Currently Reading Prometheus Rising 2/?
I got through the first few chapters, I'm not the sort to sit and read for hours, but to sit and read a chapter while I cook or settle into bed or something, so It's slow going. The initial section of the book is talking about how people think. It says that the mind can be said to be divided into two beings: the thinker and the prover. The thinker thinks arbitrarily, and the prover proves whatever the thinker thinks. This is very in line what I've always thought, that people simply believe what they want to believe, and that all or most "rationalism" is actually just post-hoc rationalizing. Our reasoning follows our conclusions rather than preceding them. We believe things and then justify them, rather than analyzing things and reaching the most reasonable conclusion. Every chapter ends with a list of exercises, which I thought amusing but largely uninteresting. I was, however, quite surprised. The first exercise is to envision a quarter, and then count how many days it takes to find a quarter on the ground. It then asks you to think about this exercise in two different ways and try it twice. The first way it refers to as "selective attention," to believe that there are lots of quarters out there and you were bound to find one eventually, and the exercise simply gave you confirmation bias. The second is to believe that the mind controls everything, and thinking about quarters made one manifest. It asks you to test which method works faster, and to analyze and think about what all that means. I dismissed this as stupid. I live on the edges of a small town, and when i go outside it's mostly to walk innawoods by the river. Not a lot of dropped quarters out there. I haven't seen one in years, so I figured I wouldn't be able to do the experiment at all and just moved on. The very next day I found a quarter in the mud. Then I walked ten feet and found another one. Then I got home and found one on my bedroom floor. Not sure what to think about that, but I'll continue reading.
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