Archive for September 21st, 2008

One thing that remains odd in people’s thinking is that generally people are selective in their skepticism and treat different topics with varying levels of critical thinking. An investor can be critical for instance of news and information he receives about his favorite stocks, but every Sunday listens to a religious sermon without question. On the flip side, you can have Atheists who are skeptical of the idea of a God but are taken hook-line-and-sinker by CNBC and Bloomberg analysts on the direction of the economy.

If you doubt science and the laws of physics, how can you ride an airplane without being a hypocrite? If you consider yourself critical of religion, how can you read and believe the newspapers and mass media and economic analysis at face value without being a hypocrite?

Nassim Taleb has written books on these very subjects and the topic of randomness, luck, and philosophy and how it affects people’s decision making. Taleb asserts that on some level, beliefs take over where critical thinking should, and this is where luck and randomness can play big tricks on people if they are not careful.

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