Blinding to Fraction

Humans, the self proclaimed messiah of rationality, are amazing creatures. We never fail to amaze ourselves with the rationality that we hold, be it the blinding to fraction or the small Diwali celebration during the unprecedented pandemic. How rational are we when it comes down to the decision we make in our day to day activities? Are we really rational as we think we are? What does this word rational really mean? According the famous author Daniel Kahneman, rationality is the self coherence when we face dilemma during decision making of same things framed in a subtle different way. I am pretty sure that if this is the premise of our evaluation then we are definitely holding a degree issued by our self owned university.

As it seems that we humans are not always rational. Sometimes we are sitting on a plane with our seatbelt on and the plane is in auto-pilot mode. Yes, you read it right. Whenever we face a certain dilemma we are prone to our biases or anchored to our previous experiences. This is what is called the System-1 of our mind. This part is prone to make judgements and creates narrative fallacies which hold us in a close demimonde of previous experiences. The other slow part is analytical which is called the System-2. Even though this part is reasoning driven but this also sometimes accepts the intuition passed by System-1.

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This is the world picture few days back. As we celebrate the home confinement, take a step back to think how we are blind to fraction. Human emotional reaction to a whole number and fractional number is different altogether. As you see the data from the above picture, evaluate the below two old scenarios and ask yourself which is more shocking to you?

You might well see that the second case is quite negligible in your mind even though both cases are same. This is what is called blinded to the fractional numbers. Apart from this we are also biased by the previous SARS experience. The previous SARS virus was confined within China only and this led us to think that this virus will be also same. But to our nightmare our anchoring towards previous experience failed very hard. This has drained your premonition of rationality towards a great extent.

What is needed in this hour of dark time is your human rationality to its highest levels. As we solicit with the lost souls, we also need the coherence to the safety norms and analytical thinking. With all the efforts given towards the achievement of political goals, religious goals and unwanted social celebrations at this time the more we will drive longer on the auto-pilot plane. Quoting Donald Runsfeld Unknown Unknown may come soon.

This article is written by -

Subhodip Panda