You're not as clever as you think.


We all think we're very clever. Especially us techies. So rational. So logical. So smart.

For thousands of years, philosophers have sharpened minds, taught us logic. And over the last 100 years, our IQ's have gone up 30 points - that is a whole two standard deviations. In other words, today, we'd consider the average person, born in 1890, retarded. And if an average American managed to make our way back to 1910, he or she would be considered gifted.

So, we're proud of ourselves. We've built our society on our ability to make good decisions: democracy and capitalism both depend on us acting rationally.

But over the last few decades, psychologists have uncovered literally hundreds of cases where people consistently act non-rational. And our strong belief that we're smart and logical doesn't make our decisions any better. So: we all need a shot of humility.

I'm happy to dish out some insults and shatter your illusion of rationality.

And better: I've got some ideas about dealing with it. No, there's no solving - our gray matter is as it is - mushy and fallible. But some of the worst flaws can be worked around and, us geeks, we can learn to be more social. So here is my promise: after the insults follow some Social Skills for Geeks.

Room 106
Saturday, January 23, 2016 - 16:30 to 17:30