Fleece Minutia

Wiki Contributions


Thanks for the review! It got me to buy and then devour the book. It was a great read; entertaining and providing a range of useful mental models. Applying McRaney's amalgam Street Epistemology is hard work, but makes for exceedingly interesting and very friendly conversations about touchy subjects - I am happy to have this tool in my life now.

Thank you for the nice post!

In the spirit of https://xkcd.com/208/, I'd like to share a completely imaginary story of how this might come in handy:


I open the door and yell "Hoooney, I'm home earl--heeey! What is going on here?"

"Uh oh, nothing, sweetheart," says the flustered, sweaty, naked honey. The door at the other end of the house slams loudly.

"Hmm," my mind says, "it sure does look like someone is having an affair. The third party left through the kitchen, leaving my partner there in a bit of a bind."

I struggle to contain the rising jealousy in my chest. Before it gets the better of me, I remind myself of the old rationality trick: Try to maintain at least one extra hypothesis.

"Oh, hold on, we've trained for this!" says my mind. "Split and commit! Make an alternative hypothesis! Look for disconfirming evidence! So what kind of world contains a flustered, sweaty, naked honey, a slamming door at the other end of the house, and NOT honey having an affair?"

There's no time for System 2 work, so I smile at honey and catch the first alternative hypothesis I see: I just walked in on my partner experimenting with hot naked yoga in secret, and the back door closed in the draft I caused when opening the front door.

My feeling of jealousy stops rising, unsure about what to do with itself now that my brain has two mutually incompatible hypotheses.

Fearing the worst and hoping for the best, I ask playfully: "Are you doing hot yoga without me?" and add more slowly: "...or is it time for... a talk?"