TED Conversations

Amily shaw


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Can we think without any presumptions?

Questions arised from one of the conversation and a reminiscence of a old lady who said:"nobody is right but me."

Are we free of personal bias when we think?
how reliable it is for us ourselves to judge if we are free of personal bias or not ?


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    Feb 17 2013: There is a great TED talk about Beauty being genetically encoded into us. The example used was that of a savannah. Even people that were raised in deserts believed it to be beautiful. The general idea is that we have evolved to understand that a savanna means food, water, and basic survival. If we take this premise as true then we may conclude that we have genetic presumptions. Our neocortex would build ideas based on these genetic presumptions and society would develop.

    It would be interesting to verify this idea and then, if proven true, to determine what else we have hard encoded into us. Music seems to be universal, and I have learned recently that nighttime insect noise is also soothing to us. Perhaps because as we slept, if the insect noise stopped, we would wake up and know something was wrong. So we evolved to think it was pleasant.

    That aside, I believe we evolved to make sense of the world we live in and genetics in combination with experience create heuristics that allow us to build on our life. So, can we think without ANY presumptions? I would conclude not.

    But, I would say that our evolved ability to consciously question and analyze will allow us to verify our presumptions. OR more importantly...... to think, not without presumptions, but of the presumptions themselves. Easier said than done. I find it easier to ask others "What are my presumptions? Because, I am to close to them to see them."

    Oh, and BTW. That is an open invitation to anyone reading my posts. If you see an error in my presumption please feel free to point it out or add a different view point. I do like other viewpoints. IF they can be followed up with evidence and solid reasoning. :)
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      Feb 21 2013: the savannah example is interesting ,need to watch it.Ha, "Im too close to them to see them".thats really true.thanks for sharing Leo!

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