David Brooks cautions against mental flabbiness in today’s NYT op-ed column. These days, he says, “we’re all less conscious of our severe mental shortcomings and less inclined to be skeptical of our own opinions.” He quotes part of a speech on “The Psychology of Human Misjudgment,” given by Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway:
“We have confirmation bias; we pick out evidence that supports our views. We are cognitive misers; we try to think as little as possible. We are herd thinkers and conform our perceptions to fit in with the group.”
We try to think as little as possible. Hmm. Let’s fight the good fight, AGAINST this human frailty. Whattaya say?
Warning: The David Brooks piece begins with several paragraphs from a first-person account of a “mastectomy without anesthesia,” performed in 1811. It’s extremely difficult just to read the account.