Stowe Boyd> I've spent many years referencing Wikipedia’s list of cognitive biases whenever I have a hunch that a certain type of thinking is an officialSee more bias but I can’t recall the name or details. It’s been an invaluable reference for helping me identify the hidden flaws in my own thinking. Nothing else I’ve come across seems to be both as comprehensive and as succinct.
> However, honestly, the Wikipedia page is a bit of a tangled mess. Despite trying to absorb the information of this page many times over the years, very little of it seems to stick. I often scan it and feel like I’m not able to find the bias I’m looking for, and then quickly forget what I’ve learned. I think this has to do with how the page has organically evolved over the years. Today, it groups 175 biases into vague categories (decision-making biases, social biases, memory errors, etc) that don’t really feel mutually exclusive to me, and then lists them alphabetically within categories. There are duplicates a-plenty, and many similar biases with different names, scattered willy-nilly.
> I’ve taken some time over the last four weeks (I’m on paternity leave) to try to more deeply absorb and understand this list, and to try to come up with a simpler, clearer organizing structure to hang these biases off of. Reading deeply about various biases has given my brain something to chew on while I bounce little Louie to sleep.
> I started with the raw list of the 175 biases and added them all to a spreadsheet, then took another pass removing duplicates, and grouping similar biases (like bizarreness effect and humor effect) or complementary biases (like optimism bias and pessimism bias). The list came down to about 20 unique biased mental strategies that we use for very specific reasons.
> I made several different attempts to try to group these 20 or so at a higher level, and eventually landed on grouping them by the general mental problem that they were attempting to address. Every cognitive bias is there for a reason — primarily to save our brains time or energy. If you look at them by the problem they’re trying to solve, it becomes a lot easier to understand why they exist, how they’re useful, and the trade-offs (and resulting mental errors) that they introduce.
Stowe BoydIt is the elites – cut off in their dark-limo world – whose project looks as forlorn as that of the millennial sects of the 19th century. The democracySee more of riot squads, corrupt politicians, magnate-controlled newspapers and the surveillance state looks as phoney and fragile as East Germany did 30 years ago.
William L. AndersonIn a letter to the New Yorker on a review of a biography of Ayn Rand, Lisa Turner writes, “[C]apitalism, in its most extreme form, is the mirror imageSee more of Communism—cold, inhuman, inhumane, intractably greedy, and full of contempt for the individual, as well as for societal ideals as a whole.” I agree. [ reposted from http://bandstands.tumblr.com/post/271886996/on-unfettered-capitalism ]
Stowe Boyd> Quartz: What do you think of a robot tax? This is the idea that in order to generate funds for training of workers, in areas such as manufacturingSee more, who are displaced by automation, one concrete thing that governments could do is tax the installation of a robot in a factory, for example.
> Bill Gates: Certainly there will be taxes that relate to automation. Right now, the human worker who does, say,