TED Conversations

Damon Horowitz

In-House Philosopher, Google


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LIVE CHAT With Damon Horowitz: When have you realized that you were wrong about what you once thought was right? June 8, 2011, 5-6PM EDT

Join us for a LIVE conversation with serial entrepreneur, philosophy professor, and Google Director of Engineering, Damon Horowitz.

This conversation will open at 5:00PM EDT, June 8th, 2011.

"I am curious to hear what prompts people to moral reflection and reconsideration: When have you realized that you were wrong about what you once thought was right?"


Closing Statement from Damon Horowitz

I’d like to thank everyone for sharing their thoughts and experiences here. My TEDxSV talk was intended as a provocation for the technology industry in particular to reflect further upon our ethical decision making – but I am delighted to see that it has encouraged much broader discussion.

The prominent themes I hear in this conversation reinforce the value of education, experience, and humility in our moral development. So long as we continually challenge ourselves to question our beliefs, there is some small possibility that we will not always be wrong about what is right.

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  • Jun 8 2011: Humans are too stubborn to admit they are wrong, so they continue to latch to the beliefs they have held onto for so many years so they don't look or feel foolish.

    I don't mean to sound conceited but I'm a pretty heavy philosopher too, and I feel I totally understand what you mean by this and have always thought the same myself. It's called confirmation bias.. Well, a lot of it anyway.


    This is one of the chief banes of human existence. Without it, we would understand and progress as a society into the right direction.
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      Jun 8 2011: We must always thank psychology for giving us handy labels for such phenomena :)

      I suppose my curiosity, though, is about what it takes to overcome this bias. To the extent that we understand that, we can engineer situations which bring this about more frequently. If we decide that we want to do so...
      • Jun 8 2011: One of my favorite blogs about confirmation bias, among many other cognitive pitfalls we as humans are prone to is called, appropriately enough, http://youarenotsosmart.com

        Try to ignore the most recent posts all about the book being published, if you can and get to the meaty posts, listed on the right hand side.
      • Jun 8 2011: a saying I learned was "all models are wrong, but some models are useful." psychological labels are a great example!

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