Sunday, September 19, 2010

Essentialistic fallacies

Essentialism fallacies
There is an underlying belief that we need things to be well in their essence, and that the only source of well-being is from stable and essential- true sources.

But happiness and health can come from endless directions.

We may enjoy life by fooling ourselves. Pursuing goals or by avoiding goals. We can find five seconds of fun from many sources.

We may improve life by sleeping enough no less than by getting our act together in more essentially sounding ways.

Placebo effects make people healthy. Reading health research makes me extremely sad for the waste of not using placebo to heal. Many drugs have an effect strength way below that of the placebo effect. Yet the establishment is not investing in researching placebo, nor using it, which is a very painful and sad fact. Due to the essntialism fallacy.
Most historical cultures made ample use of the placebo effects via shamans, religious rituals etc. There was no shame in using it. But nowadays stupidity dictates to avoid improving life in "religiously unapproved" means like placebo or other psychological tricks.

Nassim taleb noted that people tend to define relationships as marriage etc. as superior. But in reality we can feel connected and get the benefit of friendship from random meetings, and from connections that have other motifs, as well as many other ways of being connected (even Facebook sometimes brings value).

PS. There are clearly advantages to these so called essential sources of health and happiness. These tend to be more stable, and in aspects more comprehensible. Yet do not be fooled by these advantages. These values are not always there, and their effect can be limited. It is sometimes a mere cultural belief and mind bias.

Essentialism is natural to the human psych so has shown paul blum in many experiments. But as grown up kids, we may try to go for what is good for us, and not be totally fooled by our minds tendencies.

No comments: