Observations May Be Illusions – DoWoo #198/365

BrainGamesThis Brain Games show is really turning out to be a seriously cool thing to watch with Gregory.  I’m learning so much and for him to be learning this now – at his young age – all I can say is wow! I can only imagine the tilt this younger generation has on us – what information they have at their finger tips so much earlier than we have.  

This evening we watched the episode “What You Don’t Know” (Netflix Season 2 Episode 6). It’s about our brain and all the things we don’t know.  There are a series of test and experiments “designed to show how surprisingly little (our) brain understands about how the world works.” 

The first test was a short video of this bus.  It was vibrating slightly as if idling, there were geese flying to the right, a plane taking off and flying to the left.  The audience were asked to decide which way the bus would move if it were to go forward.  


The host explained almost every child under 10 would be able to answer this question correctly. Turns out I answered this based upon what I perceived to be the external clues I thought were included to point us in the proper direction (plane and geese).  I was incorrect.  

Here is what caught my mind…no pun intended (actually on second thought, pun intended): 

“We constantly come across problems we can’t solve and if we were honest with ourselves we’d admit it.  Psychologist have a term for this: Illusion of Knowledge.”  Shankar Vedantam – NPR Science Correspondent

“Our brains are wired to try and provide an answer. It’s a basic survival mechanism to make you feel more in control. After all nobody likes to walk around feeling lost and clueless; especially about things we think we should know.”

OK – is anyone else going where I am going here?? 

brain foodAfter watching all the ways we are so assured of our responses, filling in the blanks…well, now I’m thinking that even my intent to observe (rather than have opinions) may be moot if my brain is working within the Illusion of Knowledge. Then, how many of those we interact with are also working within the same illusion?  Hmmm….

Any thoughts? 

I wrote this while listing to Spotify (now available in Canada!). The station? Brain Food of course! 


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4 thoughts on “Observations May Be Illusions – DoWoo #198/365

  1. Sandra Owen

    Love today’s post Carolynn. Don’t think we have that program in the UK but I will look out for it. I am learning the same things you are about knowledge from other sources. What I learnt recently, we make decisions based on our assumptions of right and wrong using our intellect, when all these are past thinking. The only place to truly know the answer is in the Now which is forward thinking, creative intelligence, feeling based potentiality. Our brains can see familiar objects from an unfamiliar perspective and not know what it is, yet see unfamiliar objects from a familiar perspective and using inductive reasoning and creative thinking work out possibilities. Possibility and potential are fluid and creative. Be the observer and not a judge. ( besides which, judges wear funny wigs !!! Ha ha ha ha ) I love this brain stuff 🙂
    Sandra Owen recently posted…Week 22a Where Greatness beginsMy Profile


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