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10

Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart

Lecture no. 10 from the course: The Philosopher's Toolkit: How to Be the Most Rational Person in Any Room

Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart

Taught by Professor Patrick Grim | 30 min | Categories: The Great Courses Plus Online Philosophy & Religion Courses

Dive into the world of heuristics, simple rules of thumb that guide us through immediate decisions when we lack the time needed for logical analysis. You’ll reflect on the wisdom of crowds, find out why German college students do better than Americans on U.S. demographic quizzes, and consider the utility of “good enough” solutions.

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r********m
March 29, 2019
Great lecture, as usual. There's something I like to add about "wisdom of crowds": This "wisdom" typically only works when it is a fairly trivial subject, such as guessing the weight of a bull or the number of peas in a jar. As soon as the matter is not trivial anymore, "wisdom of crowds" usually fails spectacularly. Eg when people have to guess the distance to Rigel or the mass of a neutron. Second, countless studies have shown that (particularly in free democracies) the intelligence of the average voter (thus the average intelligence of the population) has a huge influence on how well a country is doing. In fact the average IQ is so important that little else also plays an important role. So you don't want any crowd, but an intelligent, fairly well informed crowd. And the best crowd would be highly intelligent people with a big range of knowledge. Both which in fact would SUPPORT Francis Galton's notion of eugenics. This could have been pointed out more clearly in the lecture. Maybe it wasn't because supporting something "evil" like eugenics is sure not "politically correct" in our time. ;-)

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m********t
July 2, 2016

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