Thursday 9 June 2011

Some interesting snippets from a book review

If you want to read the entire book review, go here.

I am simply going to grab a few paragraphs that caught my eye. I particularly liked the one about "foxes" at the end.

Once we form a belief, for any reason, good or bad, rational or bonkers, we will eagerly seek out information that supports it, while not bothering to look for information that doesn’t – and if we are unavoidably confronted with information that does not fit, we will be hyper-critical of it, looking for any excuse to dismiss it as worthless. 

Contrarians ... are almost always outsiders, which is not a coincidence. They don’t have a seat at the table so they aren’t subject to ... social pressures

Having settled on a belief, we naturally subject evidence that contradicts the belief to harsh critical scrutiny or ignore such evidence altogether. At the same time we lower our standards when we examine supportive evidence so that even weak evidence is accepted as powerful proof.

Doubt is the hallmark of the fox.  [foxes, who are open to wider sources of evidence, are more accurate forecasters than hedgehogs, who adhere to one big idea.]
"Foxes"’... are modest about their ability forecast the future, comfortable with uncertainty, and very self-critical. 

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