The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone

The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone

Steven Sloman Philip Fernbach / Sep 23, 2019

The Knowledge Illusion Why We Never Think Alone Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies but most of us don t even know how a pen or a toilet works How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little Cognitive scientist

  • Title: The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone
  • Author: Steven Sloman Philip Fernbach
  • ISBN: 9780399184352
  • Page: 483
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies, but most of us don t even know how a pen or a toilet works How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach argue that we survive and thrive despite our mental shortcomings because we live in a rich community of knowledge The key to our intelliHumans have built hugely complex societies and technologies, but most of us don t even know how a pen or a toilet works How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach argue that we survive and thrive despite our mental shortcomings because we live in a rich community of knowledge The key to our intelligence lies in the people and things around us We re constantly drawing on information and expertise stored outside our heads in our bodies, our environment, our possessions, and the community with which we interact and usually we don t even realize we re doing it The human mind is both brilliant and pathetic We have mastered fire, created democratic institutions, stood on the moon, and sequenced our genome And yet each of us is error prone, sometimes irrational, and often ignorant The fundamentally communal nature of intelligence and knowledge explains why we often assume we know than we really do, why political opinions and false beliefs are so hard to change, and why individually oriented approaches to education and management frequently fail But our collaborative minds also enable us to do amazing things This book contends that true genius can be found in the ways we create intelligence using the world around us.

    Knowledge in perception and illusion Richard Gregory Knowledge in perception and illusion Knowledge in perception and illusion Richard L Gregory From Phil Trans R Soc Lond B , Knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning. Knowledge can refer to a theoretical or practical understanding of a subject It can be implicit as with practical skill or expertise or explicit as with the Maya religion Maya m j Devanagari , IAST m y , literally illusion or magic, has multiple meanings in Indian philosophies depending on the context In ancient Vedic literature, M y literally implies extraordinary power and wisdom In later Vedic texts and modern literature dedicated to Indian traditions, M y connotes a magic show, an illusion where things appear Knowledge Quotes and Sayings Quote Garden Knowledge A molehill removed from the mountain of our ignorance Specimens of a Patent Pocket Dictionary, For the use of those who wish to understand the meaning of things as well as words, The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, Fill thy mind with useful knowledge and thou shalt New Knowledge Home New Knowledge is an information integrity company that protects companies from manipulative online campaigns. ConVocation As we continue our journey on the tree, we have now come to Chesed Chesed is the Hebrew word that translates as loving kindness Bathed in the glow of its benevolent ruler, Jupiter, it represents expansion and Inclusiveness. Young Girl Old Woman Illusion from Wolfram MathWorld A famous perceptual illusion in which the brain switches between seeing a young girl and an old woman or wife and mother in law An anonymous German postcard from left figure depicts the image in its earliest known form, and a rendition on an advertisement for the Anchor Buggy Company from center figure provides another early example IllusionWorks. What is an optical illusion Archimedes lab Things are not what they seem nor are they otherwise excerpt from Lankavatara Sutra The puzzle of seeing II by G Sarcone and Marie Jo Waeber Human Knowledge Foundations and Limits Why is there something rather than nothing Might the world be an illusion or dream What exists beyond the human senses What happens after death Does divine or supernatural agency exist Is the future already decided What is the meaning of life What is right and wrong Is the world good or bad Are humans good or evil What beings should have what rights Einstein s Search the Illusion of Reality Sol Quantum physics tells us that reality is far beyond human perception and intuition In other words, our rational mind and common sense are just not capable of understanding the true nature of reality.

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      • Steven Sloman Philip Fernbach

        Steven Sloman Philip Fernbach Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone book, this is one of the most wanted Steven Sloman Philip Fernbach author readers around the world.


    182 Comments

    1. Challenging PowerThe Knowledge Illusion is a demonstration of the thesis it articulates: "Our intelligence resides not in individual brains but in the collective minde hive mind." Each of us, as the 18th century philosopher Frederick Leibniz proposed, contributes to what we perceive and conceive as reality. In fact everyone who has ever existed contributes to that reality. We each contribute but none of us can know all that is known. Human knowledge floats in a world beyond human understanding. [...]


    2. Excelente livro sobre como pensamos com a ajuda de outras pessoas, em todos os aspectos. Do consenso entre cientistas, aos companheiros de trabalho, a professores e ao grupo que pertencemos. Como sabemos ou não das coisas e das ilusões e percalços de como pensamos. Um tanto que pode ser encontrado no The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data, no A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age e no True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fac [...]


    3. It all begins with toilets.Everyone (throughout the developed world!) is familiar with toilets. A typical flush toílet has a ceramic bowl filled with water. When the handle is depressed, or the button pushed, the water—and everything that’s been deposited in it—gets sucked into a pipe and from there into the sewage system. But how does this actually happen?In a study, graduate students were asked to rate their understanding of everyday devices, including toilets, zippers, and cylinder loc [...]


    4. While I enjoy Sloman and Fernbach's very engaging writing style and their deft use of helpful analogies to illustrate certain concepts, I really don't see much here that is original or genuinely thought-provoking. Maybe it's just me but unless you've never considered the fact that the things you use on a day-to-day basis are things you don't fully comprehend, have ever thought that your knowledge even within your specific field is not entirely housed within you but within a larger community, nor [...]


    5. "Our point is not that people are ignorant. It's that people are more ignorant than they think they are. We all suffer, to a greater or lesser extent, from an illusion of understanding, an illusion that we understand how things work when in fact our understanding is meager. (8)**********"It's remarkable how easy it is to disabuse people of their illusion; you merely have to ask them for an explanationWe have also found that people experience the illusion not only with everyday objects but with j [...]


    6. The Knowledge Illusion has a reasonably simple idea to start with. The authors repeat that numerous times. They meander in multiple directions but almost always come back with nothing but vague directives or known generalities. Despite the authors' own admission towards the end about the topics and discussions sounding commonplace (and trying to make a virtue out of the ordinary), a lack of anything substantially new leaves one highly disappointed.An individual knows precious little on her own. [...]


    7. We think we know much more than we do. In fact, most of us do not know much about even how every day things work. The authors gave 2 simple examples: the zip and the toilet bowl. First they asked how much people understood them. Then they asked them to actually explain it, and most of them have great difficulties doing so. When finally asked again how much they understood them, the professed lower understanding. So how can we do this? We can do this because our knowledge lies in the totality of [...]


    8. I consider this a 'must read' for anyone wanting to understand the polarization of today's society inflamed by social media. My reason for reading this is to gain insight for work strategies since the modern approach is to deny what those truly trained in an area have to say. What I learned is that none of us know as much as we think we do (the knowledge illusion). That's not necessarily a bad thing except when we don't realize it. The other thing is (and really this is true--look at your own in [...]


    9. We have biases and shortcomings in our cognition. Our brains were designed by nature for social calculation and some causal prediction, not all the things we need to use them for these days like calculating probabilities, remembering vast amounts of data or doing science. However, our individual limitations are made up for by collective knowledge. We are like honeybees in some way. I have heard it quipped that we are 90% primate and 10% social insect. We use collective knowledge and technology t [...]


    10. The information in here is important, but it's kind of a dry read, and it didn't start getting good until over halfway. It's the literary equivalent of a wheat grass shot. 5 stars for content, but 2 for my actual enjoyment of it.


    11. A book about ignorance, focusing on a lack of personal mindfulness in making everyday decisions and the appraisal of hive-mentality (trusting communal knowledge). The main concept of the book is based on all of us thinking we know more than we do and an importance of trusting expertise of a wider community instead of trying to solve every problem individually.In my opinion, the book is a bit too descriptive; it presents a case study after a case study of the same ideas without a deeper analysis [...]


    12. Should be required reading. One of my favorite excerpts: "Most people just want the best health care for the most people at the most affordable price. The national conversation should be about how to achieve that.But such a conversation would be technical and boring. So politicians and interest groups make it about sacred values. One side asks whether the government should be making decisions about our health care, prompting their audience to think about the importance of limited government. The [...]


    13. A book I did not read at once. Instead I read a littleput it downwent back to it from time to time. Enlightening and somewhat enjoyable. I did not love the book but I did not hate it. I enjoy that I have it on my self because it is a book I can go back and reference, or take a few lines from, etc. Againenlighteningentertaininga bit of food for thought The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone by Steven Sloman is an interesting book and one that can def spark an intelligent debate. Thanks [...]


    14. Sloman and Fernbach are professors with a background in cognitive science. In this book, they explain why we know less than we think we know; we fill in the gaps by leveraging the knowledge of others. This seems obvious, and it is — I didn't find much in the book surprising. (In its conclusion, the authors admit that the ideas they discuss have been around for a long time.) However, Sloman and Fernbach use simple, real-world examples that make it easy to relate to the issues. I would recommend [...]


    15. In the concluding chapter of "The knowledge illusion", the authors argue that really novel ideas often seem obvious once they are accepted. Without false modesty, they try to convince the reader that the central idea of their book indeed falls into this category.As far as I am concerned, they may well be right. And the reader is thus warned that he may find everything that follows trivial.The key message is that people are not just incredible ignorant (even when they are very smart), but that th [...]


    16. Funny and smart, I loved the combination of science and philosophy and cognitive psychology. It was easy to read and I found it incredibly interesting and particularly relevant to where my thoughts have been lately. I loved the little puzzles and questions and the specific examples broken down by the authors. I appreciated the layout of the chapters and how they set the reader up knowing what to expect from the next, and constantly referring to how they all fit together and why the contextual kn [...]


    17. An Audible listen, this book was very interesting. Starting with studies on how little detailed understanding we have of things like toilets, zippers and other every day objects. it then moved to the fascinating observation that, despite this, we rate ourselves "experts" on most things. When asked to explain, few can, and when asked to explain in a "cause and effect" manner, we usually realise our deficiency.There were many studies and anecdotes punctuating such observations. Most of them jaw dr [...]


    18. Книга о том, как мыслит человек. В жанре популярная наука. Ключевая идея, что знание и мышление - это явления, относящиеся к больше коллективу и обществу, чем к индивиду. Индивидуально человек знает очень мало и обладает жалкими мыслительными способностями. Много интересных [...]


    19. Biraz dolgusu bol bir kitap. İlk birkaç bölümde temel fikri ortaya koyduktan sonra, Amerikan popüler bilim edebiyatının klişe numaralarına başvuruyor: Örnek üstüne örnek. İki ana fikir güzel ama biraz cılızlar, pek çok kişiye de "deme be, valla mı?" dedirtecek bir sıradanlık taşıyorlar:- Bildiğimizi sandığımız şeyleri aslında bilmiyoruz. Çünkü beynimiz verimli çalışabilmek için bilginin kendisini depolamaktan ziyade, o bilginin nereden hızlıca bulunabilec [...]


    20. Best part of illusions is how few of us ever recognize that we live in them. We all have an over-inflated confidence in our understanding. Our grasp of reality is extremely superficial, but this isn't entirely a bad thing, despite how much social commentators lament the ignorance of the average person the reality is that the human mind was never designed to act in isolation. Instead the true genius of the human brain is how it is optimally designed to work in concert with other minds which in tu [...]


    21. meh, i agree with the point. Intelligence is spread across the community. part of the reason we've progressed so much over the past few decades. knowledge isn't a monopoly anymore in the hands of a few elite institutions/church. The book just makes that point over and over. To long.


    22. We know a lot less than we think we know. That “knowledge illusion” is, in a nutshell, the message of this 296-page volume, jauntily (sometimes jarringly) written, and rather superficial overall.Why do we suffer from the illusion? One reason is that we conflate knowledge that we actually possess with knowledge that’s available to us from external sources. To take one of the authors’ early examples: Many people think they know how a toilet works, but when called upon to explain the causal [...]


    23. This book raises a paradoxical question: how can human thinking be so shallow and so powerful at the same time? The answer is suggested in the title. Most of us think that our brains work pretty well independently, but the truth is that far more of our daily actions that involve any kind of thought depend upon the efforts of others. We use those efforts - think of computers, phones, automobiles, home appliances, heating systems, toilets, the list goes on - but we could not explain even a small f [...]


    24. One takeaway to remember: getting people to write out a causal explanation of a topic they have strong feelings about often leads to them moderating the extremity of their position on the matter because it forces them to recognize how little they really understand about a topic. This could be useful in the future as a person who is EXTREMELY interested in reducing political extremity! (Ha! I kill me!). But seriously, let's do whatever is necessary to reduce extremist political positioning.I noti [...]


    25. The best way to understand how little you know is to try to explain —in step by step detail—exactly how something functions, how it's created or what consequences its implementation or removal will have. How does a zipper work? Not "how do you use a zipper" but how does it work? See? Our knowledge of the tools and concepts we interact with everyday is very shallow. And that's all it needs to be, really. But that shallow functional knowledge tends to lead us to believe we know more than we re [...]


    26. Notes:Thinking About Politics172-176 "Public opinion is more extreme than people's understanding justifiesWhen group members don't know much but share a position, members of the group can reinforce one another's sense of understanding, leading everyone to feel like their position is justified and their mission is clear, even when there is no real expertise to give it solid support."People argue from either a causal, consequentialist position or a "sacred values" position. If they're arguing from [...]


    27. You think you know more about things than you really do because we reside in a world that's complex as hell and requires a little more than that tiny brain of yours to store all the information you need to work properly. What I found to be a useful model to think about knowledge was that you don't store all of it in your brain. You also use a number of other repositories that you consciously or not tap into when you feel the need. For instance, you store some of the knowledge you have of the roo [...]


    28. Informative look at humans and how we process information and perceive knowledge. The authors look at how modern times (and the attendant mass quantities of information and the increasingly specialized nature of expertise) and technology (which makes such information nominally available to anyone with Internet access) combine to make present-day humans simultaneously ignorant while believing themselves to be well-informed. The most interesting parts of the book for me where the sections discussi [...]


    29. This is an interesting book. The authors contend that there is a community of knowledge since no one person can know or understand everything. This leads people to the belief that they really know more than they really do thus the knowledge illusion. Steven Sloman and Phillip Fernbach believe that we are successful because we live in a world in which knowledge is all around us and these resources allow us to connect bits of information to perform actions. None of us operates in a vacuum. To help [...]


    30. As well-documented in other reviews, this book's initial thesis is that much of what we falsely believe we know is actually held in repositories other than our own heads: libraries, other people's heads and the objects themselves. The later chapters cover collaborative thought processes - how group thinking and intelligence work and how little we appreciate their collaborative nature. Unfortunately, the authors make the sophomoric mistake of over-stating some key points, for example: "we must av [...]


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