“Predictions are hard — especially about the future.”
— attributed variously to Mark Twain, Niels Bohr, Yogi Berra, an ancient Chinese proverb, and Danish folk wisdom, amongst other sources
Probabilities are hard to grasp. We make sense of the world through pattern-seeking and storytelling, which tends towards all-or-nothing, black-and-white interpretations. We leap to conclusions. We make systematic errors assessing objective states of the world. We are prone to cognitive biases of myriad types.
At the collective level, truth is often trumped by tribe. Now more than ever, in an environment where there is a surplus of information vying for our attention, it’s easy to select and organize it into the narrative of choice — which, in most cases, will be the one that best aligns with our preconceptions. …