An Interesting Look At Heuristics and Trump

I’ve linked to this blogger before. He has some (I think) very perceptive views of our political scene. See if you agree.

Excerpt (slightly edited for grammar/spelling errors):

[The brain] is an easily fooled machine though. For as complex as it is, the shortcuts it takes to make us the wondrous sentient beings that we are, leave it susceptible to bias and blunder. It has two systems pulling and pushing on each other at all times. The first one, system-1 was born somewhere in our lizard brains before we even made it out of the swamp. It’s automatic and uncontrolled. It’s our gut reaction to things. It sees fire and runs. It assumes much. But understands little.

System-2 is slower, deeper and more intentional. It feels turbulence on a plane but overrides our fear and reminds us that planes almost never crash and are built to shake. System-2 is deliberate. It’s where our best thinking on complex issues is done.

Read more here.


6 thoughts on “An Interesting Look At Heuristics and Trump

  1. ‘It assumes much. But understands little’

    There is an old saying, I think maybe Biblical, ‘know thyself’. I have been doing a bit of self reflection over the last two years after I lost my religious faith and have observed especially how the fear reaction works in my life. ‘It assumes much. But understands little’ is a perfect explanation of the fear reaction I have observed in my own life.

    What I find is that this system 1 thinking is very hard to dislodge at the time, it takes real conscious effort to battle it.

    As far as electioneering goes, I see that system 1 predominates as people tend to crave simple solutions to complex problems and also like ‘solutions’ that align with their biases.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Of course, Peter. As Sean Patrick points out, System-1 is our common nature.

    But he also points out that “running the government of the United States of America is a system-2 thing” … and the man who has been chosen to lead America (a country that consists of over 3.25 million people!) has thus far demonstrated absolutely NO capacity for employing system 2.

    It’s one thing to stand before a cheering crowd that chants back your biases to you. It’s an entirely different thing to recognize ““Winning and ruling aren’t the same thing.”

    As Sean also pointed out — “System-1 doesn’t care about the facts. Only the feel, facts be damned.” This describes tRump perfectly.

    Liked by 2 people

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