Adonis Diaries

Archive for October 7th, 2014

Fallacies, Biases, Illusions, effects, trendencies, errors… and “The Art of Thinking Clear”

By Rolf Dobelli

This book is a simple guide to “less irrational” behaviors and tendencies, as we get aware of the hundreds of biases that are ingrained in our behaviors.

I have reviewed two dozen of these 99 listed biases and added my comments.

“It isn’t what we know that gets in our way. It is what we believe” Physicist  Harold Puthoff

“We’d rather be roughly right than precisely right” Lord Keynes

“Faced with the choice between changing our mind and proving there is no need to do so, everyone gets busy on the proof” (John Kenneth Galbraith)

1. Survivorship Bias

2. Swimmer’s body illusion

3. Clustering illusion

4. Social proof effect

5. Sunk cost effect

6. Reciprocity

7. Confirmation

8. Authority

9. Contrast effect

10. Availability

11. Getting worse before getting better fallacy

12. Story bias

13. In hindsight illusion

14. Overconfidence bias

15. Chauffeur knowledge

16. Illusion of control

17. Insensitive Super-Response tendency

18. Regression to mean fallacy

19. Outcome bias

20. Paradox of choice

21. Liking bias

22. Endowment effect

23. Coincidence fallacy

24. Group think effect

25. Neglect of Probability

26. Scarcity Error

27. Base-rate neglect

28. Gambler’s fallacy

29. The Anchor

30. Induction

31. Loss aversion

32. Social loafing

33. Exponential growth

34. Winner’s curse

35. Fundamental attribution error

36 False causality

37. Halo effect

38. Alternative path

39. Forecast illusion

40. Conjunction fallacy

41. Framing

42. Action bias

43. Omission bias

44. Self-serving

45. Hedonic treadmill

46. Sel-selection bia

47. Beginner’s luck

48. Cognitive dissonance

49. Hyperbolic discounting

50. Because Justification

51. Decision fatigue

52. Contagion bias

53. Problems with averages

54. Motivation crowding

55. Twaddle tendency

56. Will Roger phenomenon

57. Information bias

58. Effort justification

59. Law of small numbers

60. Expectations

61. Simple logic fallacy

62. Forer effect

63. Volunteer’s folly

64. Affect heuristic

65 Introspection illusion

66. Inability to close doors

67. Neomania

68. Sleeper effect

69. Alternative blindness

70. Social comparison

71. Primacy and recency effects

72. “Not invented here” syndrome

73. The Black Swan

74. Domain Dependence

75. False-Consensus

76. Falsification of History bias

77. In-group, out-group biases

78. Ambiguity aversion

79. Default, standard option effects

80. Fear of regret

81. Salience effect

82. House-Money effect

83. Procrastination

84. Envy vs jealousy

85. Personification

86. Illusion of paying attention

87. Planning fallacy

88. Zeigarnik effect

89. Illusion of skills

90. Feature=positive effect

91. Cherry picking tendency

92. Single cause fallacy

93 Intention to treat errors

94. News illusion

Note 1: As you read these 100 tendencies to commit errors of judgment, try to add other systematic biases to the list

Try to add a title or a short statement that succinctly describe the topic.

Note 2: The exigencies of living lead us to stick to most of our biases and fallacies. We tend to procrastinate acting on our well-intentioned decisions that could correct our ill-conceived methodology to run our life.

Note 3:  To better comprehend these types of behavioral errors or shortcomings, the best way is to try various taxonomies (categorizing) for these biases, fallacies… that lead to errors

1. You may define these terms and delimit how they differ and sort them accordingly

2. You may sort them according to cognitive, social, evolutionary perspectives

3. Sort them according to your field of interest so that you rely on a shorter list when reviewing failed projects and erasing the biases that were taken care of.

4. Group them for correlation or seemingly contradictory behaviors




“Workers of the world: Shut down your weapon industrial complexes” Jean Jaures in 1903

Even in 1903, the European Marxists and social democrats (particularly in Germany,  England, France and Italy) were cognizant of a major military confrontation is being prepared by the main capitalist powers (especially between the oldest Capitalist and vastest colonial power of England and the nascent industrial powerhouse of Germany) sweeping Europe that will generate a drastic moral calamity, which is still plaguing the 21st century.

And these social and political parties and organization knew what was to be done to stop any major war from igniting: Educate and politicize the workers in industries to stop working at military industrial infrastructure. (That was 15 years before Lenin and single mindedly decided to grab power in Russia)

On July 30, 1903, Jean Jaures, the French social and political activist and organizer, who became the soul of the unity of the opposition movements before WWI, and who was assassinated in Paris on July 31, 1914, shortly before France declared war on Germany, delivered this speech:

“If Humanity considers the proof of  courage is to be condemned to continue killing eternally, then mankind is accursed and doomed.

Courage is Not to maintain this somber and dark clouds of war, these sleeping clouds that we persist in believing that they were break up pn the “others”.

Courage is Not to keep in the hands of Force the solution of conflicts that reason can resolve.

Courage is the exaltation of mankind, and this course is an abdication.

Courage for all of you, a courage of all hours, is to sustain without flinching the temptations of doing harms of all kinds, physical and morals, that life extend to us.

Courage is to love life and to look calmly at death.

Courage is to shoot for the ideal and comprehend the real.

Courage is to act and to give to the great causes without asking for return, or what kinds of compensation our efforts will reserve for the deep universe.

Courage is to seek truth and to say it, to not submit to the triumphant law of lie, and to not be the perpetual echo to lies with our soul, mouth and hand clapping for the idiots and fanatics.

How our conception of life is poor.

How our science of life is short.

If we persist on believing that, as war is abolished, then we will lack opportunities and occasion to prove and exercise our courage, and that we have got to let the tambour and drum of war rolling and listen to their chiming rhythm meant to make our heart jump in heroic excitements in this 20th century, these tambours are sounding shallow.

Allow your life to be vibrant, sincere and whole.

Bet on social and political democracy to free the individual first of all, before the liberation of the exploited classes.

Let democracy meant to liberate all the oppressed fragments  of people all over the world and never by conquering them and subjugating them.

We are going to witness wars between social and political democracies and the militaristic retrograded oligarchies. (Jaures was hopeful that the opposition movements will take power and resist these oligarchies as war begins to flare up)

The best bet to blocking the coming world war is that all the proletariats unite their forces in all nations and join their determination to stop work at the military industrial complexes and the production of weapons.

The coming war is initiated by the envy of capitalist groups, their colonial expansions, the imperialistic violence for dominion, politics of prestige.

All these factors have created a climate of permanent tension which generates constant and growing risks for wars.

Note: It was England that prepared for WWI since 1906, as Germany overtook and surpassed England in exporting all kind of industrial products on the world markets. The strategy of England was to block access to all ports serving Germany.



A Palestine State? Lost in 1993 as Israel was convinced that all was swallowed up and done with

Robert Martin posted on FB:

By 1993 the Israel government knew for certain a Palestine State could not be established in the West Bank.

The settlements were there, billions were invested. The entire Jordan river valley was settled with villages, there were major cities (exclusively for Jews) already built in the West Bank, the entire Jerusalem was taken over by Israel.

There was no place any more for a Palestinian state to be established, and that is when Israel said OK, we will begin negotiations.

(Israel was under heavy pressure to negotiate a kind of a “peace” with the Arab world after the “Liberation of Kuwait” from the troops of Saddam Hussein. A peace conference was decided to resume, and Israel wanted to deal with the Palestinians alone as the weaker party)

They allowed Arafat to come; misleading him into thinking that they were really intending to make peace and basically forced him to sign an agreement that would complete his surrender..

Yasser Arafat was willing to give up almost 80% of his homeland and the right for the Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland and be compensated, all for the sake of peace, what he wouldn’t go beyond was 20% , he wouldn’t give up Gaza and the West Bank, that he couldn’t do.

They wanted him to sign a surrender agreement and he wouldn’t.

Its not the Palestinians that are not willing to make concessions, its Israel that is incapable of making concessions , because concessions on the land are impossible from a Zionist perspective, the whole name of the game is taking the land and making it ours and this exactly the process that took place.

From Miko Peled “The Generals SonHumanity for Palestine Robert Martin Fighting for humanity Australians for Palestine Advocacy Group ‪#‎FreePalestine

Note: Arafat was NO fool by any stretch of the imagination and he knew how to hold on power and be connected with all Arab leaders.

By 1993, Arafat was vegetating in Tunisia. The Palestinian resistance fighters were kicked out of Lebanon in 1982 (by Sharon when he entered Beirut),  and from Jordan in 1969 (by King Hussein), and Arafat had no cards left to put any pressure on anyone.

By 1993, Arafat had lost any hope that he could rely on any Arab State to practically and strongly back the Palestinian cause.

By 1993, Arafat was cornered and ha little choice but to grab on the bait that Israel PM Rabin was dangling to him.

Arafat was no fool and he knew that Israel was no fool in asking to negotiate a “peaceful settlement” with the PLO.

For Arafat, if external actions were almost impossible to carry out, at least he could change his tactics by getting active from the inside, on any piece of land within Palestine.

Israel PM Sharon didn’t even want to negotiate with Arafat as Rabin had decided.

Sharon ignited the Second Palestinian Intifada in 2001 that Arafat didn’t want by invading the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Sharon reacted savagely to the Oslo agreement, and publicly claimed that Rabin should be assassinated, and his wishes were satisfied as a body guard of Rabin did the job (the first political assassination in Israel) and Sharon snatched the power in Israel.

Sharon placed Arafat in de-facto house arrest in Ramallah and then assassinated him in 2005.

Sharon withdrew the Israeli settlement from Gaza, claiming that Gaza was never part of Biblical Israel, but part of Egypt.

Sharon build the Wall of Shame separating Israel from the West Bank.

Arafat took a calculated gamble, but circumstances turned not in his favor:

1. Bush Jr. was voted in as president by a ludicrous margin and

2. Sharon was steadfast in cancelling out any previous agreement with Arafat.

3. And the Arab States were cowed after the US invaded Iraq in 2003.

4. Sharon wanted to tear Iraq apart because Iraq was the main powerhouse in the Levant, in population, wealth, education… and not on the border with Israel to invade at Israel pleasure. And the US was fooled to believe that controlling oil production and distribution cannot be done without land military presence in Iraq.




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