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Is Holding Opinions For A Lifetime Going Out Of Style?

October 16, 2013

It used to be an accepted truism in science that proponents of old theories were never converted, they just slowly died off.

A similar effect seems to hold sway in politics, where attitudes and opinions of individuals are remarkable stable over a lifetime.

And surely the majority of people still die holding whatever religious affiliation they were born with.

If this effect continues to hold true in general it seems to put a damper on theories of the Singularity, since it means that regardless of the rate of technological adaptation, attitudinal change will always creep along at generational speed.

But what if we can actually get better at changing our minds? What if we can actually develop our ability to assimilate new factual information and modify our opinions accordingly?

When was the last time you changed your mind about something?

One Comment
  1. Qu: Are the 2 key things here, the quality of governance and the ability to process information?

    With humans, both governance and information analysis are clouded by our emotions, creating good and bad outcomes (the best and worst of being human). Also, as market segments continue fragmenting, are our attitudes becoming more ‘long tail’ too?

    If the futurists (Martin Ford, Michio Kaku, Ray Kurzweil etc) are right and in the second half of the 21st century, machine technology (for want of a better word) is by then massively self-organising (the internet of things) and has updated internet knowledge in real time, where will that leave us humans and our slow to change attitudes? .

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