The Answer is a Question

This was my blog post on this date two years ago.
Back then I wrote mostly prose… ponderings on the state of the world.

Posted for Fandango’s Flashback Friday – June 18.

Out of the Cave

Today I heard a Radio National Podcast called “Why Smart People do Stupid things”. In it David Robson (science journalist and author of The Intelligence Trap) describes his exploration of the different ways that intelligent people can fail to make wise decisions. It’s quite a fascinating inquiry and includes a story about how Arthur Conan Doyle was utterly taken in by the photographs of fairies taken by two cheeky school girls using magazine cut-outs and clever lighting. Mr Doyle wrote about Sherlock Holmes – a true master of rationality – and yet in his own life he was unable to summon that same chain of curious thought which might have caused him to doubt the photographs’ authenticity. Robson also talks about a Nobel Chemistry Prize winner (Kary Mullis) who believed astrology was a better predictor of someone’s path in life than psychology or sociology.

According to Mr Robson…

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5 thoughts on “The Answer is a Question

  1. Very interesting. I remember the ‘fairy’ story because they came from Cottingley in Yorkshire, about two miles from where I used to live. Amazing how intelligent people can be duped!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess we’re all gullible to some degree. I feel like I am super cynical these days… to the point where reading the news feels like an act in futility because I don’t know what to believe. But I still get caught out simply believing something because it sounds right. Or romantic. Or less scary. Ie.. because I want to believe it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t usually watch murder mysteries, but have become a fan of Murdoch Mysteries. Conan Dole has appeared on it, as a believer in seances. And Houdini. If you’ve never seen it, it’s very clever and often very funny. It’s on quite late at night though, Thursdays. I think you’d like it.

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