Big Picture Questions for Humanity from ‘Overcoming Bias’

Continuing my search for intelligent life in the blogosphere, I wanted to introduce you to a blog I’ve belatedly realised is excellent. ‘Overcoming Bias‘ is from Oxford University’s ‘Future of Humanity Institute‘ whose mission statement says they are:

“…pursu[ing the] big picture questions for humanity. We study how anticipated technological developments may affect the human condition in fundamental ways, and how we can better understand, evaluate, and respond to radical change.”


Good stuff. A couple of posts I’d recommend you take a look at. Firstly this one on thinking outside the box which has a great opening, and the rest isn’t bad either:

“Whenever someone exhorts you to “think outside the box”, they usually, for your convenience, point out exactly where “outside the box” is located. Isn’t it funny how nonconformists all dress the same…”

And I love this idea of ‘cached thoughts‘:

“It’s frustrating, talking to good and decent folk – people who would never in a thousand years spontaneously think of wiping out the human species – raising the topic of existential risk, and hearing them say, “Well, maybe the human species doesn’t deserve to survive.” They would never in a thousand years shoot their own child, who is a part of the human species, but the brain completes the pattern.

What patterns are being completed, inside your mind, that you never chose to be there?”

I feel I should apologise for not having mentioned this before.

Now my duty is discharged.

About the author


Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You can follow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.

Published: 14 October 2007

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