For millions of years, human beings have conquered their ignorance by dividing the labor of discovery and then communicating their discoveries to one another, which is why the average newspaper boy in Pittsburgh knows more about the univers than did Galileo, Aristotle, Leonardo, or any of those other guys who were so smart they only needed one name.
Communication is a kind of "vicarious observation" that allows us to learn about the world without ever leaving the comfort of our Barcaloungers.
Why continue to make bad decisions?
1. A lot of the advice we receive from others is bad advice that we foolishly accept.
2. A lot of the advice we receive from others is good advice that we foolishly reject.
Super-replicators: Genes tend to be transmitted when they make us do thing that transmits their genes. Even bad genes can become super-replicators if they compensate for these costs by promoting their own means of transmission. The same logic can explain the transmission of beliefs. If a particular belief has some property that facilitates its own transmission, then that belief tends to be held by an increasing number of minds.
The production of wealth does not necessarily make individuals happy, but it does serve the needs of an economy, which serves the needs of a stable society, which serves as a network for the propagation of delusional beliefs about happiness and wealth. Economies thrive when individuals strive, but because individuals will only strive for their own happiness, it is essential that they mistakenly believe that producing and consuming are routes to personal well-being.
We are nodes in a social network that arises and falls by a logic of its own, which is why we continue to toil, continue to mate, and continue to be surprised when we do not experience all the joy we so gullibly anticipated.
If you believe that people can generally say how they are feeling at the moment they are asked, then one way to make predictions about our own emotional futures is to find someone who is having the experience we are contemplating and ask them how they feel. 引自 Reporting Live From Tomorrow