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October 28, 2014



... which I why I read your blog. We rarely agree but it's good to hear other opinions. Of course, we agree about this :)

IMHO the opposite applies too. If we think that someone else if different then we think that they are completely different. Ergo racism, and LibLabCon not appreciating how similar they appear to outsiders.


ps Comment Subscription not working in Chrome.

Jim M.

Re : Corrie / Crime and Punishment

To be read in the style of a Cabbie practising a run on The Knowledge:

Corrie goes Dostoyevsky goes Raskolnikov goes Travis Bickle goes Taxi Driver goes Don Brennan goes Corrie.

The circle is complete and all's well.

(Disclaimer: I had to look up "Coronation street taxi driver" and was amazed/horrified/astonished to find a whole wiki devoted to such things. Further proof, were more needed, that we do indeed live in interesting times.)



@ Stuart - thanks. There's the outgroup homogeneity bias and its obverse the ingroup heterogeneity bias; we are all different but they are all the same.
You could read this as a criticism of the cognitive biases project; it explains everything and therefore nothing. Or as evidence that the opposite of a great truth is another great truth.

Luis Enrique

it's tricky, because there are also mistake to be made in the other direction: thinking that other people are so different from you.

Luis Enrique

doh, sorry Stuart, didn't read you first.

An Alien Visitor

Nice to see a babe pic making a long overdue appearance!

Nothing to say about the rest of the article.


" - Trustworthy people over-estimate the extent to which others are trustworthy, and so lose money."

Probably true. But consider the opposite - an ex-con acquaintance of mine who (according to him) has a great invention, but is afraid to take it to a patent agent for fear they'll nick his idea. He won't tell anyone what this great idea is, so it remains unpatented and unexploited.

I think this confirms rather than disproves your point.


@Chris A characteristically humble comment.

What is your response to such criticism? Is the best that the cognitive bias project can do before the fact is to identify some propensities and their possible consequences in some circumstances? Could it only after the fact give a multitude of plausible explanations? Why then is it worth studying?

Is its greatest use be to convince us of our poor decision making ability, and so instill a healthy scepticism about our ability to understand, much less control, a deeply complex and uncertain social world? If so, it would be hugely worthwhile, inoculating us against the strongly held, useless gumpf that passes for most opinions. But I fear there will be an inverse relationship between those who are likely to study it and those who would most benefit by studying it.

David Kent

Nice One Chris!
I love LOVE L..O..V..E Dostoyevsky, and I have seen corrie and can confess to finding it mildly amusing. I much like your blog also, and would find a correlation with Dostoyevsky more than Corrie(lation) street.

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