When I was a teenager, I think I engaged in a lot of motivated cognition. At least in an absolute sense; I don’t know how much is common. Much was regarding trees. Before I thought about this in detail, I assumed that how motivated cognition mostly works is this: I wanted to believe X, and so believed X regardless of the evidence. I looked for reasons to justify my fixed beliefs, while turning a blind eye to this dubious behavior.
Haha, something so satisfying about reading these pure logic posts.
Re the "threads about yourself" comments - I actually find them more compelling. Applying logic to internal experience, thought processes, motivation, emotion, etc is something I'd definitely like to see more of, rather than something I'd like to move on from.
The rational process, its examination,inspection, tuning and optimization is one of the most elementary foundationsof analyses of problems, situations and potential solutions. Whileintrospection on Katja's part may not focus on the exact area of rationale that:
a. you findinteresting to inspectb. you haveexperienced conflicting proclivities with
you surely do admitto the merits of having a lucid thought process, yes?
Clearly, this blogrecognizes not just the merits, but also the crucial necessity of posts likethese from Katja which might expose us to biases that we might, through periodsof rational misconduct, developed a blind-spot for. It states so explicitlywhen it describes itself as such:
'Overcoming Bias began in November ’06 as a group blog on the general themeof how to move our beliefs closer to reality, in the face of our natural biasessuch as overconfidence and wishful thinking, and our bias to believe we havecorrected for such biases, when we have done no such thing.'
What made you love the blog may have been your selection of posts that you sieved through the collective output available here or merely the fortunate coincidence of your content-consumption and interest but the posts are thematically consistent with what the blog sets out to achieve and I think it'd be a lesser blog in their absence.
Thinking about thoughts is just so much meta-frickin'-fun!
this seems precisely the kind of thinking that organized religion is designed to foster
What Haidt calls the "Sacredness" moral foundation will spark this thinking, without organized religion. Most secular moralists sacralize morality. ( http://tinyurl.com/cxjqxo9 )
Perhaps this is my own bias speaking, but this seems precisely the kind of thinking that organized religion is designed to foster. "believe X or you are evil" "never doubt X or you are evil" seems like a common teaching in both christian and islamic religions (im less knowledgeable of others to comment).
I'm curious if religion is indeed what sparked this topic. Do you rationalize other belief X's beyond religion?
If you find that you like some authors but not others, then nothing requires that you read every post.
Nor every Comment.
I feared that my reasoning was fallible, and I was terrified that I would come to believe not-X even though X was the truth. Then the truth would come out, or more evidence at least (and obviously the truth would be X), then all the good people who knew X would consider me evil, which was equivalent to being evil.
Not typical; sounds like you had an "insecure childhood."
I admire your courage in posting this.
It's funny you say that, because I have been worrying that I write too many conclusions which I don't have time to fully substantiate, and thinking of posting more open questions like Katja! I think this observation isn't so strong, but Katja's 'open question' posts have been some of my favourite blog posts over the last few years.
I appreciate the feedback from commenters here and try to take it on board. At the same time, I think readers should recognise that any group blog involves a range of styles. Anyone other potential contributors are going to differ from Robin, particularly in depth of experience blogging. If you find that you like some authors but not others, then nothing requires that you read every post.
It may seem that there's a trade-off from a reader's point of view but there isn't; fewer posts from others would not result in more posts from Robin. He has rationally decided to prioritise another higher-impact project just now.
I assumed it was a reference to the type of trees discussed on http://www.reddit.com/r/trees .
I agree. Grace's contributions to this blog started out as fairly interesting, but recently they seem to have devolved into little more than self-centered musings.
You seem to use the term "rationalization" with a non-standard meaning.
I like these observation style posts. They're useful in furthering my own understanding of my map, and often times give me the perspective and the tools to go further than I was. Shoulders of giants, and all that. We don't always have a good idea of what direction to actually focus on analytically, and identifying the problem is sometimes the hardest part. If someone took the time to turn this into a psychological research experiment, or perhaps some statistical analysis, it might be worthwhile. But don't disparage the identification phase just because it hasn't provided a neat solution.
Just a guess: leaving trees standing is always better than harvesting the lumber and building things on the land.
That's what American environmentalists seem to think. I'm not sure about Australia's: if I lived in a mostly undeveloped wilderness full of spiders the size of housecats, I would want to pave the whole thing over as soon as possible.
Well, on the left this is certainly the case with abortion. There are many instinctively pro-life liberals, progressives, and even socialists who refrain from even admitting to themselves this belief on account of this sort of fear-based cognitive motivation.
On the right, this has pertained with religious issues and matters of traditional morality. But more interestingly, it is the case that social conservatives may express economic conservative and libertarian beliefs and convince themselves of their value on account of the fear motivated cognition you describe.
Cool story. Seemingly pointless, but cool.
I think one issue might be that Katja is writing more open-ended posts than Robin or Rob. By this I mean that when Robin or Rob post, they start with some interesting observations and then usually attach an analysis and at least a conclusion or two. In contrast, Katja's posts seem to consist of an interesting observation and very little analysis. I think many readers of this blog (including myself) have good observation skills but come here for the trenchant analyses which we many lack the skills/knowledge to make. So, Katja is not filling that role.
These threads about yourself are getting frustrating because they are not thematically consistent with much of the material that made me love this blog. We get it, you think about your own feelings all the time, let's move on.