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Spock’s Dirty Little Secret

Spock’s Dirty Little Secret

I just wrote my first article for LessWrong.com: Spock’s Dirty Little Secret.

It’s about how I learned the limits of logic, and the importance of emotion to actually making decisions or getting anything done.  I wrote it more for the current audience of OvercomingBias.com and LessWrong.com than for my own blog audience, but you might find it interesting anyway.

So feel free to check it out.

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1 comment
  • When I read that you were discussing the role of emotion in decision-making, I immediately thought of this episode of Radiolab that I heard on the local NPR station a few months ago. In the segment “Overcome by Emotion”, they describe a man whose emotional center was impaired by a brain tumor. When faced with signing a letter, and choosing between a blue pen or a black one, he weighed *many* factors, such as: Would blue be too showy or ostentatious, since the letter is printed in black? A black signature might seem more official. There is slightly more ink in the blue pen. And so on. As I remember, this man took about 30 minutes to decide which pen to use.

    The segment’s premise was that this man’s lack of emotionality denied him a gut-level filtering of these criteria, so that he could not intuitively weigh them for their significance to the decision at hand.

    A later segment in the same show talks about priming, which I see is another tag on your blog. If you’ve not heard this material, it is quite interesting.

    — Paul



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