Expert decisions…

Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

Does a mass on a mammogram indicate breast cancer? Will Serbia be a member of the EU by 2025? Will there be more floods in Germany in five years’ time? The diagnoses and predictions made by doctors, scientists, and experts often have far-reaching consequences. And in many cases, it is only years later that it is possible to say which expert made the right call most often.

An interdisciplinary research team from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries has developed a simple new method that can be used to identify the best decision-makers from a group of experts without having to know whether their decisions — past or present — are correct or incorrect. “Providing that at least half of all decisions made within the group are correct — which is typically the case in expert groups — and that each person has made about 20 yes/no decisions, this method has proved to work very well,” says Max Wolf, researcher at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries and co-author of the study.

The method was developed on the basis of insights into collective intelligence. It rests on a simple assumption: Those individuals in a group of experts who make decisions that are most similar to the decisions of others also make the best decisions. For yes/no decisions, this assumption is easily confirmed by means of mathematical modeling. To test whether the method also works in real groups, the researchers analyzed published predictions and diagnoses made by various groups in different fields. (1)

Great method. Which also seems to work.

But should we trust it?

Be aware of the things which work.

Decisions of most people tend to be correct. But from when do “most of the people” reach the correct decision on any of the great philosophical questions? The truth is never revealed to the many. For even if that seems so now, at the end you will see that the path was wrong.

We strive for live.

We are afraid of death.

And yet…

What is life?

What is death?

Trust not the many but the one man standing aside the crowd silent.

It is there that you will find the truth screaming…

Parrots: The most dangerous of (human) animals!

One day during the Covid-19 pandemic, someone asked someone: Why should people going at churches should kiss the icons anyway? They are just objects. They are not needed to prove that you believe.

The comment was answered rather dogmatically by others: “Because icons are part of the christian faith. Refer to the ecumenical synods and what they said about the matter”, someone commented.

What a dull way to answer.

Reminds me of the bibliography one uses in his phD. “This was said by that important person and whoever wants to challenge it, he cannot” kind of ‘argument’. It is really amazing how simple questions questioning things we take for granted to-day are so difficuly to answer by most.

The reason?

Simple: We cannot answer things we do not know.

And most of the things we know, we do not know.

This was just an example of how people tend to believe things without being able to understand or support them on their own. From religion to science, from medicine to politics, topics of such nature and people of such nature are pretty easy to find.

We all look up to geniouses who think of things.

We all wait to see what our great spiritual leader will say.

We all admire great politicians who take a stand.

We surely all think highly of great scientists who change the future.

Surely we do.

Surely they deserve our admiration.

Because of what they did.

Because of what they say.

Because of what they know.

But we do not.

And until we do, we are nothing more than parrots.

Repeating.

And repeating.

And repeating.

Whatever we have heard. Whatever we have been told.

Without knowing why.

Without caring why.

Why does the Michelson Morley experiment results in the special relativity? Isn’t there any other way to interpret it?

No! Einstein said so!

(Well, actually there is another way. And even Einstein admitted it – see here)

Why do we need icons in faith?

Well, the ecumenical synods said so!

(Well, actually there is a great dispute over this. But even your common logic might have something to say on the matter, despite what the ecumenical synods said…)

Parrots.

All they do is repeat what they have been told.

So fun…

Oh, look at that beautiful colorful bird.

Listen to it crying what it has heard…

“Hello!”

“Hello!”

So cute…

So deadly…

PS. I am not at all implying anything regarding the matters mentioned above as examples. There might be a very good reason to have icons in christian faith and, to be honest, by discussions I have had I do know of arguments for them. However these discussions were made with people with an opinion. Not with… parrots.

ESP, sixth sense, beliefs, beliefs.

Ever get the feeling you have extrasensory perception, or ESP — a “sixth sense” that gives you powers of perception that transcend the familiar five senses?
Well, you’re wrong about that.

A new study, published online Jan. 13 in the journal PLOS ONE, shows that there’s simply no such thing as a sixth sense.

Didn’t see that coming, huh?

“People are correct in believing that they have an ability to sense changes in their environment even when they cannot verbally identify what those changes are”, study co-author Dr. Piers Howe, a psychology professor at the University of Melbourne in Australia, told The Huffington Post in an email. “It is just that this ability is not a quasi-magical sixth sense. It can be explained in terms of known visual processes”.

In the study, 10 men and women between the ages of 19 and 43 were given brief glimpses of “before” and “after” photos of the same woman. In some cases, the “after” photo was the same as the “before.” In others, one of the woman’s features was altered — for example, the color of her hair or lipstick.

The men and women were asked whether the photos were the same or different. If they noticed a change, they were asked to identify the change from a list of options. How good were they at noticing changes? Not bad! They picked up on the altered photos around 73 percent of the time. But in some of these trials, even though they detected a change, they could not pinpoint the difference.

“What people were doing was processing information that they couldn’t verbalize but were picking up on, often subconsciously”, Howe told The Guardian. And that explains the feeling of ESP – instead of having a “sixth sense”, our sense of vision may detect a change in our environment or someone’s appearance while we are not directly focusing our attention on it.

“It’s a bit like an abstract painting”, Howe said. “It doesn’t depict anything you can label, such as a sea or mountain, but you can still get a lot of information on what’s going on”. (1)

It is really laughable how easily we can discredit an idea based on another idea. People who believe in NOTHING, tend to easily ridicule the beliefs of others, no matter how many the indications in favor of them. Here a visual test serves as a “proof” for the non-existence of something which has nothing to do with it! An explanation for something provides an explanation for something else. Those who want to limit themselves in the boundaries of their bodies can do so as they wish. But stopping others from reaching their potential is purely idiotic and bad. And will not even start listing the articles I have written about the subject of consciousness (see here for a sample).

Believe in nothing. Or believe in something.

But don’t you ever believe you believe in the right thing!

Because my sixth sense tells me I will slap you in the face if you do…

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