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The Knowledge Illusion


The Knowledge Illusion with Steven Sloman

How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little? Whilst individuals know very little, the collective mind knows a lot. Acclaimed cognitive scientist Steven Sloman explains how we survive and thrive despite our mental shortcomings, because we live in a rich community of knowledge. The key to our intelligence lies in the people and things around us.

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The Knowledge Illusion


This is a sample video from an online critical thinking training program that I am developing that focuses on the art and science of rational persuasion.

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The Illusion of Understanding: Phil Fernbach at TEDxGoldenGatePark

Professor Phil Fernbach discusses the illusion of understanding in this riveting TEDxGoldenGatePark talk that sheds light on how our understanding of things may not coincide with the depth of our opinions.

Phil Fernbach is a cognitive scientist who studies how people think and make decisions. He has recently been interested in what people think they understand (a lot) and what they actually understand (not so much) and the implications of this dissociation for social policy and marketing. Other research areas include causal inference, planning and goal pursuit, financial decision-making, reasoning and moral judgment. He has published extensively in the top peer-reviewed journals in psychology and consumer research and his work has been profiled in media outlets such at the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and ABC News. Dr. Fernbach is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

The Knowledge Illusion

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The Knowledge Illusion · Jef Martens

The Anatomy Of Doubt

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Released on: 2019-12-27

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Knowledge Illusion Book Summary

I just finished reading The Knowledge Illusion by Steven Sloman and Philip Fernback ( . Here is a 10-minute book summary that focused on what I see as the key implications for driving innovation.

Prof Philip Fernbach - The Knowledge Illusion

2017-09-28 - Prof Philip Fernbach

In this amazing presentation Prof. Fernbach said:
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Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies, but most of us don’t even know how a pen or a toilet works. How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little? Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach argue that we survive and thrive despite our mental shortcomings because we live in a rich community of knowledge. The key to our intelligence lies in the people and things around us. We’re constantly drawing on information and expertise stored outside our heads: in our bodies, our environment, our possessions, and the community with which we interact—and usually we don’t even realize we’re doing it.

The human mind is both brilliant and pathetic. We have mastered fire, created democratic institutions, stood on the moon, and sequenced our genome. And yet each of us is error prone, sometimes irrational, and often ignorant. The fundamentally communal nature of intelligence and knowledge explains why we often assume we know more than we really do, why political opinions and false beliefs are so hard to change, and why individually oriented approaches to education and management frequently fail. But our collaborative minds also enable us to do amazing things. This book contends that true genius can be found in the ways we create intelligence using the world around us.
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The Knowledge Illusion

Kyle interviews Steven Sloman, Professor in the school of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University. Steven is co-author of The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone and Causal Models: How People Think about the World and Its Alternatives. Steven shares his perspective and research into how people process information and what this teaches us about the existence of and belief in fake news.

The Knowledge Illusion: Steven Sloman

Speaker: Steven Sloman, Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences, Brown University; Editor in Chief of the journal Cognition; Author
Topic: “The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone” (Riverhead Books, Mar. 14, 2017 Co-Authored By Philip Fernbach)
Behavioural Insights Speaker Series @ Rotman
March 31, 2017

Located in downtown Toronto and part of the University of Toronto, the Rotman School of Management ( is the top business school in Canada.

Rotman offers a Full-Time MBA program, and several programs for working professionals, including the Morning and Evening MBA, Master of Finance, One-Year Executive MBA and Omnium Global Executive MBA. Whichever degree or program you choose, Rotman will give an edge in your career and help you make the most of your potential.

#anewwaytothink #newwaytothink #Rotman #RotmanSchool

The illusion of consciousness | Dan Dennett

Philosopher Dan Dennett makes a compelling argument that not only don't we understand our own consciousness, but that half the time our brains are actively fooling us.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers are invited to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, politics and the arts. Watch the Top 10 TEDTalks on, at

...according to the book, The Knowledge Illusion (Ep. 24)

“How is it possible that people can simultaneously bowl us over with their ingenuity and disappoint us with their ignorance? How have we mastered so much despite how limited our understanding often is? These are the questions we will try to answer in this book.”

The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone was written in 2017 by cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach. Ben chats with Sean Fenlon to find out what on earth is going on according to their provocative and insightful perspective.

What on Earth is Going on: Podcast Episode 24.

#podcast #book #knowledge #knowledgeillusion #epistemology #dialogue #education #podcasting #conversation #whatonearthisgoingon

Brain Games- Illusion of Knowledge

The Illusion of Knowledge

Ignorance is harmless. The illusion of knowledge is deadly.

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Mary's Room: A philosophical thought experiment - Eleanor Nelsen

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Imagine a neuroscientist who has only ever seen black and white things, but she is an expert in color vision and knows everything about its physics and biology. If, one day, she sees color, does she learn anything new? Is there anything about perceiving color that wasn’t captured in her knowledge? Eleanor Nelsen explains what this thought experiment can teach us about experience.

Lesson by Eleanor Nelsen, animation by Maxime Dupuy.

The Knowledge Illusion | Books With Brett

In this video, I review the book The Knowledge Illusion by Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach. In this book, the authors argue that we tend to know much less about the world than we think we do.

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The knowledge illusion ???? || Book review

Here, I review the important concepts conveyed in the book, The Knowledge Illusion, Why we never think alone? written by Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach.
Let me know in the comments below if you have already this book and what you've learnt from the book!

The Self Illusion - Why There's No 'You' Inside Your Head - Prof Bruce Hood

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Most of us believe that we are unique and coherent individuals, but are we?

The idea of a “Self” has existed ever since humans began to live in groups and become sociable. Those who embrace the self as an individual in the West, or a member of the group in the East, feel fulfilled and purposeful. This experience seems incredibly real, but a wealth of recent scientific evidence reveals that this notion of the independent, coherent self is an illusion – it is not what it seems.

In this talk, Professor Bruce Hood reveals how the self emerges during childhood and how the architecture of the developing brain enables us to become social animals dependent on each other. You’ll learn how the self is the product of our relationships and interactions with others, and it exists only in our brains. Prof Hood argues, however, that though the self is an illusion, it is one that humans cannot live without.

Professor Bruce Hood is the Professor of Developmental Psychology in Society in the School of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol. He has been a research fellow at Cambridge University and University College London, a visiting scientist at MIT and a faculty professor at Harvard.

He has been awarded an Alfred Sloan Fellowship in neuroscience, the Young Investigator Award from the International Society of Infancy Researchers, the Robert Fantz memorial award and voted to Fellowship status by the society of American Psychological Science.

He is the founder of the world’s largest expert speaker database, and the bestselling author of ”Supersense”, ‘The Self Illusion”, and the ”Domesticated Brain.’ His new book, “Possessed” is published by Allen Lane in 2019.


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5. Thinking with Our Bodies and the World (The Knowledge Illusion)

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Source: Sloman, S., & Fernbach, P. (2017). The knowledge illusion: Why we never think alone. Penguin.

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Is Anything Real?


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6. Thinking with Other People (The Knowledge Illusion)


Source: Sloman, S., & Fernbach, P. (2017). The knowledge illusion: Why we never think alone. Penguin.

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The Holographic Universe Explained

We live in a universe with 3 dimensions of space and one of time. Up, down, left, right, forward, back, past, future. 3+1 dimensions. Or so our primitive Pleistocene-evolved brains find it useful to believe. And we cling to this intuition, even as physics shows us that this view of reality may be only a very narrow perception. One of the most startling possibilities is that our 3+1 dimensional universe may better described as resulting from a spacetime one dimension lower – like a hologram projected from a surface infinitely far away.

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Need a Refresher to Fully Understand the Holographic Principle?

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Hosted by Matt O'Dowd
Written by Matt O'Dowd
Graphics by Aaron Halevy
Directing by Andrew Kornhaber

The holographic principle emerged from many subtle clues – clues discovered over decades of theoretical exploration of the universe. Over the past several months on Space Time, we’ve seen those close clues, and we’ve built a the foundations needed to glimpse the true meaning of the holographic principle. We’ve moved from quantum field theory to black hole thermodynamics to string theory. We’ve made a background playlist if you want to start from scratch, and I especially recommend catching last week’s episode. But this is tough material, so let’s do a review.

Special thanks to our Patreon Big Bang, Quasar and Hypernova Supporters:

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