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Showing posts from April, 2015

What a Fool Believes

I get called "naïve" a fair amount. Given how open I am about how unsheltered my life has been, I find it shocking how often people apply that term to me. Recently, it has come to my attention that a big part of what drives that perception is that I bet the odds differently from most people when it comes to social situations.

If I know that a particular piece of information is associated with a 90% chance of meaning X and a 10% chance of meaning something else, I am slower than other people to bet that I am dealing with the more likely answer. This gets me called naïve, or even called a fool.

However, betting on the side of the majority outcome is the underlying mechanism for a lot of racism, sexism, and other bad things in the world. The kinds of things women are complaining of in a discussion titled Bitch in Business are strongly influenced by the human tendency to bet the odds -- to assume that a man must be in charge because it is usually a man. When a woman is in cha…