Believing something is right because we’ve always believed it

Some parts of daily life seem so natural, benign, and commonplace that we don’t consider them to be as awful as they really are. Perhaps we so easily believe something is right, just because it has always been so. Take for example, circumcision. Circumcision as genital mutilation To be clear, I’m referring to male circumcision…

A Lady Stole My Heart Today

At the gym.  Sitting right next to me in our spin session. A lovely lass – she pushed the right buttons and stole my heart. Well, my heart rate, to be specific. Just before the gruelling hour of spinning began, she tried to get the new electronic device attached to her bike to sync with…

Confirmation Bias and Free Will

I’ve been thinking about free will, which has in turn got me thinking about all the flaws we all have in our abilities to reason.  We all have them to a lesser or greater extent – and they’re often surprisingly subtle.  The subtly disturbs me – it leaves the door wide open for bad reasoning,…

The Illusoriness of My Free Will

I now seriously suspect that I don’t have free will.  I can’t say I’ve given it much thought in the past – I’ve always viewed it as somewhat philosophical, somewhat theoretical, and the works of Schopenhauer and Hobbes don’t grip me as they should. A lot of neuroscience, however, makes these questions more interesting, and more…

Being Aware of Rationalising

When I argue with someone, try and justify a belief or a moral, or try and convince myself to do something I know isn’t really great (it’s okay to eat that muffin – I went swimming this morning), I rationalise.  It’s a terrible habit, probably innately human, yet it’s useful to at least be aware…

Your Address Book is a Social Network

That’s why everyone wants to steal it. It’s your social network. Sure, a little dated – but still relevant. Who you SMS, who you email, who you call – it’s all in there. Why though? I suspect it’s about who owns the relationships, the connections. Take for example, Facebook. If you create an application that…

Defining the Self

You are a conscious mind – you’re a self – aware of your own mind, and probably aware of other minds as well. Underlying that construction of consciousness is a fascinating entanglement of biology and culture, which I’m slowly becoming aware of. For years I’ve gone around blithely thinking that I am me. It looks…