Why we often choose to keep useful information out of our heads

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/08/19/why-we-often-choose-to-keep-us.html

Seems like this would be some really useful information, but for some reason I just can’t bring myself to listen…


Yes, most notably when people turn to violence (overt or covert, physical or existential) to act as fingers in their ears.

You don’t have to accept and tolerate a difference with a person you don’t let yourself see as a person.

That’s what I think we need to work on. Together. Respect for others derived from respect of self. Not degradation of others derived from worship of self.

Very much on topic, I think it’s a matter of humility.


No matter how enlightened any society is - a certain percentage of it will be stupid ignorant cockwombles. Not a problem if that percentage is under damage threshold and/or they are dispersed. On their own, they tend to keep quiet and to themselves.
Modern communications technology has enabled the SICs to find each other, and that is a problem. And if they manage to promote one of their own into a position of power, everybody’s got a real problem.


Confirmation bias too. If they’re surrounded by neighbours who laugh and point at their Pegida flag, they cultivate their resentment in private. If they find a far right website, their views are confirmed.
The human race still hasn’t really sorted out how to deal with social groups much bigger than 130.

Edit - Dunbar uses 150 but it’s more nuanced than that. I thought this article was a useful summary:



Why 130, where’d that came from?

Anthropologists have suggested that the human race has evolved as hunter/gatherer groups that rarely exceeded about 130* individuals. Terry Pratchett inverts this in some of his books with the idea that there are only 130 real people in the world which is why we keep meeting one another.

*edit - or thereabouts, see the original post which I’ve edited.


Thanks for that link. I thought the comments there were very good too.

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Interesting. I’ll probably visit the Neanderthal museum later this year, must remember to look whether they have anything on this.

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Oh that could never… uhmmm… happen? ahhh fuque.

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I’m not curious to know how to “cause great harm both to individuals and whole cultures” it just doesn’t seem like useful information but that might be bias against misleading media headlines.

That first line on the post, what amazing revisionist claptrap!

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