Why Is It So Hard to Be Rational?

This may be a rhetorical question for some here, however, despite the fact I found this on Twitter, it’s a good read.

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Humans are inherently irrational.
It is not certain whether our front brains make the decisions, or are reptile brains do, and then our front brains run around saying, “I meant to do that” because…

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Why not both?

Part of learning to function under a high stress load (fight or flight level) involves the front brain being able to control the lizard brain.

Ironically, the lizard part moves faster. Faster to react than think.

Good article.

Short take. Honest introspection is a good thing, often had through only through effort. Acknowledging bias is a start.

Humans aren’t well suited for the skill of introspection and questioning that we developed. Think of it this way: we’re designed to live in potentially small tribes that may or may not move around, looking for things like food, shelter and warmth. We were meant to make basic tools and live in nature. We’ve accelerated our understanding of technology past what our bodies are designed for and done many wonderful things, but we are not designed to deal with much beyond fight or flight in some aspects of our function and frankly, we have access to an abundance of information and possibilities when we still have the primal aspects of ‘live in small world, worry about basic shit.’ We don’t have the time to sit and think about every choice when it could be life or death potentially and that’s the problem. We have to assume we are right at a split second or we could die. We have to assume we are rational and correct and that we couldn’t be wrong.

When we lived in nature, in simple ways:
women died in very high numbers in childbirth,
children died in incredibly high numbers,
women had to have many children for the species to continue,
and humans rarely lived past the age of 30.
I would add, there was no toilet paper, so people often had poopy bottoms.
Not to mention, dysentery, or death by diarrhea, was one of the most common causes of death.
Not a nice time to live, not a healthy way to live by any stretch, but that is perhaps why humans did not live long under those conditions, rarely making it past 30 years of age.

There is a whole field of study called “Evolutionary Psychology” (and a lot of other “evolutionary _______” fields of study that have kind of sprung up around it.

That delves into the evolution of the human mind, so to speak.

Niceness was not what I was talking about.

I was talking about how in environments like that, where there would be competing animals, humans and other wildlife that could and would kill us like bears and such, we probably have to autopilot under assumption we are right in order to not suffer paralysis by analysis deaths on top of everything you just mentioned.


Ah. That makes sense.

Is this also part of the process where for example you draw a picture of a dog. And I see a dog.

Rather than what is really there.

And so being irrational kind of let’s me process more esoteric information.

Um… I saw a documentary regarding homosapians and Neanderthals and their theory was homosapians would process ideas like revenge and so would attack Neanderthals who were not technically a threat at the moment. Where the Neanderthals wouldn’t.

And that thought process as an irrational one made homosapians the dominant species.

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There seems to have been a lot of interbreeding, though. Nobody really knows the circumstances of that though.

Yeah. That was mentioned as well. But for the sake if this discussion I didn’t think it mattered.

Which is kind of my point. I created this story.
Which could be right or wrong or something in the middle that conveys an idea.

Which is how we operate irrationally.

There are Learning principles that do this where you get taught the wrong thing to make the concept easier.(which is a real thing but I can’t remember what it is called)