You and I, we both could be wrong…
My friend Simon does not argue much. When we go out for dinners, someone selects the restaurants, someone suggests a movie we all shall go to and even what music we all should listen to. But Simon, he never has any debates with anyone. We first though that he is either a person with no opinion or does not care much about petty things. Simon either has no taste, or has no motivation to fight for.
Then once we spoke about pets (dogs Vs cats) and started pouring out our opinions, which were facts to us. While we taking sides and asking for show of hands, Simon told us something that made us realise this – Mostly, all of us are wrong. “And I am using the word ‘mostly’ because I do not want to sound rude.”
We are all tired of seeing those debates and arguments about politics. The discussion starts with something far off and unrelated like – Trump (I honestly believe there are far more pressing issues that must bother us than discussing “Why America! Why?”.
We know people come with their coloured thoughts and ideas. Egos are fragile and opinions are infrangible.
Rationality is overrated and often confused and mixed with its distant cousin called knowledge. Some of us are so sure of ourselves that these debates stope being just debates and become who we are, what we believe in and what we see (or can’t).
I would like to mention this great post here by Oatmeal on belief.
We are humans. We have limitations. The very fact that we know (and hopefully learn) a few things from our past and experiences, implies that we have some knowledge with us.
‘Knowing’ makes us likely to have some ‘cognitive biases’.
And we have a list of them. 20! Yes, 20 biases that affect our decision making process. We have picked them from here.
But hey! These biases that might limit our decision making ability should not bother us too much. Because this is not a learning defect. These are more like manufacturing defects or material limits. You and I both have (suffer from) these biases. We had them before and will have them after, reading this post. To know and acknowledge the fact that you have these biases is a great feat. Specially when we argue on something on social media or in person. You and I, we both can be wrong. Not as capitalist, or males, or millennials, but as humans.
I realised I have a very strong Blind-spot Bias ( Numero Cuatro). I just fail to recognise my own biases and look at what kind of bias do others might have. And this is all thanks to my friend Simon. I once asked him if he really has “no opinion on anything”. He sent me link to these biases. He then sent me a WhatsApp forward –
If you think you’re most knowledgeable person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room.
Gus Lubin and Shana Lebowitz contributed to the original article.