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Our brains are to ideas as tree branches are to birds: Suitable for nesting

Reader comment on item: The Folly of the Intellectuals

Submitted by Anon (Israel), Aug 16, 2020 at 18:50

We don't appear to have come up with a general immunity to ideas harmful to us. What happens is that after one idea has caused its own downfall by causing tremendous harm, we try to guard ourselves against that one idea. And then we might find that the ideological vaccine we give ourselves might actually represent a harmful idea in and of itself, if by being poorly worded (our vaccines against ideologies rely upon words) or by going too far.

Mostly importantly, an ideology (as opposed to ideas one is not at all emotionally invested in) distorts our vision. Apparently, there's such a thing as "the wisdom of crowds"; apparently, if you'll ask many people how much an elephant weighs, you'll find that the average of these various answers is surprisingly accurate.
That's because no one cares how much elephants weigh and no one has the slightest interest in believing they weigh more or less than they actually do.

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