Saturday, April 28, 2018

Why We Pretend to Know Things

VOX Why we pretend to know things, explained by a cognitive scientist 
New research explains why we pretend to know more than we do.

This seems to explain much about our tribal discussions...


Anonymous said...

When I look at the media, I see a lot of people pretending to know things because the appearance of being knowledgeable can be very well compensated. We live in a period of history where knowledge, actual expertise has been devalued.


jerrye92002 said...

Isn't that what I have been saying? That confirmation bias and the "iron law of knowledge" explain most of the "tribalism" we observe today? And that it is Internet-enabled?

“It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so.” ― Ronald Reagan

John said...

How do you know that you are not guilty of this?

Let's think about the evidence:
- rarely do you disagree with conservative talking points
- rarely do you provide facts and data to back up your beliefs
- often you ignore tough questions and facts/data that does not fit your beliefs
- you are absolutely certain that you are correct and others are wrong

and you love to throw rocks at and insult the Liberals.

I mean you are one of the most tribal people I know.

So how do you know that you are more knowledgeable person in the room, and not just a Conservative Tribe yes man?

Just think of your fixed black and white views on climate change, LGBT rights, public schools, social security / medicare, taxation / revenues, etc. You could replace Sean Hannity at FOX News and no one would notice.

From my perspective, if people always side with their tribe... And they are certain they know the real truth... They probably are not think for themselves.

John said...

From Jerry

""tribe" is a very broad category, and it depends on "where you sit in the theater," as you have always said. Democrat/Republican and liberal/conservative doesn't begin to catch the nuance, but that is the filter you want to apply. Indeed, it is valuable shorthand in short communications like this. If I say something is a "liberal idea" it means I disagree for a number of reasons that, if you know what I mean, can go almost without saying, like too much government intrusion, believing law can make things "perfect," things like that.

To me the test has always been whether you can discuss rationally your positions, with facts and logic. I ALWAYS try to do that; you usually dismiss them, while others go immediately to some sort of (pointless) ad hominem. I know I may sometimes fail to communicate adequately the reasons for my certainty-- partly for lack of space and partly for lack of the right words-- but I know that I have satisfied myself of my position. Yes, I agree with some of the experts, but I have also checked the basic data and the math, and bashed those things against logic and experience. The result IS a "black and white" view of the world; there can be no other. "

John said...

Moved Climate comments here.

John said...

I am not sure if I have ever heard a nuanced position from you. Let's think over your typical positions:

- Climate change science is wrong, Deniers are correct
- Public schools bad, vouchers good
- Tax increases bad, tax cuts good
- Government intervention in SS and Healthcare bad, free market good
- Welfare bad, Charity good
- Gun control bad, Lot's of guns good
- Sex ed and B/C bad, Abstinence good
- LGBT rights bad, Hetero sexual marriages good
- Parental rights good, Social intervention to help kids bad

As I noted above, you could be a tribal spokesman for the Far Right

Am I incorrect? I wonder if you could even surprise me with a position where you vary from FOX News?

jerrye92002 said...

I have no idea what a "Fox News" position is; I don't watch. If you mean my views are "fair and balanced" I would agree, because the nuance, like the devil, is in the details, at least on many of these issues. Let's take a couple.

"SS ... bad." It is a poor investment and a highly regressive tax. It is going broke and contributes to the deficit. Private investments are better in the long run, and a benefit rather than a drag on the economy. One can debate the fine points of each of these, I suppose, but taken as a whole justify saying "SS... bad." Why do you dislike certainty? Do you ever reach a conclusion that lets you go on to other issues?

"Sex Ed and BC bad, abstinence good." For whom? For "preventing unwanted pregnancies," abstinence is 100% effective, and has additional benefits over "just doing it." Proper sex ed IN SCHOOLS can be good or bad, depending, and BC among established married couples is a good idea. So your statement on my opinion cannot be so short. It is wrong as it stands. Even when I argue a nuanced point, you seem to want to put me in that "far right" box.

John said...

Well, you should get cable / dish and watch FOX or checkout FOX on line. You are very well aligned.

When I was younger I was certain of many things. It was relatively easy because I only looked at things from my self centered perception of reality. Then I looked deeper, matured, studied and started looking at topics from many different perspectives. At which time the black and white became more gray.

Also, my ego is not large enough to convince me to think that I am smarter than all those people who disagree with me. Usually I learn there are many smart people who believe things for equally good reasons.

- Thorough Sex ed in K-12 Public Schools and B/C for single people is bad, Abstinence is good

Is that better?

jerrye92002 said...

Better? No. Still not nuanced enough.

I see no need to watch Fox news or anybody else to get my opinions. I prefer to think for myself.

And there is nobody smarter than me unless they can tell me, factually and logically, where I have gone wrong in my thinking. That of course involves me trying to convince them that I have the right take and until I am convinced otherwise, I see no reason to abandon my well-thought through and defensible position. It is possible that, on a complex issue with many sides, we will each have valid points. Were we legislators we would try to reach some consensus (not compromise), but rarely in such short exchanges as this one is that possible.

To the topic: We don't NEED to know things. We either do or don't, and most of us have the faculties to draw conclusions from what we THINK we know. If we are pretending to know something we don't, it will quickly be exposed in any reasonable debate.

John said...

"If we are pretending to know something we don't, it will quickly be exposed in any reasonable debate."

I would propose that often people think your opinions are incorrect... However you stick with them no matter what...

If people are unwilling to accept a consensus that their view has been exposed as incorrect...

Does that make them correct?

jerrye92002 said...

If my opinions are fact and logic based, how can my "opinion" be wrong? Isn't my opinion actually a rational conclusion from what I know, rather than "opinion"?

And if I am dissuaded by the simple mob mentality of some "consensus" is it not /I/ listening to the tribe rather than thinking for myself?

I suppose I could claim consensus for my view, that humans are not the cause of climate change, because 35,000 scientists have signed on to that statement, compared to the 65 who make up the "97%." I mean, if climate science math is that bad....

John said...

If my opinions are fact and logic based, how can my "opinion" be wrong?

Well I think that it is what I meant by ego. The idea that you believe that your opinion that was created through your review of the situation is correct and everyone who disagrees with your view is wrong.

I mean it is good to be self confident, however it can also blind one to the true answers. Empty Your Cup

As usual regarding the 35,000... Source please... And preferably not from more political science majors. :-)

jerrye92002 said...

So sorry, it is only 31,500. 9000 climate scientists

My conclusion is correct until someone who disagrees with me can prove me wrong. In Rare cases I must concede that with the proper selection of facts and true reason someone can Reach a different conclusion, but that does not necessarily make mine wrong. It rarely happens, since there are Not that many issues so complex that multiple realities are possible. Mostly what I see are bald assertions with no real underlying knowledge – people pretending to know things.