~ O-B-FATGP-ASFAGS-AEI-CL-OJPOG ~ Our – Brains – For All Their Glorious Powers – Are Suckers For A Good Story – An Exciting Image – Convenient Lie – Or Just Plain Old Gossip

~ FNM ~ Fake News Matters

~ DLTD ~ Delusions Lead To Danger

~ SOCTIHGUC ~ Scarcity Of Critical Thinking Is Humankind’s Great Unrecognized Crisis

~ WHWYDKWYDK? ~ What Happens When You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know?

~ CINTSTAK ~ Confidence Is Not The Same Thing As Knowledge

~ WCYDTAG?-BDSN ~ What Can You Do To Avoid Groupthink? – Build Diverse Social Networks

~ BTB-CCBW-PINARMOTAR ~ Beware The Bandwagon – Crowds Can Be Wrong – Popularity Is Not A Reliable Measure Of Truth And Reality

~ A:TFITHYSMAATYANRFWSTSFYCTADAI ~ Anchoring: The First Input That Hits Your Subconscious Mind About A Topic You Are Not Reasonably Familiar With Sets The Stage For Your Conscious Thoughts And Decisions About It

~ OAMEFTIA ~ Others Are More Easily Fooled Than I Am

~ WASC-WTTSNOOPBWTAUBEODTAFAW ~ We Are Social Creatures – We Tend To Synchronize Not Only Our Physical Behavior With Those Around Us But Even Our Deepest Thoughts And Feelings As Well

~ AB-TT-TTIABIBSPTBAAF ~ Authority Bias – The Tendency – To Trust In And Be Influenced By Someone Perceived To Be An Authority Figure

~ ABIAATTB ~ Authority Bias Is An Amazing Thing To Behold

~ AEIOTINAEIE ~ An Expert In One Thing Is Not An Expert In Everything

~ SIAT-AHI-ATAOU-TUDITTOODL ~ Science Is A Tool – A Human Invention – Available To All Of Us – To Use Down In The Trenches Of Our Daily Lives –

~ NOWBATDTNFGTITWIDIL ~ No One Will Be Able To Deny The Need For Good Thinking If The World Is Drowning In Lies

~ NMWYAOWYD-TAAALAFTYWRKOOTROARSOSWDLYAMECYG ~ No Matter Who You Are Or What You Do – There Likely Are At Lest A Few Things You Would Rather Keep Out Of The Reach Of A Random Stranger Or Someone Who Doesn’t Like You And Might Enjoy Causing You Grief

~ HI-TET-FC-A-I-PAI-E-THETD-S-A-AS-IOT-MAJT ~ Humans In – The Early Twenty-First Century – Are – Ill-Prepared And Ill-Equipped – To Have Everything They Do – Surveilled – Analyzed – And Stored – In Order To – Manipulate And Judge Them

~ AT-A-TMODW-T-I-C-H-S-JIT-DR-DR-DE ~ A Tried-And-True Method Of Dealing With – Trolls – Is – Cold – Hard – Silence – Just Ignore Them – Don’t React – Don’t Reply – Don’t Engage

~ DBD ~ Defined By Data

~ E-BPT ~ Emotion-Based Precision Targeting

~ ASMUABUAGP ~ All Social Media Users Are Being Used As Guinea Pigs

~ TDYSMI-VIS ~ Trim Down Your Social Media Identity – Vague Is Safer

~ AQ-NBYOICATN-B-BWNTBTATN ~ Ask Questions – Not Because You Or I Can Answer Them Now – But – Because We Need To Be Thinking About Them Now

~ WCLTI-GTW-O-W-DACTBTAU ~ We Can’t Let – The Internet – Go To Waste – Or – Worse – Degrade And Corrupt The Best Things About Us

JOSEPH HEATH ~ FILTHY LUCRE ~ 2009

~T-S&F-O-TWS-HFB-TLATR-TWVBP-TRACCOTITAOTSTA-TLHBFTGUO-C-W-TRHBFTGUO-L ~ The – Successes And Failures – Of – The Welfare State – Have Forced Both – The Left And The Right – To Swallow Very Bitter Pills – To Renounce A Core Component Of The Ideologies That At One Time Set Them Apart – The Left Has Been Forced To Give Up On – Communism – While – The Right Has Been Forced To Give Up On – Libertarianism

~ C:TSSDE-L:TSSDN-BIANTD ~ Communism: The State Should Do Everything – Libertarianism: The State Should Do Nothing – Both Ideas Are Now Thoroughly Discredited

~ TCO-C-I-OC-SBK-BIMFBT-B-TCO-L-ITTCWJAC ~ The Collapse Of – Communism – Is – Of Course – Somewhat Better Known – Because It Made For Better Television – But – The Collapse Of – Libertarianism – In The Twentieth Century Was Just As Complete

~ AWBO-II-JDAUTO-GI ~ A Whole Bunch Of – Individual Interest – Just Don’t Add Up To One – Group Interest

~ DHTSO-PONT-‘VH’-OGTSI-IOTGETAIAWTAPTCO ~ Despite Having The Same Objectives – People Often Need The – “Visible Hand” – Of Government To Step In – In Order To Get Everyone To Act In A Way That Actually Promotes Their Common Objectives

~ SWNTHA-S-YCGAMEOOS-IA-WIR-AWS-ICP-IAHEA-T-PPP-ETVOE-A-TEF-TEA-MRN-ISCSBATTHB ~ So We Need To Have A – State – You Can’t Get A Market Economy Out Of Self-Interest Alone – What Is Required – And What Self-Interest Cannot Provide – Is An Honest Enforcement Agency – To – Protect Private Property – Ensure The Voluntariness Of Exchange – And – To Enforce Contracts – This Enforcement Agency – Must Remain Neutral – Its Services Cannot Simply Be Available To The Highest Bidder

~ IYLATLOSPBTGTETSFOTCE-OJTMLEFI-TRIPI ~ If You Look At The List Of Services Provided By The Government To Ensure The Smooth Functioning Of The Capitalist Economy – Or Just To Make Life Easier For Investors – The Range Is Pretty Impressive

~ TITBSBATRCTTGETTGROIRN-AAR-TSSESEPTIOCT-SPFC ~ The Idea That Businesspeople Should Be Able To Run Crying To The Government Every Time They Get Ripped Off Is Relatively New – As A Result – The State Spends Enormous Sums Essentially Protecting The Integrity Of Commercial Transactions – Social Programs For Capitalists

~ TCT-‘LG-A-‘LF’C-TOTBNSM-APDOIL-A-AAPOTIOTWMTI’LG’-TBACT ‘KTPTBTW-SEE’-ATSDQAAPP ~ The Commitment To – “Limited Government” – And – “Laissez-Faire” Capitalism – Turns Out To Be Not So Much – A Principled Defense Of Individual Liberty – As – An Arbitrary Privileging Of The Interests Of Those With Money To Invest – “Less Government” – Therefore Becomes A Call To – “Keep Those Programs That Benefit The Wealthy – Scrap Everything Else”

~ IM-EWTD ~ Incentives Matter – Except When They Don’t

~ EAFFBTAHAI-MBS-I-TSTDRBT-WTDBITAHAI-U-AAR-TWUIFSAOHPMD ~ Economists Are Famous For Believing That All Human Action Is – Motivated By Self-Interest – Technically Speaking They Don’t Really Believe This – What They Do Believe Is That All Human Action Is – Unprincipled – As A Result – They Wind Up Ignoring Fairly Significant Aspects Of How People Make Decisions

~ SS-WTMSAC-‘S’-WTWTIAASCT-‘E’ ~ Social Scientists – Who Take Morality Seriously Are Called – “Sociologists” – Whereas Those Who Think It’s All A Scam Call Themselves – “Economists”

~ TFIT-PACNOWTCOTA-BAWTPTGT ~ The Fact Is That – People Are Concerned Not Only With The Consequences Of Their Actions – But Also With The Principles That Govern Them

~ PANATWESTS ~ People Almost Never Act The Way Economist Say They Should

~ TFITKOTTEHTTSIPB-OD-A-TKOTTEHTTSIPB-OD ~ The Fact Is The Kinds Of Things That Economists Have Traditionally Thought Should Influence People’s Behavior – Often Don’t – And – The Kinds Of Things That Economist Have Traditionally Thought Shouldn’t Influence People’s Behavior – Often Do

~ EIB-PHATTOTIOEIIMHC ~ Extrinsic Incentive Bias – People Have A Tendency To Overestimate The Importance Of External Incentives In Motivating Human Conduct

~ IANTOTTM-IAOIC ~ Incentives Are Not The Only Things That Matter – Incentives Are Often Incredibly Complex

~ YPPIM-CP-ATCOT-‘LOE’-BU-WOIAHEAAB ~ Yet People Persist In Making – Confident Predictions – About The Consequences Of The – “Laws Of Economics” – Based Upon – Wildly Oversimplified Ideas About How Economic Actors Actually Behave

~ THBASMT-S-C-BE-WTP-TA-ATNS-PALMAT-HPAB ~ There Has Been A Significant Move Toward – So-Called – Behavioral Economics – Within The Profession – This Approach – As The Name Suggests – Pays A Lot More Attention To – How People Actually Behave

~ TAASO-‘IH’-AWITITGODL-MOWHNTDWTM ~ There Are All Sorts Of – “Invisible Hands” – At Work In The Institutions That Govern Our Daily Lives – Many Of Which Have Nothing To Do With The Marketplace

~ TS-IF-PETSAOWA-TM-WITS-IP-NAA-P-PW-A-PCW ~ The State – In Fact – Produces Exactly The Same Amount Of Wealth As – The Market – Which Is To Say – It Produces – None At All – People – Produce Wealth – And – People – Consume Wealth

~ I-SA-TS-O-TM-NPNCA-TSCMTWPCTPACOW ~ Institutions – Such As – The State – Or – The Market – Neither Produce Nor Consume Anything – They Simply Constitute Mechanisms Through Which People Coordinate Their Production And Consumption Of Wealth

~ ALOEIERAFTTTTEIATTWP ~ A Lot Of Errors In Economic Reasoning Arise From The Tendency To Treat Economic Institutions As Though They Were People

~ PWAF-TSOPOPPOTGO-C-OOTAOCTAEI-PM-WUTAOCTEI-TPS ~ People Who Argue For – The Superiority Of Private Over Public Provision On The Grounds Of – Choice – Often Overstate The Amount Of Choice That Actually Exists In – Private Markets – While Understating The Amount Of Choice That Exists In – The Public Sector

~ MOTSMAIATWTTOA – ‘S’ – HALMTDW-RP-TW-E-O-DJ-AICWTMSIGPIR-IIUBTATPIW-WEG-NW-LROI ~ Many Of The Social Movements And Institutional Arrangements That We Traditionally Think Of As – “Socialist” – Have A Lot More To Do With – Risk-Pooling – Than With – Equality – Or – Distributive Justice – And In Cases Where These Movements Succeed In Generating Permanent Institutional Reform – It Is Usually Because The Arrangements They Promote Involve Win-Win Efficiency Gains – Not Win-Lose Redistributions Of Income

~ FWPHNTRI ~ Fiddling With Prices Has Nothing To Recommend It

~ C-DHALTTILTIT-B-TSD-P ~ Corporations – Do Have A Lamentable Tendency To Ignore Laws That Inconvenience Them – But – Then So Do – People

~ WMSTSIV-RTJIV-ICHTEOSUTEE ~ When Money Starts To Seem Intrinsically Valuable – Rather Than Just Instrumentally Valuable – It Can Have The Effect Of Seizing Up The Entire Economy

~ PDI-OOTMISPFC-EETPOROOCB ~ Public Deposit Insurance – One Of The Most Important Social Programs For Capitalists – Essentially Eliminated The Problem Of Runs On Ordinary Commercial Banks

~ TR-IN-C-IIS ~ Tax Revenue – Is Not – Consumed – It Is Spent

~ TQI-H-TM-ITB-M-HIAHTSITB-A-HTBABOCATBD ~ The Question Is – How – The Market – Is To Be – Managed – How Inclusive And Humane The System Is To Be – And – How The Benefits And Burdens Of Cooperation Are To Be Distributed

~ U-PNTWT-AWIAOOTMISOICAD ~ Ultimately – People Need To Work Together – And Wage Inequalities Are One Of The Most Important Sources Of Internal Conflict And Dissension

~ FAETOTGITFOE-BPFTA-C-WITFTEDUEE ~ Fallacies Are Especially Thick On The Ground In The Field Of Economics – Because People Fail To Appreciate – Complexity – We Ignore The Fact That Everything Depends Upon Everything Else

~ MBR-PA ~ Mutually Beneficial Risk-Pooling Arrangements

JOSEPH HEATH ~ WHO SHALL WE SAY IS RESPONSIBLE? ~ FILTHY LUCRE ~ 2009

~ T-C-W-BAHTS/HCNA? ~ The – Consumer – Who – Bought A House That She/He Could Never Afford?

~ TB-W-L-TM? ~ The – Bank – Who – Lent – The Money?

~ T-I-W-WTATLIWMTBTLI? ~ The – Investor – Whose – Willingness To Assume The Loan Is What Motivated The Bank To Lend It?

~ T-IC-W-WTUTCRIWMTITATL? ~ The – Insurance Company – Whose – Willingness To Underwrite The Credit Risk Is What Motivated The Investor To Assume The Loan?

~ T-G-WDBT-MTICSASMTCSP? ~ The – Government – Which Didn’t Bother To – Make These Insurance Companies Set Aside Some Money To Cover Such Policies?

~ TYP-TPIT-EDSW ~ Take Your Pick – The Point Is That – Everyone Did Something Wrong

~ T-S-T-LICU-TS-IOT-ETMH ~ The – Solution – Therefore – Lies In Cleaning Up – The System – In Order To – Eliminate The Moral Hazards

STEVEN POOLE ~ RETHINK ~ SCRIBNER ~ 2016

~ GI-CBF-BTRORFDOCOMBTAFD-Y-TPIRWEAF-IOW-IIMLTP-BIACSGTLWTBU ~ Good Ideas – Can Be Found – But Then Rejected Or Ridiculed For Decades Or Centuries Or Millennia Before They Are Finally Discovered – Yes – The Past Is Riddled With Error And Fraud – In Other Words – It Is Much Like The Present – But It Also Contains Surprising Gems That Lie Waiting To Be Unforgotten

~ TAOR-AR-LIQOIO:A/K/J/R&R/ATPOTI ~ The Art Of Rethinking – And Rediscovery – Lies In Questioning Our Ideas Of: Authority / Knowledge / Judgment / Right And Wrong / And The Processes Of Thinking Itself

~ IWANCRI-WANRT ~ If We Are Not Constantly Rethinking Ideas – We Are Not Really Thinking

~ TBNIAOOO ~ The Best New Ideas Are Often Old Ones

~ AOICBRAWTDOANPOTP ~ An Old Idea Can Become Relevant Again With The Discovery Of A New Piece Of The Puzzle

~ JBWDKHSWDMTIDW ~ Just Because We Don’t Know How Something Works Doesn’t Mean That It Doesn’t Work

~ AOIIADC-UOPIANG ~ An Old Idea In A Different Context – Using Old Pieces In A New Game

~ ITCHWAEPIPTADU-ATSITOI-AOIIANCCBPI ~ Impressive Things Can Happen When An Existing Product Is Put To A Different Use – And The Same Is True Of IdeaS – An Old Idea In A New Context Can Become Powerful Indeed

~ DWTBF ~ Disinformation Wants To Be Free

~ WTTTTEWCRTMAMCTTA-TAH ~ We Tend To Think That Events Which Come Readily To Mind Are More Common Than They Are – The Availability Heuristic

~ WATTNOTETCWWAT-CB ~ We Also Tend To Notice Only The Evidence That Confirms What We Already Think – Confirmation Bias

~ SIASAOTT-WTAFP-TP-C-S-O-E-O-IIOET-TPACTPI-ODSNY-OSRTSACC-OIMJCFTWKOP ~ Some Ideas Are Simply Ahead Of Their Time – When They Are First Proposed – The Prevailing – Cultural – Social – Or – Economic – Order – Is Incapable Of Embracing Them – They Pose A Challenge To Powerful Interests – Or Don’t Seem Necessary Yet – Or Simply Represent Too Startling A Conceptual Change – Or It Might Just Come From The Wrong Kind Of Person

~ NEIHBTOB-Y-ETANUHMOTPIITIOC ~ Not Every Idea Has Been Thought Of Before – Yet – Even The Apparently Novel Usually Has More Of The Past In It Than Is Often Credited

~ ITT-TUATB-H(SSO)-A-I(FNPD) ~ In Technical Terms – The Universe Appears To Be – Homogeneous (Smoothly Spread Out) – And – Isotropic (Favoring No Particular Direction)

~ UF ~ UnFalse

~ TMN-STATOTPMHUA ~ The Most Novel-Seeming Theories And Technologies Of The Present May Have Unexpected Ancestors

~ ICRAGSTA-EITJISOOTUT-TAHGRFWTISSVOENAACON ~ Ideas Can Return And Gain Significant Traction Again – Even If The Jury Is Still Out On Their Ultimate Truth – Their Advocates Have Good Reasons For Why The Ideas Suddenly Seem Viable Or Even Necessary Again After Centuries Of Neglect

~ S-I-R-WTSDHS-D ~ Sometimes – Ideas – Return – When They Should Definitely Have Stayed – Dead

~ AIWHAGCO-HAAAZ-IIBSIGOP ~ An Idea Will Have A Good Chance Of – Hanging Around As A Zombie – If It Benefits Some Influential Group Of People

~ CM ~ Conspiracy Markets

~ BWCBU-IRUOWWDK ~ Being Wrong Can Be Useful – In Reminding Us Of What We Don’t Know

~ SOSRITPOTOTBSAWTFCTTRTG ~ Stories Of Scientific Revolutions In The Past Often Turn Out To Be Stories About Wrong Theories Forcing Correct Theories To Raise Their Game

~ TPWTOTBWCBJAIATWTOTBR ~ The People Who Turn Out To Be Wrong Can Be Just As Important As Those Who Turn Out To Be Right

~ THOHT-INALSO-FTBRBTO-IMLADATWIWFOICBSAOFC-USFTAABGOTSF ~ The History Of Human Thought – Is Not A Linear Sequence Of – False Theories Being Replaced By True Ones – It’s More Like A Dark And Tangled Web – In Which Flashes Of Inspiration Can Be Smothered And Obscured For Centuries – Until Someone Finds Them Again And Blows Gently On The Sputtering Flames

~ WNTKWWDK ~ We Need To Know What We Don’t Know

~ SOIASP-IDEMWTAT-PI-HETTNNT ~ Some Old Ideas Are So Powerful – It Doesn’t Even Matter Whether They Are True – Placebo Ideas – Helpful Even Though They’re Not Necessarily True

~ MRNTITOA-PS-OW-E-HAP-RTABDB-P-A-‘N’P ~ Many Researchers Now Think In Terms Of A – Psychosis Spectrum – On Which – Everyone – Has A Place – Rather Than A Binary Distinction Between – Psychotics – And – “Normal” – People

~ D-AWA-H-STBCBTBWJAIND-OMS ~ Delusions – As Well As Hallucinations – Seem To Be Caused By The Brain Working Just As It Normally Does – Only More So

~ DWKTWDHFW? ~ Do We Know That We Don’t Have Free Will?

~ WLIAAO-TPP-WSRBAE-A-TROPOBTMPIDL ~ We Live In An Age Of – The Professionalized Politician – Who Seeks Reelection Before All Else – And The Range Of Policies Offered By The Main Parties Is Dramatically Limited

~ T-PPC-HLTNEONWL-ACOFTPOIOP-TSRIMARB ~ The – Professionalized Political Class – Has Little To No Experience Of Normal Working Life – And Cares Only For The Perpetuation Of Its Own Power – To Secure Reelection It Must Assuage Rich Benefactors

~ WIWWGNB-CP-B-BARCAOOP?-TTIAOI-SISF-B-TIHTAADI-TIODT-CTGBL-IC-S-A-MITTTIA ~ What If We Were Governed Not By Career Politicians – But By A Randomly Chosen Assortment Of Our Peers? – This Too Is An Old Idea – Sure It Sounds Fanciful – But – That Is How The Ancient Athenians Did It – The Inventors Of Democracy Themselves – Chose Their Government By Lottery – It’s Called – Sortition – And – Maybe It’s Time To Try It Again

~ TRITKA:’WN’ ~ To Rethink Is To Keep Asking: “Why Not”

~ WMSHTTTR-HI-SWUI? ~ We Might Soon Have The Technology To Rethink Humanity Itself – Should We Use It?

~ SOTF-TEVP-TNOTN ~ Survival Of The Fittest – The Equally Valid Perspective – The Nonsurvival Of The Nonfittest

~ YSNRTM-JBYDLTM ~ You Shouldn’t Necessarily Reject The Message – Just Because You Don’t Like The Messenger

~ GAFHTPFTPWHBUMIAEDOR ~ Giving A Fair Hearing To People From The Past Who Have Been Unfairly Maligned Is An Ethical Demand Of Rethinking

~ TVFT-POMIAMCF-A-STP-WSBAWCJ-IOTQIGA ~ The – View From Tomorrow – Projecting One’s Mind Into A More Civilized Future – And – Scrutinizing The Present – With Sympathy But Also With Cold Justice – In Order To Question Its Governing Assumptions

~ BADT-PDFT-AMDWFTBOO ~ Beliefs Are Dangerous Things – People Die For Them – And More Die Unwillingly For The Beliefs Of Others

YUVAL NOAH HARARI ~ HOMO DEUS ~ A BRIEF HISTORY OF TOMORROW ~ 2015

~ FTFTIH-MPDT-FETMTFETL ~ For The First Time In History – More People Die Today – From Eating Too Much Than From Eating Too Little

~ IIWOPTMTBATRTIOSEF ~ It Is Within Our Power To Make Things Better And To Reduce The Incidence Of Suffering Even Further

~ SWFTPSAOCWWSTNL ~ Schools Were Founded To Produce Skilful And Obedient Citizens Who Would Serve The Nation Loyally

~ DIIC-AHHEIRD-TIGE-RTGC ~ Dramatic Improvements In Conditions – As Humankind Has Experienced In Recent Decades – Translate Into Greater Expectations – Rather Than Greater Contentment

~ FBOW-AGPOTPITPMOARB-NOTCDMI-BATFMMDATOB ~ For Better Or Worse – A Growing Percentage Of The Population Is Taking Psychiatric Medicines On A Regular Basis – Not Only To Cure Debilitating Mental Illnesses – But Also To Face More Mundane Depression And The Occasional Blues

~ UTN-IHPRMOUOET-ITFIMRMOU-THBAM-O-OMDWOT ~ Up Till Now – Increasing Human Power Relied Mainly On Upgrading Our External Tools – In The Future It May Rely More On Upgrading – The Human Body And Mind – Or – On Merging Directly With Our Tools

~ WWTATR-EOBAMIO-AA-TEOA-D-A-M ~ We Want The Ability To Re-Engineer Our Bodies And Minds In Order – Above All – To Escape Old Age – Death – And – Misery

~ BOH-WCTDW-P-I-W-EATEAARF-EYAGP-TLIPHAHDATTLIS-ATIUTC ~ Billions Of Humans – Will Continue To Deal With – Poverty – Illness – Violence – Even As The Elites Are Already Reaching For – Eternal Youth And Godlike Powers – Those Living In Palaces Have Always Had Different Agendas To Those Living In Shacks – And That Is Unlikely To Change

~ WTPOMPITCCA? ~ What’s The Point Of Making Predictions If They Cannot Change Anything?

~ SH-GUMO ~ Studying History – Gives Us More Options

~ HHWT-RAF-OM-R-E-C ~ History Has Witnessed The – Rise And Fall – Of Many – Regions – Empires – Cultures

~ TA ~ The Anthropocene

~ WRTOA-HHLSBG-WDLTROTTD-BWHNBPJOMG ~ With Regard To Other Animals – Humans Have Long Since Become Gods – We Don’t Like To Reflect On This Too Deeply – Because We Have Not Been Particularly Just Or Merciful Gods

~ TWIPMBHATDA ~ The World Is Populated Mainly By Humans And Their Domesticated Animals

~ 99%OOD-ITMILC-AMBTHRAWC-S-E-D ~ 99 Percent Of Our Decisions – Including The Most Important Life Choices – Are Made By The Highly Refined Algorithms We Call – Sensations – Emotions – Desires

~ TMIAFOSE-SA-P-P-A-L-TMEAMO-I-S-E-T-WFFABM-AID-TOEFAV-TFCOEC-TSOC ~ The Mind Is A Flow Of Subjective Experiences – Such As – Pain – Pleasure – Anger – Love – These Mental Experiences Are Made Of – Interlinked – Sensations – Emotions – Thoughts – Which Flash For A Brief Moment – And Immediately Disappear – Then Other Experiences Flicker And Vanish – This Frenzied Collection Of Experiences Constitutes – The Stream Of Consciousness

~ EAHD-IROACS-MITBTWON-CA ~ Everything A Human Does – Including Reporting On Allegedly Conscious States – Might In Theory Be The Work Of Non-Conscious Algorithms

~ HSITOSOECOCFILN-IAT-WBVIAW-B-IHHNLTCFILN-OCBADHWSBSFSRTUA ~ Homo Sapiens Is The Only Species On Earth Capable Of Cooperating Flexibly In Large Numbers – Intelligence And Toolmaking – Were Obviously Very Important As Well – But – If Humans Had Not Learned To Cooperate Flexibly In Large Numbers – Our Crafty Brains And Deft Hands Would Still Be Splitting Flint Stones Rather Than Uranium Atoms

~ SDBAT-ACML-BRAT-AWSL-WARBE-TE-AIFSATRTSMOAH-GB ~ Sapiens Don’t Behave According To – A Cold Mathematical Logic – But Rather According To – A Warm Social Logic – We Are Ruled By Emotions – These Emotions – Are In Fact Sophisticated Algorithms That Reflect The Social Mechanism Of Ancient Hunter-Gather Bands

~ TTHMTARPTTCOOIS-HIWWTUOF-CGACNIHE-WMADTFTGMTTW ~ To Think Historically Means To Ascribe Real Power To The Contents Of Our Imaginary Stories – Hence If We Want To Understand Our Future – Cracking Genomes And Crunching Numbers Is Hardly Enough – We Must Also Decipher The Fictions That Give Meaning To The World

~ WLMHBCAAMWODR-BIGBAPWTRR-WORCWOR-IWORTHTGW ~ Written Language May Have Been Conceived As A Modest Way Of Describing Reality – But It Gradually Became A Powerful Way To Reshape Reality – When Official Reports Collided With Objective Reality – It Was Often Reality That Had To Give Way

~ HIASN-BTOAN-WWCTT-O-WAACTSO ~ History Isn’t A Single Narrative – But Thousands Of Alternative Narratives – Whenever We Choose To Tell – One – We Are Also Choosing To Silence Others

~ MCTDH ~ Myths Continue To Dominate Humankind

~ IMHAM-II-SH ~ If Modernity Has A Motto – It Is – Shit Happens

~ I-IMNBWTCTBIEGA-R-BINPTSM-INM-OOED ~ Indeed – It May Not Be Wrong To Call The Belief In Economic Growth A – Religion – Because It Now Purports To Solve Many – If Not Most – Of Our Ethical Dilemmas

~ TGSD-W-TDOI-OHRHLTKATW-TSHAVGRTSNK ~ The Greatest Scientific Discovery – Was – The Discovery Of Ignorance – Once Humans Realised How Little They Know About The World – They Suddenly Had A Very Good Reason To Seek New Knowledge

~ WDS-TPAASFMTTR-EITRCTTITFP ~ When Disaster Strikes – The Poor Almost Always Suffer Far More Than The Rich – Even If The Rich Caused The Tragedy In The First Place

~ IEIFS-I-TCATP-TE ~ If Everything Is For Sale – Including – The Courts And The Police – Trust Evaporates

~ WWHTTJMOAIOHIMCT?WWBTPIOAMNCOEUP? ~ What Will Happen To The Job Market Once Artificial Intelligence Outperforms Humans In Most Cognitive Tasks? – What Will Be The Political Impact Of A Massive New Class Of Economically Useless People?

~ WIWTISTTTCCOLASOOISLACY-EOUHASSTTAMOOE-KOAFCS-MTUWBF-M-N-S-OOD-A-WOOATJASCSAWIA ~ We Identify With The Inner System That Takes The Crazy Chaos Of Life And Spins Out Of It Seemingly Logical And Consistent Yarns – Each Of Us Has A Sophisticated System That Throws Away Most Of Our Experiences – Keeps Only A Few Choice Samples – Mixes Them Up With Bits From – Movies – Novels – Speeches – Our Own Daydreams – And – Weaves Out Of All That Jumble A Seemingly Coherent Story About Who I Am

~ WAATFAFO-EU-D/T/S-TMNAFT-FWOIH-C-D-TFM-A-HR-STF? ~ We Are About To Face A Flood Of – Extremely Useful – Devices / Tools / Structures – That Make No Allowance For The – Free Will Of Individual Humans – Can – Democracy – The Free Market – And – Human Rights – Survive This Flood?

~ TGD-IIDFC-WANDNTON-CI ~ The Great Decoupling – Intelligence Is Decoupling From Consciousness – We Are Now Developing New Types Of Non-Conscious Intelligence

~ TMIQIT-F-CEMWBWTDWATSP ~ The Most Important Question In Twenty-First-Century Economics May Well Be What To Do With All The Superfluous People

~ WWCHD-OWHHIN-CATCDAEB? ~ What Will Conscious Humans Do – Once We Have Highly Intelligent Non-Conscious Algorithms That Can Do Almost Everything Better?

~ AAPHOOTJM-WMBCITHO-TTETOTA-PA ~ As Algorithms Push Humans Out Of The Job Market – Wealth Might Become Concentrated In The Hands Of – The Tiny Elite That Owns The All-Powerful Algorithms

~ TQSM-S-KTN ~ The Quantified Self Movement – Self-Knowledge Through Numbers

~ OPDIPTMVRMHSHTO-AWAGITTTGIEFESAFCV ~ Our Personal Data Is Probably The Most Valuable Resource Most Humans Still Have To Offer – And We Are Giving It To The Tech Giants In Exchange For Email Services And Funny Cat Videos

~ TSOAFHTAIHAAU-NAAROSMGD-BDTAFOMC ~ The Shifting Of Authority From Humans To Algorithms Is Happening All Around Us – Not As A Result Of Some Momentous Governmental Decision – But Due To A Flood Of Mundane Choices

~ WEIRD ~ Western – Educated – Industrialized – Rich – Democratic

~ D-TDR-TUCODF-SAHKAW-TIBDACA-TI-O-A-T ~ Dataism – The Data Religion – The Universe Consists Of Data Flows – Sceptical About Human Knowledge And Wisdom – Trust In Big Data And Computer Algorithms – The Internet-Of-All-Things

~ M-G-LT-W-MP-IARFD ~ Mixing – God-Like Technology – With – Megalomaniac Politics – Is A Recipe For Disaster