Should we assume rational goodwill?

There’s often a choice between following the cultural dictates of a given group or seeking out demonstrable facts and the scientific method. Which do you expect most people would choose?

Which would you choose?

When we revert to a testable analysis of what works, we’re relying on the one thing that all humans share: reality. But cultural connection, peer pressure and the power of affiliation and status often short-circuit that analysis.

This happens s often that arguing about facts might not be the best way to make your point.

“Rational goodwill” is shorthand for, “If the analysis is testable, are you prepared to change your mind and accept the alternative that works?”

And yet, more often than we might expect, NASA engineers, doctors, political leaders and households would have to honestly answer that with a ‘no’.

It might be that culture isn’t something we awkwardly laid atop rational analysis. It might be the other way around.

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