How can so many people believe things that are demonstrably false? The question has taken on new urgency as the Trump administration propagates falsehoods ...No, I cannot rehearse the astronomical observations and calculations that led to that conclusion, because they do not exist.
Knowledge isn’t in my head or in your head. It’s shared. ...
Consider some simple examples. You know that the earth revolves around the sun. But can you rehearse the astronomical observations and calculations that led to that conclusion? You know that smoking causes cancer. But can you articulate what smoke does to our cells, how cancers form and why some kinds of smoke are more dangerous than others? We’re guessing no. Most of what you “know” — most of what anyone knows — about any topic is a placeholder for information stored elsewhere, in a long-forgotten textbook or in some expert’s head.
We say that the Earth revolves around the Sun because it looks that way if you use a center-of-mass inertial frame of reference. Other frames are possible. The Earth's revolution is not really a fact, but a subjective view based on popular conventions. Yes, it is in your head, and not necessarily shared by experts.
We say that smoking causes lung cancer because of statistical correlations, not from what smoke does to our cells.
We suspect that most of those people expressing outrage lacked the detailed knowledge necessary to assess the policy. We also suspect that many in Congress who voted for the rollback were equally in the dark. But people seemed pretty confident.The Higgs boson was discovered by ppl who knew what they were doing, and not just accepting collective delusions. The human life span was not really increased so much. Life expectancy increased by cutting infant mortality.
Such collective delusions illustrate both the power and the deep flaw of human thinking. It is remarkable that large groups of people can coalesce around a common belief when few of them individually possess the requisite knowledge to support it. This is how we discovered the Higgs boson and increased the human life span by 30 years in the last century.
It is funny how everyone is supposed to be an expert on the conclusions from long-range climate models, but no one has anything to say about the details of those models.
The authors are described:
Philip Fernbach is a cognitive scientist and professor of marketing at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business. Steven Sloman is a professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown University. They are the authors of the forthcoming “The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone.”So this is what cognitive science professors do? Hmmm. I think I will skip their book.