About fooling ourselves – and getting fooled

Ethan Siegel writes in his article [1] about how we cannot be experts in everything and how we are easily fooled by others and by ourselves.

As examples of fooled minds, bad science and scientific fraud Siegel uses for example Em-Drive and Cold Fusion.

“We like to think, as human beings, if we can only keep an open mind, that anything is possible. That if we put our minds to it, buckle down and do our research and apply ourselves 100%, we can not only understand what’s going on as well as any expert, but that we ourselves can make valuable contributions to whatever field we’re interested in. “… http://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2015/11/08/the-em-drive-nasas-impossible-engine-highlights-our-greatest-failing/

I don’t have much to add to what he says. I just wish people would understand, that while positive thinking may be important, it is equally important to practice skeptical thinking.

To avoid being fooled, if you care.

The reader comments of Siegel’s article highlight very clearly, that people actually often prefer fooling themselves, than thinking straight.

[1] The EM Drive, NASA’s ‘Impossible Engine,’ Highlights Our Greatest Failing

1 thought on “About fooling ourselves – and getting fooled

  1. A common mistake is to believe “it must be true unless proven false” when it comes to something never seen – like believing one thing should be extraterrestrial unless you discover it was only a paint….
    The contrary should apply to what you experienced every day, like believing that you will meet the usual sight turning the corner of a building you turned yesterday and all the days before.

    Might be you could get surprised, once or two in a life, byt surely less often than doing the contrary or choosing only one of the two way of thinking.

    It seems as if some people are not able to switch between the two.


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