Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Scott Adams — A Deeply Unscientific Test of Your Political Bias (Trump Persuasion Series)

Take the test.

What is most interesting in the post is not the politics but the notion of (ir)rationality put forward. 
The normal view of human beings is that we are mostly rational, but sometimes we get a bit emotional or crazy. My so-called Moist Robot Hypothesis on reality says the reverse, that we are irrational nearly all the time and that we rationalize our decisions after the fact.
This is about the causality and anti-causality accounts of reason.

The causal account is that humans are "rational" in that reason is the cause of action. People act for a reason, that is, purposes serve as criteria for differentiating among means with choice being about the optimal means for securing the purpose. Reason guides the process from the beginning.

The anti-causal account is that in much of decision-making, purposes are largely irrational, either value-based or emotion-based. Reason is brought in subsequently to justify choices made before reason becomes operative.  Reason is not the cause of most action. Rather, it is the interplay of morality versus animal sprits where the stronger force wins. Much if not most of this occurs at the pre-conscious level of brain functioning based on channel strength. Human beings as rational calculators weighing utility in relation to opportunity cost is a myth largely perpetrated by economists. Psychologists know better.

Scott Adams Blog
A Deeply Unscientific Test of Your Political Bias (Trump Persuasion Series)
Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert™

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