I have the answer. I really do. The beginning of the answer.

I have the solution to accomplishing the goals of your cause. Of every good cause. It will require all of the work.

It is so often easy to get frustrated with humanity, and feel like we're such a mess that there's no way to clean it up. But I know why. I know where to begin.

I've been fascinated with how humans work since childhood. I've spent a lot of time on questions like "If I were wrong, deeply wrong, about something important, what would that look like to me?" Which has been very useful in helping me wrap my head around this problem.

Before we continue, please read this. I have repeatedly called it the most important page on the internet, and not lightly. I believe it will help you digest what I need to say: https://theoatmeal.com/comics/believe

The problem is that humans tend to base our beliefs, and therefore our choices, on emotion, not evidence. I have a pile of links to references here. And it is important to base large scale choices, like government policy, on evidence, not emotion. Basically, we tend to be wrong. A lot. About big things. All of us.

This is expected to be difficult to swallow. It is the reason it is difficult to swallow.

"When your beliefs are entwined with your identity, changing your mind means changing your identity. That’s a really hard sell."

The solution, I believe, is to make the world aware of it. Convince them it is a problem. Teach them ways to compensate for it. Accomplishing that will require digging through the research on how to effectively change people's minds. Providing them with evidence certainly won't do it. To scale, it will also require learning how to get more people to join a cause.

This problem, people believing things that are wrong, based on emotions instead of evidence, causes them to believe good causes are wrong, not important. Teaching them to better evaluate truth will result in them accomplishing the goals of good causes.

People absolutely hate being told what they should do, or how to think. This will be hard.

To be clear, evidence, logic, rationality, is not everything. Happiness and love are vital parts of the human experience, and they have nothing to do with evidence.

This is hard.


Validate HTML5