Sunday, March 14, 2010


Welcome to Cognitive Longcuts! Here I will explore a wide variety of issues ranging from the sustainable management of natural resources to the recent attacks on the American justice system...from the banking crisis to deeper issues of empathy, humility, and rootlessness.

The name comes from a modification to the more popular "cognitive shortcut", which is what all humans rely on to assist in decision-making when presented with complex information that they cannot easily understand. Too often I see people having their conceptions of reality challenged and instead of embracing the challenge and being free to change themselves, they just take the easy way out and use a generalization or stereotype to whole-handedly dismiss this new conception. Sometimes it's just too mentally exhausting to change your preconceptions in the face of a new reality. We all do it.

But I feel that today in many corners of America, the use of the cognitive shortcut has been increasing and has left us even more inadequate at solving the critical problems of our time; whether it is due to the swirling echo chamber of the internet where anyone's preconceptions can be constantly reaffirmed or the lack of knitting communities of diverse and respectful people.

My goal in this blog endeavor is to try and avoid taking the cognitive shortcut and instead taking the cognitive longcut; recognizing that very few issues are black and white.

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