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Sailors on a Dark Sea: Illusion of Explanatory Depth


'The Gulf Stream' by Winslow Homer Image via Wikimedia Commons
'The Gulf Stream' by Winslow Homer Image via Wikimedia Commons

As we sail through this world of technological marvel and complex systems, it’s easy to assume we know the watery depths that yawn beneath our hull. As it turns out, however, it’s all an illusion of explanatory depth. We think we understand day-to-day gadgets, but are at a loss to explain their functionality. We think we understand policy and politics, but are better at explaining why we hold our beliefs than how particular policies might solve life’s hideous problems. In this two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe dip into the waters of cognitive illusion.

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Topics in this Podcast: human condition