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Pain creates preference
Imagine shopping for a new camera.
You probably think,
I don’t know which camera is the best, so I will compare all of them to see which one is the best, and then buy that one.
That’s a perfectly appropriate attitude to truth-seeking: I’ll compare all the competing beliefs, and see which one explains reality the best!
The problem is, the risk landscape of truth-seeking looks very different.
Imagine shopping for a new camera, while a goon stands over you with a baseball bat, saying he’ll break your face if you choose anything other than a Konica Minolta DZ990.
Suddenly the attitude changes
I will look at all the options because that’s what smart people are supposed to do, but in the end I will buy the Konica Minolta DZ990 no matter what. 😬
This is what happens inside us when we’re confronted with the pain of changing our minds:
The threat of pain creates preference.
And no amount of intelligence or expertise can overcome a preference.
Because defying the threat of pain requires an exertion of the will — not an exertion of the mind.