ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Long ago Robin thought he had uncovered some ways to make the world a better place. He expected disagreement. Instead he got indifference. How could that be? This led Robin to becoming an economist and, eventually, an answer: we aren't motivated the way we say we are or think we should be. There are hidden motives and Robin's new book, The Elephant in the Brain, lays them out.

Robin is one of the most original thinkers of our time. I'll borrow my favorite description from Bryan Caplan, who put it best:

When the typical economist tells me about his latest research, my standard reaction is "Eh, maybe." Then I forget about it. When Robin Hanson tells me about his latest research, my standard reaction is "No way! Impossible!" Then I think about it for years.

This episode covers a lot of ground including Robin's journey to writing this book, what culture wants, whether there is any relationship between the elephant in the brain and cognitive biases, cultural plasticity and much more!

English
United States

TRANSCRIPT

00:00:11welcome to the not unreasonable part I'm your host Stephen right Naturi this is a show of interviews with people who have something to teach us about managing our businesses and our self there's a lot to learn out there folks so let's get to work the show was brought
00:00:34to you by beach where I work and have worked my entire career we are a global reinsurance intermediary and we pride ourselves on creative thinking deep analysis and client service those three qualities are actually intimately related because you can't spend the energy digging deep into a problem unless
00:00:50you really care about the client we find that when you really do you understand the problem the solution becomes obvious even if it seems a little bit unorthodox to the outside world at first the nature of insurance is to take solutions we know and trust and try to
00:01:03force them on to the problems of the day we just don't settle for that you can see further at beach GP dot com this class of public intellectual that writes books and articles and blog posts inspires lots of people I have a lot heroes among this group in
00:01:21my reader by every name make the most problems probably taller Callan of margin revolution dot com you can think of today's guest robin Hanson as the intellectual hero of my intellectual heroes he's an economist then when the smartest most creative and original thinkers and social science rob is
00:01:37written two books the first the age of them imagines a world where we all become uploads and surveys what social science can tell us about that world robin second book the elephant in the brain the hidden motives of everyday life written with Kevin similar really gets to the
00:01:52heart of the things that robin knows that you and I need to learn that book is the subject of today's show and we take the time to get warmed up because I really needed to just nerd away at my nerves a little bit I'm talking Robert Hanssen after
00:02:03all eventually though we go deep and broad and it was a blast robin is blowing my mind on many occasions and hopefully you find his ideas as world changing as I did enjoy the show please subscribe on your favorite podcast app or go to web trough dot com
00:02:17that's W. E. B. E. T. R. O. U. G. H. dot com slash sign up to get a periodic email from me with notes and links to later shows without further ado here is robin Hanson my guest today is robin Hanson associate professor of economics at George Mason
00:02:33University his second book is elephant the brand hidden motives of everyday life with Kevin similar which we just discussing on today show robin thanks for joining us thanks for having me so to get right to the point I guess at first what is the elephant in the brain
00:02:49the elephant in the brain is the thing I most wish I would have known when I started my career in social science it's the fact that we don't like to notice that we have pretty selfish motives that my site trip sound trite and trivial and of course we
00:03:04know that and %HESITATION we do in a sense but another bigger sense we really don't so we social scientists and economists particular we study an area like education or medicine or politics well we listened to what people say about why they do it I'd like to go to
00:03:20school to learn the material in the go to the doctor to get healthier they participate in politics to produce better policy we tend to just assume that they're right about that basic motive and then we spend more elaborate analyses and models to try to make sense of a
00:03:36lot of things from that point of view and we often just struggle %HESITATION out what's going on because it's just a lot of puzzles from that point of view and to me this biggest inside is the idea that were often just lying to ourselves and other people about
00:03:50why we do these things and if we'll just entertain other hypotheses for what the main reason the main motive for doing these things is a lot of these puzzles make a lot more sense I think that self deception is an incredibly deep idea or or or maybe an
00:04:09important idea in everyday life I'm gonna come back to that probably a few times over the course of the conversation but I wanted to come to us or to rewind a little bit here and and ask a question about the beginnings of your car you said as you
00:04:22mentioned you wish you knew it when you started studying social science I read somewhere or heard somewhere maybe that the the impetus for you or the catalyst for you getting into social science was that you observe the people didn't just disagree on analysis and conclusions but they also
00:04:37would disagree on on facts which is something that should be immutable it shouldn't change I'm wondering if if the story is accurate as a close to the truth %HESITATION how did you get into social science well the way I tell the story is that I was in computer
00:04:53science and physics and I noticed that many innovations appear in those areas that people work hard to find new slightly better ways of organizing computers %HESITATION creating physical devices %HESITATION but that when people do find things that seem to be somewhat better there's a lot of interest %HESITATION
00:05:11it's pretty easy to get people interested in %HESITATION looking at an even adopting new better physical devices or computer organizations and then when I started to look at social science I started to seem to find a lot of easy ways to make things a lot better seem to
00:05:29be I easy hunting grounds you could just look it up hill area of human behavior like medicine or law and analyze it for a little bit and seem to identify big wins ways that we could all be a lot better and that was exciting for me and so
00:05:44naive me I didn't ask why it seemed to be so easy to find such things I just assumed I must be brilliant or something and %HESITATION we started going in those areas and I think on reflection of the reason the reason it's so easy to find big wins
00:05:59and social science is because it's so hard to get anybody to adopt them if it were easy to get people adopt them these big ones would already be gone people have adopted the minimum that and I would be much farther down the diminishing returns schedule and looking at
00:06:13the scraps of things that were left about we're not because it's so hard to get people the even adopt the most basic %HESITATION insights about how to do things better so that that's I would say %HESITATION raises a puzzle %HESITATION why is it that people are so I'm
00:06:28interested in all these big wins and that's part of what the elephant in brain I think helps answer one of the things that really intrigued me about %HESITATION going through your website preparation for the interview your your home page and it said that you list yourself as an
00:06:42extrovert which is which is fascinating to me %HESITATION %HESITATION and that suggests to me that you you weren't shy about discussing these ideas eyes I saw that you have started a mailing list as well but he was to design new institutions and and so you obviously spent a
00:06:59lot of time advocating for these ideas early trying to discuss these ideas with them I'm wondering if you could share an early experience of when you kind of went walked into a conversation thinking that this is going to be a great idea and somebody's gonna be enthusiastic and
00:07:11meet you on the idea of plain but actually just got totally shut out I'm I don't know that it works like being shut out exactly I mean first you know initially I was a nobody with no contacts or credentials and so it was sort of obvious that the
00:07:28fight said things to people I would have to say that my friends because nobody else would listen and so it took me awhile until I have the context credentials and still found that people were interested in that it I I got more puzzled %HESITATION so %HESITATION eventually even
00:07:43when I teach classes are give talks I I think people will you know if they're polite and recently intelligible they'll not and say that sounds sounds interesting that sounds promising but there's just very little emotional energy there and as soon as they are are distracted by something else
00:07:57there interest disappears odd so I think it's less about resistance and just about a lack of motivation people just don't care it is under idea here that the Kompakt in my head and wonder what you think is I'm wondering whether there's more of a link between call your
00:08:15pre social science career in your in your social science career than might be immediately kind of obvious in that you know I saw that you you wrote papers on Bayesian statistics which in some ways is is is modeling disagreement and I know you've done some work on actually
00:08:29modeling disagreement with Bayesian statistics %HESITATION an A. I. research in some ways is about about figuring out what are the think the weird things that human beings do that allow them to be human and trying to design machines or to design a machine that does it of course
00:08:42you have to understand it and maybe the most human thing of all is the self deception idea which you you know what you write in your book are all these things like that or some kind of common thread through that that I'm picking up on or is it
00:08:53my imagination well I mean reality is unified the basic level so %HESITATION learning about our our rationality Bayesian analysis and artificial intelligence %HESITATION does prepare you to at least have a have a good model of of of what an ideal mind would look like and you can plug
00:09:12that model into economic models ASCA what would a world without mind I'll be like if we make some other assumptions so %HESITATION if somebody hadn't had that training and %HESITATION Bayesian statistics artificial intelligence they would have been more susceptible I think to to %HESITATION arguments people might make
00:09:30that %HESITATION %HESITATION the simple models of rationality or or unrealistic in there for you so the more complicated models will answer the questions in fact they don't in the end you know the gift that is another important idea here which is you know why why you know how
00:09:46is it that you were suited to be able to dig into these problems and recognize them or at least maybe pursue them farther than somebody else might is it that that training interdisciplinary training that you also often I think is the source of creativity when people take ideas
00:09:59from one field and bring them to another is that the secret sauce well %HESITATION there's some element of that but I honestly I think what I've learned over the years is the kinds of things I've discovered and I'm willing to tell people are things that smart people of
00:10:14known for centuries are there just usually smart enough for socially savvy enough not to say them out loud at least in public because that that's usually not a very effective for their social strategies %HESITATION soul %HESITATION if I'm being unique I'm it more in saying this out loud
00:10:33very publicly in a way %HESITATION that's less and you know going to get me personal friends and influence people and more academically trying to say that %HESITATION look this is something at least some of us social scientists should be paying attention to more formally indirectly yeah it's funny
00:10:50because I remember there's one I maybe maybe the first reference I I came across came about you online %HESITATION I saw about you they came across online was on %HESITATION Tyler towns plug Marcia Lucien where he talked about your a theory of ethics I think he was he
00:11:06said call deal is in which you advocated for and and he made some kind of I think probably tongue in cheek comment about how in real life you have the sort of different way behaving which in his mind I think that he genuinely believes that the that you
00:11:21%HESITATION do value friendship and and social cohesion in a certain kind of way of the or the you know %HESITATION you know you're you're no shrinking violet when it comes to disagreement %HESITATION is so so it is is it that you're okay with alienating people or or is
00:11:35it that there's something else going on what you actually feel like you can just convince them given enough time well so it just so happens that I had to go take a %HESITATION a sexual harassment seminar today not because of anything to cry done of course I just
00:11:47because it's a regular requirement here and %HESITATION you know some people I know %HESITATION it was mentioned dot like to sort of you know pick fights asked about complicating questions and I said well you know I'm just not me I I will I am happy to argue with
00:12:02somebody who wants to argue with me I I'd love to you know it's like the sport of it but I'm not going to jump all over someone is just their job to be doing a seminar so I I am you know I value friendship and I'm politeness and
00:12:17it all in there in the right sort of context you should not pick fights and expose things that people find awkward to be exposed but in the intellectual world where to some extent we've kind of agreed that %HESITATION this is where we're supposed to %HESITATION bring up big
00:12:32ideas and and challenge other peoples crimes I'm could you do that when %HESITATION it seems the right thing to do in and there's another there's another works that you %HESITATION the put together where you called yourself for made reference to this concept of a reluctant disagree year and
00:12:49on on ask you to for your for your reflection on what that means from what I could for a from what I could see it seems to me that there is this underlying optimism that disagreement is actually kind of an illusion when if we can just talk about
00:13:03it long enough we'll figure out what it is that we think we're disagreeing about and maybe it isn't much and it's simply mis communication is that is that right I how do you think about that well I would flip it around and say %HESITATION if we think about
00:13:14conversation in this agreement %HESITATION we have a story we tell ourselves about why it happens and %HESITATION again that says relatively flattering story and the elephant in our brain there as elsewhere is the fact that were actually being driven by much more selfish motives that we want to
00:13:31admit so %HESITATION and this is when we disagree so we usually like to think that well the world's complicated place we each have our own different analysis but that we each need to be faithful to our analysis and information and that's why we disagree because %HESITATION we we
00:13:48just takes awhile to understand where somebody else is coming from and what their point of view isn't until we do %HESITATION we need to sincerely authentically stay true to our personal analysis and therefore %HESITATION and because we're talking just so that we can help the world %HESITATION and
00:14:03everybody understand that and that's why we disagree but it's all in good faith and doc on honest misunderstandings I think that's just wrong that is %HESITATION when we analyze ideal Beijing agents that ideal agents in many ways %HESITATION and also when we look at other animals like even
00:14:19bumble bees we find that they don't disagree much because even though they don't know the details of each other's reasoning they quite reasonably presume that there are details and that you don't need those details to hear somebody summary opinion and have it weigh heavily on yours and so
00:14:38in fact ideal rational agents would not knowingly disagree %HESITATION that is %HESITATION when if I'm %HESITATION about two I tell you something and %HESITATION I know what you think %HESITATION I shouldn't be able to expect to predict the direction which you will disagree in the future for what
00:15:00I'm about to tell you that is there should be some disagreement because you'll also know things that I don't know but on average I expect you to agree with me and that's just a consistent thing I can prove and I'm into lab experiments to show and %HESITATION it's
00:15:15also again true of other animals for to socials humans but humans are different and possibly that's because humans are actually not that interested in being accurate hard to %HESITATION showing our economy and our creativity and defiance and our allegiances xterra %HESITATION that is most of ordinary conversation the
00:15:34beliefs that expressed there are often much more to do with these other sort of social functions or police so the the idea there I guess being that disagreement is is driven by other agendas which are the hidden hidden motivations there's one there's one %HESITATION I don't know cult
00:15:52framework that I was expecting to see in the book but I didn't see which is something you've written about a lot which is a near far by us and so the idea there are different framing of what this agreement is is that people are are looking at the
00:16:04world in kind of an abstract way or in a highly detailed way I'm wondering if what you think of that framework now I think it's been a little while maybe since I've seen you write on it if that still you still owe that high is I still think
00:16:14it's a powerful framework and I and I try to use it whenever I I I can %HESITATION I've just haven't been reading as much about it because I've been doing other things I it's a powerful framework and helps you understand a number of things it's not at the
00:16:26core of the elephant in the brain and are self deception about her motives though but it it does help us understand how we can be sort of very naturally hypocritical so %HESITATION what one way in which we are hypocritical is that we apply different standards other people than
00:16:41to ourselves hi and you might think we'd have to kind of know that we're doing that in order to do that but in fact %HESITATION the way it works is that when we think about ourselves at this moment when you're acting we are in this very near mode
00:16:53out and in your mode we're very practically oriented we up we have some theories but we believe everything's very complicated and %HESITATION in terms of goals were focused more on practical constraints and low level goals rather than high level goals on the other hand when we think about
00:17:08other people at other times and places far away from here and then we switch into farm out added four mode we have more confidence in our theories are we up think detail matters laughs we make more predictions based on just a few features about people and when we
00:17:24think about goals we are focused on very high level goals %HESITATION as opposed to little constraints and at that high level goal level we're focused on our basic fundamental principles and so when we focus on other people doing things at other times and places we are much less
00:17:38tolerant of deviations from what we think are simple moral principles we we were indignant that the people at other times and places wouldn't follow the simple rules that would make sense to ask even though in fact when we are confronted with situations like that how we focus all
00:17:53the detail %HESITATION that means things are complicated it's hard to judge and therefore we should be excused from a simple minded applications of these more principles and so I guess that that the the far bias allows for %HESITATION as to how does interact with the hidden notices that
00:18:09allow us to %HESITATION only completely ignore hidden motivations %HESITATION is that kind of a mechanism that they link together or is there something else well %HESITATION regarding our personal behavior %HESITATION we will more likely just act on their real motives in in you know especially when we are
00:18:29being very heavily watched up but when we start to think about other people or even ourselves at other times and places we more tend to talk in terms of the kinds of values we would like to pretend to have and we can presume that we have those values
00:18:44and that we apply them to other people we don't really even notice the difference between the values that we like to pretend to have the values we actually have the drive our actual behavior %HESITATION and that's the hidden elephant in the brain the fact that that we just
00:18:58don't notice how selfish we are eight adult an example %HESITATION I guess of the kind of the %HESITATION far biased being come people think about the future and you know I I feel compelled to to mention your first book here the age of and he %HESITATION which is
00:19:15short for emulations and that that's a real kind of tour of a science fiction reality but one where if I'm right you're you're trying to apply kind of near thinking about what our what our future world would look like maybe it is for a second %HESITATION you talk
00:19:28a little bit about what that %HESITATION how that works with that book is about yes so the idea is just to take a very specific technology scenario that people talked about a lot in science fiction futurism and just sit down and try to apply very methodically all the
00:19:44social science and and human sciences %HESITATION and even physical sciences I know too that smart to say a lot about what actually happened and that the major meta claim is you can say a lot I often think about these features in our house and they assume that you
00:19:58couldn't really work out what would happen that %HESITATION that's just impossible a lot of people do that are basically physical sciences are computer scientists who don't really believe that social sites exist and so %HESITATION this is part yeah I'm trying to demonstrate that social science does exist but
00:20:13we do know a lot and let me show you just how much how we can say about a concrete smart I hope to inspire other people than to take other stars and try to work it out with my step now that the sorry I'm focused on is an
00:20:25obvious they going to happen I'll but it's likely enough that it's worth working out if if if say it's worth having a hundred books in the future having a book on a star that has only one percent chance %HESITATION and I think this at least me thought in
00:20:39that book I I didn't really focus much on hypocrisy or or a self deception %HESITATION although it's their implicitly if you look at it I was more just in each section try to take our standard %HESITATION view of that phenomena and just apply it to the store and
00:20:53I think I can manage to do that one of the ideas which I think links %HESITATION the two books together if only a little bit loosely was was one where which because the idea of why do we sell to see even in their line %HESITATION are allowed to
00:21:07have you comment on this course the second but the underlying idea here being %HESITATION humans are %HESITATION are vastly more intelligent than than other %HESITATION living beings answer sort of this there's this trend of development %HESITATION of humans and of of the resulting development in the economy and
00:21:26I I love the %HESITATION there's a graph in the book which talks will bring volumes %HESITATION increases in and %HESITATION how it kind of if I'm right and look at looking at it looks like it xcelerated you can talk about why we self deceive why we deceive it
00:21:38off well we're talking to the elephant in the brain and %HESITATION the the basic fact is that the largest the animals with the largest brains are on the planet seem to mostly have large brains because of a complicated social environment it's not that they need big brains learn
00:21:56how to swim well or hunt twelve or to run %HESITATION it's mostly about being in a complicated social worlds and complicated social world you have to be able to judge who's your friend and who's your enemy and who knows what about who and be able to operate go
00:22:11along with what somebody says if you know what they're thinking and what do they think about somebody else Exeter and that's all very complicated %HESITATION and so up possibly that's the main reason out our ancestors and ourselves have large rates about the social world now %HESITATION in social
00:22:27worlds %HESITATION it can be valuable for you to deceive yourself %HESITATION that's the main reason it's valuable to deceive yourself about anything is that by deceiving yourself you can see if other people because other people are looking at you and trying to judge what you think what you
00:22:42believe and so for example if you're a sales person you're trying to convince people that you have a good product often one of the best ways to commit other people it's good product is to commit yourself it's a good product seem to sincerely believe in your product and
00:22:55so what we are trying to sincerely believe in ourselves and our motives and that's one of the main reasons we deceive ourselves about our motive so that %HESITATION somebody accuses us of having a %HESITATION low motive we can be indignant an outrage that how could anybody there think
00:23:08of such a thing because we don't see that when we look at ourselves what what what good did it do us they so is social obviously right now it's such an amorphous part of human existence social life so but it's not obviously come from an evolutionary perspective a
00:23:24good idea or necessarily right I mean what what it give us as a species this %HESITATION the social life well there are a lot of other effects of having big brains and for humans %HESITATION we've been spectacularly successful because of that in humans allowed of cultural evolution whereby
00:23:42individuals can learn during their live certain practices that other people can watch them a copy of them and that cultural accumulation this has enormously valuable it's one basically the main reason why we're now powerful rich compared to what we were a million years ago %HESITATION but that apparently
00:23:57isn't the main reason we have the big brain it's more of a side effect of it is very powerful side effect and the reason the big brains it allows to coordinate %HESITATION and I don't think you you put this graph in your book but that you know the
00:24:13the brain development %HESITATION %HESITATION sh it coincided with our cost was Hey I think we can be comfortable saying that enormous increases in and still living standards well being economic growth you know there is %HESITATION there's he's in a back to kind of the link between this and
00:24:28the age of EM %HESITATION the transitions in economic growth to do with the our our ability to I guess develop basic technology in an coordinate %HESITATION farming maybe can talk a bit about the %HESITATION the context of evolutionary history and in human development well I mean yeah the
00:24:44most obvious fact is that humans started out looking a lot like most other animals and now we look up the number three different humanity as a whole our civilization %HESITATION is now a huge influence and they are at the rates we've been going were relatively soon dominate the
00:25:01whole world and even crafts displaced the rest of the biosphere so are clearly something huge is going on and clearly our brains are are part of that %HESITATION and so we often previously assumed all because %HESITATION we are so powerful and successful and we have these big brains
00:25:19really we had the big rains in order to produce the success and us the surprising fact is that it seems that %HESITATION that's not it we actually have the big brains in order to manage these large complicated social world now an interesting fact about our our big brains
00:25:35is that %HESITATION say chimpanzees that they have very complicated politics %HESITATION Machiavellian politics if you will but it's very out in the open overt but that big changes that humans had compared to other primates were we developed weapons and we develop language and through these we could %HESITATION
00:25:51in for social norms and social norms could allow a lot more egalitarian treatment that we we shared food and treat each other equally %HESITATION didn't beat on each other and if we had just consistently enforced these norms about should have taken away a lot of the need for
00:26:05the big brains at least beyond being able to manage weapons language yes we have the biggest range of all so there's a disconnect there how is it that there are invention of weapons in language allowed us to we take away most of the advantages of Machiavellian politics that
00:26:22is in a forger group %HESITATION the aren't supposed to create some groups are supposed to beat on each other you are supposed to take advantage of the other people via your %HESITATION in all weapons or something and on the surface it does look like that they are treating
00:26:35each other equally and fairly nevertheless %HESITATION they shouldn't shouldn't he does you trains of that were true and that's a big clue to %HESITATION the elephant in the brain hypocrisy that is in fact there's a lot going on just below the surface and it eventually for dating on
00:26:52larger societies and then the then tribal societies and what's the link there like what happens to get at the transition from these that you've tribes in the jungle foragers and becoming farmers it's a different for you here is that is also a by product our ability to do
00:27:07that to actually cordon humongous skills well once farming became possible it was only possible because of human cultural plasticity if we had just cap to the same sort of norms and behaviours we had as forgers we would still be acting a lot like animals in a world where
00:27:25when we did what roughly felt natural be roughly the right thing to do but with our cultural passes the we could create new norms and enforce them and and and tell ourselves that there was a new set of behavior that was the right behavior in a new set
00:27:37of things that were the wrong sort of %HESITATION norm violating behavior and it took awhile but farming world was able to come up with a whole new set of norms and values and enforce those and that allowed us to live and work in a very different world where
00:27:52instead of wandering around we stayed in one place instead of ishe Calipari Lee sharing we have property and any quality a we have a set of a you know intermittent violence %HESITATION but mostly piece we have war and a lot of it %HESITATION and we have technology and
00:28:08specialization and just so many things that were different from what forgers did and all of this is because we had cultural plasticity ability to invent new norms and to follow them which is great but of course again we still it inherited this habit of pretending to have some
00:28:28motors were only really had others and so even farmers were not that self aware about why they did a lot of things if you don't want one thing that struck me just being somebody lives and and and North America %HESITATION in the last you know on a half
00:28:41century or something that there does seem to be a kind of direction of cultural development right so it doesn't feel random so you know there's this is an idea that comes from %HESITATION %HESITATION %HESITATION Kevin Kelly and if you if you know that all sure looked at what
00:28:56technology once where there's actually you know called us %HESITATION emergent direction for where technology is developing is there is there a is there something is there an idea Canadian culture like what culture wants are we going in a particular direction and that is that is that was sure
00:29:10that there's I think there's two main large scale trends over the last few centuries one is this a trend of increasing technology that is nobody's driving this technology training others is lots of people all over the world who tried to invent new technologies and then whenever they do
00:29:26they adopted if they locally like the the consequences even if all the rest of the world doesn't so %HESITATION the trend in technology has just been to invent more things and adopt them regardless of who anywhere a likes or not that's the basic technology trend and that's of
00:29:40course producing a wealth trend of making us rich and in the last few centuries that trend has been so strong that it's %HESITATION been faster than the rate at which we grow the population and so there's been an increase in wealth per person that wasn't true before a
00:29:55few centuries ago even though we are increasing technology was so slow that population keep up the lately a wealth has been dramatically increasing person and that's the other big trend I'd say over the last few centuries and that's what's causing most of the cultural trends I think you
00:30:09see so humans are just are primed to act differently when the rich them when they're poor for many good reasons and we're just seeing that laid out in many parts of society so I think that's an explanation for why we have increased leisure increased our team Chris travel
00:30:26%HESITATION decreased violence %HESITATION increased democracy decreased fertility decreased religion I just off lar wide range of trends of the last couple centuries I think %HESITATION can be explained because we're getting rich and yet what one of the only other another through another threat I mean it's gonna become
00:30:44clear to the listener how many different areas %HESITATION if you cover in a lot of your thinking and writing so another area that you that %HESITATION I found so interesting in your writing was the idea farmer and forager and so one of the one of the %HESITATION developments
00:30:58I suppose or another way framing development is that we're reverting to something more like a forager lifestyle as we become wealthy %HESITATION what's interesting about that given that you know your your point there about us being wealthier were actually starting to emulate the poor societies of all being
00:31:14the pre historical societies %HESITATION is is that just sort of an accidental irony or or how much we don't know that's the that's the because that is when we turned forgers and the farmers we did it through a lot of pretty strong social pressures are conformity pressures religious
00:31:30threats %HESITATION xterra and those pressures were mediated a lot by poverty and death that is %HESITATION you know centuries ago if you told the young woman that if she had a child out of wedlock she her child might star right that was a credible threat and she might
00:31:45well have seen other cases like that in the world around her %HESITATION today if you tell a young woman that if I thought she won't believe it correctly because she will in fact see many other young women around her who do okay having a child out of wedlock
00:31:58and so that having children what like it's much more forger like thing to do it was greatly discouraged in the farming world because of the poverty and real threats of of that society Norman Forsman and today those threats aren't there and so that's the main reason why we've
00:32:13drifted back in the fortune direction the forger values and attitudes of the kind of thing that feels natural when we just look inside ourselves without any sort of external considerations but in the farming world they make sure they paid attention to a lot of external considerations and that
00:32:27was precise of them and so is it is it the case that forgers than are in some ways wealthy mean about how you define poverty and well yes I mean it within %HESITATION many anthropologists couples decades ago called them the original affluent society now %HESITATION they're fluent in
00:32:44some ways but not others %HESITATION they they have a lot of free time that is the only work a modest number of hours today %HESITATION they don't have a lot of material wealth but they have a lot of our friendship and respect and %HESITATION you'll play and fun
00:32:57dance and music and and they don't again they don't have that much organized violence in terms of war it's all those things are are great for four years and of course they're also living in a world where again when they do something that feels right at roughly works
00:33:13I even even if they're relatively promiscuous %HESITATION it's okay for for Jews to be promiscuous that they're being roughly the amount of promiscuous that works for them %HESITATION at but us %HESITATION we're being rich going back to that %HESITATION in our leisure time but at work we're not
00:33:28so we are more schizoid I work were really hyper hyper farmers we actually put up with more domination and ranking and being told what to do %HESITATION than most farmers ever what I mean farmers had to work pretty hard but they mostly didn't have a boss hanging over
00:33:43them telling them what to do most farming workers were relatively independent people who you know after an early trade with a learn the job could possibly %HESITATION do the job according to their own judgment through most of their life so I we are forgers in our leisure time
00:33:58and not at work and to kind of can I come back to the book for second when people are buying health care are they really trying to get some of those %HESITATION %HESITATION social benefits of the forger society but dressing up as as some kind of health benefit
00:34:15in by four to but it's it's I mean you know they're looking to make to be made to feel better psychologically about their condition as opposed to make to be made actually hello you're acting out instincts to go all the way back to the forger era they don't
00:34:27necessarily thinking about it %HESITATION framing forgers when for just get sick they take care of each other and some of that is useful for forgers bought up even for forgers a lot of that is %HESITATION showing that they care about each other are they get a strong sense
00:34:41of of reassurance when %HESITATION their second and meet other people will stop and help them and protect them hot that that's very touching to a forger and it's still very touching us home is %HESITATION we are vastly richer and %HESITATION we can afford a lot more medicine %HESITATION
00:34:56that and so we spend a lot more about it on medicine or to show each other that we care but %HESITATION most of that at least half of that is actually hardly useful and so %HESITATION we do we could spend a lot less of medicine and have about
00:35:09the same health effect but we do it to show that we care it do you do you want to just sort of %HESITATION talking about the rand study that %HESITATION that was so I'm I just made a surprising it's one of the more surprising claims I think many
00:35:22people read in the book %HESITATION and this is a fact about the elephant in the rain and out our awareness of our hidden motives of varies from topic to topic and if you like we could we can go into why %HESITATION but in medicine it's it's one of
00:35:35the most extreme people are just not all aware that they are actually mostly by medicine for each other in order to make each other healthy because that actually doesn't happen so we have %HESITATION a lot of data about medicine of course but some of our best data is
00:35:51randomized experiments and grand experiment was one of our best randomized experiments so that is something that happened back in the nineteen seventies %HESITATION when roughly five thousand adults were randomly assigned to get free medicine or to pay nearly full price for their medicine and their health another beaver
00:36:09was tracked over a couple of years and the basic a fact was that %HESITATION the people who got free medicine consumed a lot more it's a thirty to forty percent more and they just weren't any healthier if you look at the twenty different health measures %HESITATION the more
00:36:25recently there was an organ %HESITATION randomized health experiment which found similar results %HESITATION in not organ %HESITATION the basic this was long relatively poor people and whether they got time for Medicaid and we have a lot of other data on dot geographic variation where we look at people
00:36:44living in different places and getting different levels of medical treatment because of where they live and the geographic variation it also consistently shows that people who live in places where they do a lot more medicine %HESITATION are getting healthier it is one way of interpreting this is that
00:37:00people all as a result of their expenditures are actually improving their mental health and that's maybe what they really want to try and do is is over at the depression associated with with %HESITATION %HESITATION it over missions it feels good to show that you care about other people
00:37:17and it feels good for other people to show they care about you and at some level if you don't believe that other people care about you that stressful and anxiety producing and %HESITATION you might want to do about the Oregon experiment also showed that %HESITATION when you give
00:37:29people money to cover the medical expenses than %HESITATION their lesson death and they feel less stressed stressed about the finances yeah right I which which is a benefit I guess %HESITATION but again it's just not health benefits something they think they're doing one of the things that that's
00:37:43%HESITATION it just again this idea of of mental health is that you know it's clearly a big problem in society and and %HESITATION you know as I've gotten older %HESITATION observing more be aware more where the world maybe observing more %HESITATION %HESITATION how mental health problems can be
00:38:00can be are are are terrible and an incredibly detrimental to people's lives maybe in individually and in the aggregate %HESITATION is that it is that is that kind of you to let me actually pause there go back to another quote of the from the book about her quote
00:38:13in the book which really thought about as they went back and re read the book kind of with this in mind where you say nevertheless we think that people can generally into it what's good for them even if they don't have an analytical understanding of why it's good
00:38:24for them in particular they have a keen sense further concrete self interest for them things are working out in their favor verses when a four story for when things are working on their favorite verses when they're getting a raw deal and so there's an instinct here which needs
00:38:37to be acknowledged anyway that that there's something they're getting out of this %HESITATION and was so what do you think about about what they're getting really getting out of healthcare is it just this reassurance yes so %HESITATION just to be clear %HESITATION we think that human behavior is
00:38:53really you know consistently well adapted to its environment at least to this ancient environment we may not be as good at making last minute changes to how the world change slightly so so we are very intelligent and clever at doing things and then we have these conscious thoughts
00:39:07about what we're doing and why and he's conscious thoughts are not actually that relevant for what we do that is we we think we make a conscious plan and then follow the plan but mostly we make conscious rationalizations for of the things we're doing for the reasons that
00:39:21we don't even consciously understand so %HESITATION most of this island in the brain is %HESITATION I'm at at this conscious level the level of the reasons we tell ourselves that we're doing things and of those reasons are just wrong compared to the reasons we actually have but we're
00:39:37actually pretty good at following the actual reasons we haven't and implementing them out it's the disconnect comes when we try to explain what we're doing to ourselves for other people so even in even in Madison %HESITATION our our habit of trying to %HESITATION take care of each other
00:39:51and and show that we care about them and to be honestly appreciative and grateful when other people take care of us that's functional for us it it bonds a switch other it at shows were allies are and that's a very important thing for the social species like us
00:40:05maybe one of the other incredibly important ideas and maybe the most important idea or the one that I enjoyed reading the most about was this idea of status and how the hidden motivation that so often guides our actions is one of status seeking or status affirmation and compares
00:40:19to the people you might just %HESITATION reflecting on that for a minute well I I noticed that it's often something my economist colleagues were reluctant to %HESITATION to talk about %HESITATION even though when she pushed over the edge that kind of a minute while it's obvious everybody has
00:40:33that and that's true for a lot of the things we talk in our book %HESITATION the either people are aghast and and and I think that sounds crazy or they say there's nothing new there everybody already knows this and that's true for status so we talk in our
00:40:45%HESITATION chapter in body language for example how about how when any two people in the same room or interacting with each other %HESITATION they have faced with a cult status moves were by their body position and movements ha negotiator relative status and that the actors have to learn
00:41:00how to do this so that they can seem realistic on stage or on the screen but the people doing this are usually just completely unaware of this relative status at what it is and and and what moves they're making to create it which is a remarkable really we
00:41:14spend all it's very important to us we spent a lot of energy doing it and we spent many years in school for example learning to talk and Wright and yet all we do all the status moves completely %HESITATION intuitively without conscious thought and we just mostly do it
00:41:27right and and how how does that relate to education you know the is specifically medication such a enormous part of our our lives really we spend so much time writing in it so much energy working at it or for many of us where we're we're buying education or
00:41:42buying status with her education of people don't like to admit that just because in general for just don't like to admit to doing anything for status they would prefer to admit to doing things for stage but even then they prefer to admit that doing things just to help
00:41:55each other xterra so our standard story about why we go to school is to learn the material and it sounds like it's a good thing for society for more people to learn more material because they'll know more things and then the prob more skill looked on jobs and
00:42:07that all sounds like a very good pro social sort of thing to do except we're not actually learning very much and what we do learn we hardly use so but what we do do is show that were better than others at school with each other we're smarter more
00:42:20conscientious for conformist no more of the social %HESITATION habits that we should have the workplace were very effective in school at basically showing that were better than other people I which is a kind of status %HESITATION but were less comfortable admitting that that's what we do what's cool
00:42:35now many of us do it meant to some extent but if you'll notice a graduation ceremonies statements of purpose etcetera went and when he you know economists or academic study educational and they try to figure out how to reform education they go to this idea that schools about
00:42:50learning material and they just focused on that as their main thing we're working on %HESITATION to the exclusion of these other sorts of accounts of what we're going to school what I was reading it I was reflecting back on my own education experience call it a secondary primary
00:43:05education and %HESITATION I I have to confess that was a pretty lazy student and I'm thinking it it now and I'm not all about %HESITATION trying suggests that I was immune to status seeking behavior search really not but I'm thinking about what kind of archer was wondering what
00:43:20kind of behavior it is to kind of play that game or whether there's some sort of %HESITATION you know other game I was trying to play by rejecting it you know there's there's something different about students who do work hard at school and and ensure kids you don't
00:43:33%HESITATION so anything's going to what's going on inside my head deep in the out was the elephant doing in my brain do you think well there's there's a nice academic paper by economists call too cool for school and %HESITATION it it outlines the idea that %HESITATION often you
00:43:46can she about an even higher status by showing that you can do okay in school without hardly working right yeah so there are many ways to show off schools only one of them %HESITATION and even you know students who were going to the same school they often show
00:43:59off through the other vocabulary their wealth their social connections %HESITATION their time that and are you know like abilities etcetera and school performance is only one of them and there's a sense in which %HESITATION somebody who like puts all their energy to school in the nuns well in
00:44:14school is lower status than other people who can get away with %HESITATION getting pretty good grades and hardly working at school and therefore are able to spend the time on all these other things that are socially important to get them up even higher status certification just a platform
00:44:28for for a showing off your your the status or trying to gain status I guess %HESITATION which is maybe why it's so valuable like somebody platform companies out there well it's privately valuable at least we can argue about the social value whether we should all be subsidizing it
00:44:41but clearly it's valuable for the individuals involved you know one of the things to that that I I my day job as a manager and so hiring people interviewing people all the time and and %HESITATION the thing that just frustrates me so much is is actually how much
00:44:58energy I have to spend trying to figure out somebody can actually do the job and you know the the the the the signal that I get from from the schools does work reasonably well but I would definitely say it's not awesome you know in particular right if I
00:45:14come across you know so some an actuary and I'm hiring I trees often in any come across %HESITATION a %HESITATION %HESITATION good you graduate who did not agree were that were all the %HESITATION all the classes are graded on a curve and and I'm looking at that you
00:45:27know I hadn't really experienced that too much when I was going to university but you know I genuinely don't know if he if they had any if they learn anything I honestly don't know and I wonder why they learned anything sometimes right so you might give them a
00:45:40try and see how they work and if they don't work out get rid of them but there's a lot of other people the world you won't give a try because they don't have sufficient education and when everybody knows that they they realize well I guess I need to
00:45:51get an education so that Lee somebody like you will give me a try sure there's there's a self reinforcing element to it right I mean absolutely how you break how can we break that well first we'd want to and so %HESITATION this is a key thing to understand
00:46:05about the health of the brain often when we talk about how to make the world better were not really very serious about it and so what I've learned through my studies social science for a long time is that we actually know a lot of ways to make the
00:46:18world better in the sense of giving us more of the things we say we want and I think the main explanation for why people are so disinterested and not reforms that social scientists produces that they kind of know at some level that they don't actually want the things
00:46:32they've been saying they want so no I'm not I'm not interested in education systems that help people learn more material or not not that interested in medical systems that produce more health and they're not that interested in political systems that that create a better policy because that's mostly
00:46:47not their personal motivation and being involved in these things and so I guess we can figure out ways to make things better always by some criteria for the harder part is to make anybody care you know there's actually another there's other set of ideas that I was expecting
00:47:02or or hoping to see an didn't I really really interested to hear what you what you think of the links might be and that isn't in your con is work on on cognitive bias where you know he talks in his book on thinking fast and slow about another
00:47:13hidden system inside her brain %HESITATION there will be a young conscious decision making system of highly skilled people you know it in this book you talk about the fire many walked into the burning down houses and so we have this almost premonition that was going to collapse and
00:47:26rushed out because you just stole highly trained %HESITATION it is there a link somewhere between %HESITATION between the that unconscious system in the elephant in the brain well humans are enormously complicated and the world is enormously complicated so obviously %HESITATION there's a lot of %HESITATION factors that influence
00:47:44and explain a lot of behavior and even in terms of motives almost everything we do there could be a wide range of modest relevant in this averaging over people there's probably a wide range of actual motives relevant so when we talk about hidden motives were talking about the
00:47:59means strong this motive and saying it's larger a different one than what other people thought as the main strongest water but there's really a lot of motives and a lot of things going on everywhere so %HESITATION there is a field of of economics and another gave also for
00:48:15science called behavioral economics etcetera %HESITATION that you're alluding to and in this world people often focus on a lot of these other factors %HESITATION and trying to explain behavior and there's a lot going on there %HESITATION but they don't tend to focus on %HESITATION sort of basic motives
00:48:31and %HESITATION they tend to you know present the world as if well it's just a complicated world where people just do all sorts of weird things because people are weird in the world's weird and that's all just complicate and we're actually saying in this book it's simpler there
00:48:45are some very simple hypotheses about what people's real motives are that that help you understand a lot of the beavers even if it's complicated and quirky and it's less about just knowing that the specific quirks and complexities that up particular people are prone to and more about asking
00:49:02just what's fundamentally going on in the chair there's a one particular calling the bias and I forget the name but actually it is maybe you won't maybe you'll know %HESITATION it is hard work in the insurance business and one of the important characteristics of this business is it's
00:49:16our restating business and so what we do is you obviously undertake a financial arrangement whereby you pay the down side and so all the distributions in this business %HESITATION have very heavily skewed and and the the %HESITATION the cost of a small slip up tends to be pretty
00:49:30large and so there's an interesting kind of self deception which happens in in our business where people pretends like the bad thing exists or is happening even when it's not and so we can let all these risk in a portfolio of risks and and it's almost as though
00:49:45we walk around or have a cultural walking around thinking that the seventy percentile is is the is is true and and those who don't %HESITATION really lose all the money because because they slip up right because it you know it's almost like a we half river or sort
00:50:01of pre committing to %HESITATION to being conservative in anticipation you know service very layered kind of game that we play with ourselves and others at a colleague of mine who would tell the story where every year they the %HESITATION there's a there's an it at a management meeting
00:50:16at his company and the the CEO would berate the organization about how the standards of slipping in and %HESITATION and %HESITATION my gosh we're gonna we're all gonna you know the were our companies can it go out of business if we keep offering this way and then the
00:50:28next day the finance guys would get up and they would go through the %HESITATION the investor presentation and sure enough %HESITATION net assets go up by ten percent twelve percent every every year and and actually exceeding and so the culture of deliberately self exceptional deception right I did
00:50:41a deceptive rather and I wonder what you think about or other other any instances in life where while we can use to our advantage so in our book we spend the first of the book just talk about the general idea why it might be possible that we have
00:50:53had motives and then the last two thirds of the book or ten different chapters where we go over specific areas of life and try any cherry said there's a usual story about her motives here some puzzles and then here's a better explanation from us but these ten chapters
00:51:05on don't cover all of life %HESITATION there's a lot of other things still to be investigated and understood about what our motives and if there is on this is clearly true for a lot of %HESITATION business life including in your industry other you know most of the time
00:51:18when people are doing something there's a thing they're saying about why they're doing it looting going to a meeting %HESITATION hiring someone and then more possibly there are other reasons that are the real reasons and we have to study each one of those things in detail to see
00:51:28what those other real reasons are %HESITATION I could just mention this the very fact that people are buying insurance is puzzling yeah that's that the the usual story about we white people buy insurance is is to reduce the risk issues as you say but in fact %HESITATION there's
00:51:44very large wrist people have that they're not at all interested in buying insurance against and there are relatively small risk that people seem obsessed and buying insurance against and that undercuts the theory that in fact what they're doing is trying to lower the risk %HESITATION then so we
00:51:57have you have to start to consider some other hypotheses will why are people buying %HESITATION some kind of insurance and others at at some level it looks like %HESITATION it just often a social habit that is one of the people around you by certain kind of insurance and
00:52:10you seem like a responsible person if you buy the insurance not even if it's a relatively modest risk and if there's other risks around that nobody else is insuring around if you start to try to insure against that other people will look at you as being a weakling
00:52:23or in secure in and specially confident and then you're discouraged from insuring %HESITATION other risks so not the very basic level it's the white people buy insurance I has hidden motives O. and I and I think a lot many fewer people would buy it if they could get
00:52:40away with it it me most insurance on a car by law yeah absolutely that's right and and an auto insurance workers compensation insurance and many other con property insurance for your home if you get a mortgage I mean most most things are are forced of most insurance purchases
00:52:54are forced upon us and I think that there's a there's the car did it you know common which had called in a vise the heart of that is yours undervaluing the low probability events because you just figure they're not going to happen and so you know the government
00:53:06steps in to to sort of stop that I'm but even that might mean that may have other explanations that is that the standard explanation fry any regulation happens or any government rules happens as well it's for all general benefits it makes us all better off and that's no
00:53:21doubt a motive but it may well not be the main motive for a lot of these regulations yeah and it I'm of course thinking back to the health insurance or the health care %HESITATION come part of our conversation right we're not late last week each requirement for health
00:53:38insurance and courage meant to get health insurance and again it's at least half of that is just wasted because we don't need that much health insurance because we don't need that much medicine and I'm from Canada originally where of course very different system than than here that I'd
00:53:53states Rev live for seven years and %HESITATION you know even still I still feel that the the I don't know from a personal standpoint the %HESITATION somewhat longing for when you don't have to worry about it about the cost of of healthcare and and %HESITATION of course that's
00:54:09an illusion that the government puts upon us and they reset Russian and other ways right %HESITATION but it sure does feel you can think of that as just rating for the people around you taking care of you Jr you know and that's the sort of forger instead you
00:54:24you really wanted other people to take care of you and show that they cared about you ought to think of the example of Valentine's chocolates so when you buy a chocolate for somebody on Valentine's you don't actually ask yourself how hungry they are and asking how much to
00:54:37buy you ask well how big a box of chocolate or expensive a box of chocolates I need to buy to distinguish myself from someone who doesn't care as much about me now if you don't have somebody to by talking about you you might feel bad because you're all
00:54:48alone people in that situation often by themselves a box of chocolates so that they can you know and leave it around the office or whatever so they can show and feel like they were taken care of one one of one comes idea want to come back to %HESITATION
00:55:04yet again is sort of feeling out how how in what ways the this this hidden motivations are are actually %HESITATION us called macro efficient so what I mean by that is you know are are what we as a re better off because we have this in obviously the
00:55:20book is is %HESITATION trying to illustrate the value the idea by showing how much we can gain by reversing some of its effects right so if only we we didn't have you know healthcare felt this way we could you know we can improve our lives by doing it
00:55:32but are there ways in which is actually really good and and it you know better off for having this well I mean this is our nature and so there's certainly a sense in which all of our mental capacities and everything else are built up around the habits of
00:55:47of of these sorts of pretend motives real motives and we would be somewhat lost even to think about how to deal with the world where %HESITATION we work behaving this way %HESITATION that would be certainly be an adaptation required to change any of these things but the first
00:56:01thing we want to say is just from an individual point of view you're mostly better off %HESITATION you know following the usual hypocrisy and not even being aware of your hidden motives because that's how evolution seems to about you and that seems to be in your personal interest
00:56:15socially collectively we may be substantially worse off it might be better off if we could all like subsidize schools Lawson subsidized education but last and many other things but the problem is how could we collectively get together to do that in order to do that we would have
00:56:29to especially in a democracy would have kinda have to admit that this is what's going on to each other at a at a massive scale we just aren't very inclined to do that and we just aren't inclined to actually deal with politics as if it was really about
00:56:42making the world better even our country better we talk that way we talk as if let's try to find a policy to make the country better than let's try to advocate it let's get some group together let's lobby are politician level like politicians who will adopt a better
00:56:55policy we talk that talk but it's just not what's really going on our hearts with that's not the thing that drives us and motivates us ought to be involved in politics and so in fact there's a lot of ways to make the political system work better and you
00:57:08could tell people about it and they could not and say yes that makes sense and they yawn and they quickly lose interest because it doesn't actually touch their real political motivations can't can't be tweaks you know I I think that there's a there's something else that I read
00:57:22%HESITATION and gosh I think I read it it's something you wrote where %HESITATION where when you look at a system the more general it is the the more similar will look like to other systems that are trying to do the same thing right so so I think that
00:57:35the example I read was like a a pair of eyes so if we look at three found Charlie in somewhere they their eyes are probably look like something like our eyes because or they're all trying to achieve the same goal there's so many different things that I need
00:57:46to do that there's not really too many different ways that they could they could manifest themselves I'm sure if you apply that idea to to this this %HESITATION the %HESITATION the elf in the brain and and the way that we socialize and interact you know maybe it exists
00:57:58this way because it's holding for so many different constraints and so many different things that we have to do through our social interactions that that actually to try and change something might have unintended consequences somewhere else and sort of blow something up that we didn't expect what we're
00:58:12not claiming we have %HESITATION you know grand solution how everything should change in light of this our first claim is just that social scientists should be paying attention this taking it seriously and and if and and until you do will probably just be misdirected us so that's the
00:58:26first and strongest claim is that the people who focus and study on social behavior and try to reform it they should at least understand this and then other people society were curious and wanting to understand what's really going on in their lives they might want to know although
00:58:38with the caution that evolution apparently built the Latin own maybe they're off not knowing %HESITATION but there's a long road to go to try to build reforms to reduce all that but one thing we send the conclusion is that the social reform design problem is harder than we
00:58:53had thought so for example when we we thought school was about learning material than we had to design ways to help people or the material better and that wasn't easy but we've actually come up with a lot of those that people are just not very interested in now
00:59:07that you know people really want to show off their being smart conscientious six cetera while pretending to learn the material %HESITATION now if you want to come up with the reform design you have to %HESITATION me to constraints you after both continue to let people pretended to the
00:59:21thing they want to pretend to be doing and also offering them a better deal on the thing they're actually trying to get out that's harder to do we social scientists are not practiced in %HESITATION that more complicated design problem but if we can solve that one were much
00:59:36more likely to achieve some success in designing things that people would actually want if they were offered to them but even then of course of their attitudes and political in the political process might not induce them to want to bother to endorse it even if it would help
00:59:50them because again political instincts are really not about pushing better policy and so was the low hanging fruit do you think you know it for for %HESITATION you know much more seasoned institution designer that you are now %HESITATION where would you focus your attention I mean the simple
01:00:06things are just things that are actually counterproductive it also subsidize medicine lessons that I schools less %HESITATION things like that %HESITATION if if we can't even do that it's gonna be much harder to come up with other more clever solutions %HESITATION so the analysis suggests that the those
01:00:26would make us better off %HESITATION but the question is can we admit that to ourselves in a public way not that would be required to actually adopt this policy as a regular time here I'd like to just it kind of close with maybe you have an ask of
01:00:42the audience %HESITATION what what's something that people can do to to trying for this is something a people problem %HESITATION how can we help so I I think you should just pause and and ask yourself you know to questions like how important is the sound of the surface
01:00:56like is this am I making like some minor little correction or is this a big deal and I think you'll agree with me that this if I'm practices is a really big deal the second lesson ask yourself is how much you care and I'm afraid you'll often find
01:01:09that you kind of shrug your shoulders and say yeah but I don't care because it's not very pleasant to look at the elephant in the brain it's something we're trying to look away from we're trying not to see and so we're actually mostly looking for any excuse to
01:01:22look away and solicitous this podcast is over you may quickly one look away and find something else to look at which is fine if your job isn't to be understanding human behavior and and and and reforming institutions but if your job is in some way you see as
01:01:37trying to understand the world well enough to our design reforms to improve it than my ask is that you overcome your emotional reluctance to look at the elephant in the brain and realize that this is a big important topic and make yourself pay attention my guest is Robert
01:01:55Hanssen robin your book comes out in January is that right that's right available anywhere people want to look at him is on we're gonna get us it'll be out from Oxford that'll be yes available most everywhere great blogs and overcoming buy stock com robin thank you very much
01:02:11for being part of the show thanks so much for having me thanks for listening to this conversation if you enjoyed it please leave a rating and comma and iTunes as it helps others discover show good web trough that's W. ET T. R. O. U. G. H. dot com
01:02:26for the show notes and other content if you want to join the email list to get notified when a new episode of the no fly cast comes available you can sign up web dot com slash thanks again

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