Why Smart People Hold Stupid Beliefs

Why Smart People Hold Stupid Beliefs – by Gurwinder:

It’s an explanation so idiotic only an intellectual could think of it.

[...] the problem of runaway rationalization is not just a disorder of today’s woke intellectuals, but of educated people of any persuasion and any time. And that includes you. Since you’re reading about intelligence right now, you’re likely above average in intelligence, which means that you, whatever you believe, should be extra vigilant against your intellect being commandeered by your animal impulses.

There is only one thing that can motivate us to put our intelligence into the service of objective truth, and that is curiosity. It was curiosity that was found by Kahan’s research to be the strongest countermeasure against bias.

Curiosity is essential to directing your intellect toward objective truth, but it’s not all you need. You must also have humility.

Anyone who’s sure they’re humble is probably not, so I can’t say whether I’ve succeeded in becoming humble. But I can say that I always try to be humble. And, well, there’s little difference between trying to be humble and actually being so.

In the end, rationality is not about intelligence but about character. Without the right personal qualities, education and IQ won’t make you master of your biases, they’ll only make you a better servant of them. So be open to the possibility that you may be wrong, and always be willing to change your mind—especially if you’re smart. By being humble and curious you may not win many arguments, but it won’t matter, for even losing arguments will become a victory that moves you toward the far grander prize of truth.

I wonder if the author plays any Persona game.

This also helps to explain why changes are hard in the field of software engineering, a field in which includes a lot of smart people.