Reality Blind - Vol. 1

definition, don ’ t last long.

Bottom line: Each generation resets its baseline of “ normal ” , and thus becomes intergenerationally blind to significant changes.

Moral Biases

" If I look at the masses I will never act. If I look at the one, I will ."

- Mother Teresa

Summary: Earlier we detailed why we have difficulty grasping large numbers – it ’ s difficult to emotionally connect with terms such as “billions of years” or “trillions of dollars”. In part, this is due to some degree of innumeracy - how many people have a real sense of how a million relates to a trillion? But this retreat of feeling starts with much lower numbers; in fact, psychological research shows it starts with the number 1. When presented with information and circumstances about a starving child, we will commit to donate money to help her. When shown a picture of her with her brother in similar condition, however, our intended donation goes DOWN by 25% (when we learn there are two children in need, logic would suggest our donation should increase). If you then add a whole village of children who need help, the intent to donate drops precipitously 66 . The same dynamic applies to multiple other issues. We will stay riveted to the TV coverage of the rescue of a baby who fell down a water-well but manage to ignore the genocide of Rwanda or island-wide hurricane


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