Month: August 2017

24/ 7/ 365

For some time, I have proposed that the modern 24/7/365 culture we live is damaging us. Our modern world has eliminated even the natural order of sleep time with our electric lights and electronic devices of entertainment and communication. Our consumer society wants 24-hour service and our businesses advertise their availability 24 hours a day – seven days a week, with the certainty that such service is a virtue. Is 24 hours a day – seven days a week service a virtue? Consider this instruction out of Deuteronomy.   

“And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.” Deuteronomy 4:19

What did the ancient worshipers of the sun, moon and the stars see when they worshiped all the host of heaven? What was it that intrigued them and made them think of the sun and the moon and the stars as “gods”? As this picture demonstrates, when the shutter of a camera is opened at night, the stars in their courses are always moving.

Knowing that the human body needs sleep could it be that the ancients thought of these celestial beings as “gods”, because they were always moving, never stopping? Did they think of these always moving “gods” as an ideal to be copied?

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Cognitive Bias

Those on this journey of 6 days and a rest, might want to read The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, by Michael Lewis. Here is how the book is pitched on Amazon: How a Nobel Prize–winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality.

Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis’s own work possible. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms.

 

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