Thanks Sameer for writing on a topic that needs to receive much wider coverage. Our beliefs about our cognitive abilities are dramatically at variance with the reality. If anything, your article is too optimistic by assuming that increasing our knowledge (for example, of statistical methods) can overcome our innate limitations. There’s a wealth of evidence now that shows we mostly operate on a pre-conscious level and that our brains then formulate “reasons” by means of which we make our actions comprehensible to ourselves. In short, we’re mostly like children sitting in the back of a car clutching a plastic toy wheel affixed to the back of the passenger seat at the wheel but imagining that we’re actually driving the car by means of our frantic actions.

The realization of how little we’re able to perform real thinking and real reasoning ought to have dramatic policy implications but the vast majority of people are still operating from an entirely mistaken model. Not surprisingly therefore our world is going very badly indeed.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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