Thursday, June 14, 2012

Logic Problems

This article over at The New Yorker by Jonah Lehrer starts out by asking readers to solve a basic logic problem that involves some math. Now, I've never been good at math, but if my completely wrong answer here is any guide, I'm apparently not very good at logic, either. So, y'know, that's good news. From the piece:
When people face an uncertain situation, they don’t carefully evaluate the information or look up relevant statistics. Instead, their decisions depend on a long list of mental shortcuts, which often lead them to make foolish decisions. These shortcuts aren’t a faster way of doing the math; they’re a way of skipping the math altogether.
Scary how true that is. As Lehrer explains, rather than any careful culling of the facts at hand, it's often our own biases and preconceptions that guide our decision-making processes -- especially in the crunch. He goes on to discuss how being "smart" is no magic bullet either. A fascinating piece that's well worth giving a thorough look.

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