The Reality of Beliefs

According to a top Saudi cleric, driving damages women’s ovaries. Does the fact (reality) that some people believe that make it true, if only for them? What—exactly—is the relationship between reality and what we believe? You may know people who believe that their beliefs accurately reflect reality. If you’ve been reading this blog for very long, you know that one of my recurrent themes is the need for an evidence procedure that allows individuals to base their beliefs on reality to the degree that it’s possible.

It was, for example, perfectly logical for our ancient ancestors to believe that . . . → Read More: The Reality of Beliefs

Possibilities and Necessities

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In a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post (Liberals and conservatives don’t just vote differently. They think differently.), Chris Mooney addressed some of the reasons the differences between liberals and conservatives have become so acrimonious over the past few election cycles. According to Mooney, “There’s now a large body of evidence showing that those who opt for the political left and those who opt for the political right tend to process information . . . → Read More: Possibilities and Necessities


Those of us in the States (and perhaps the rest of the English-speaking world) currently have a wonderful opportunity to observe one of the lesser-known NLP Metaprograms at work: The Rules Metaprogram.

Most behavior is “rule governed” in one way or another, so where and how rules apply is important in social interactions. The First Rule is perhaps to whom does a rule apply. Here’s one possibility:

My rules for me. Your rules for you. Everyone chooses his or her own rules.

This won’t work well in a variety of social situations. Imagine driving in a big city . . . → Read More: Rules

The Bell Curve Theory of Life

The “Bell Curve” is the common expression for what is otherwise known as Standard Normal Distribution. The concept basically states that in any category, most members of the category will be grouped in the middle, with fewer members at the extremes. Wikipedia provides a fancy definition:

In probability theory, the normal (or Gaussian) distribution, is a continuous probability distribution that is often used as a first approximation to describe real-valued random variables that tend to cluster around a single mean value. The graph of the associated probability density function is “bell”-shaped, and is known as the Gaussian function or . . . → Read More: The Bell Curve Theory of Life