Well a simpler heading for this item would call it “Being Human”. One of the more subtle and difficult-to-describe aspects of living organisms is our perception of linearity, I mean the way we imagine things follow one after the other in single file. I’m always working with concepts like propagation, looking for more adequate ways to talk about how everything we do changes everything we do next, not just one next, sequential thing.
An interesting counterpart to this effect is the difficulty of seeing and/or measuring clearly what we already value. We can be blind to the subtlety of our preferences and prejudices.
The following article has a fun on-line try-it-for-yourself example of something researchers call the “Monte Hall Effect”. If you choose one thing from among three, and then one of the things you didn’t choose is eliminated, how do you feel about the choice you are making? The researchers are interested in how this effect relates to statistical analysis, but I think it’s a great example of counter intuitive truth. To paraphrase one of the researchers, making choices changes things.
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.