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Intelligence won't always save you - 28

Sometimes it's the problem. To a certain degree, more intelligent people, which here I'll define using the theory of multiple intelligence as having a high general G factor, can just as easily make mental traps for themselves as can less intelligent people. The reasons for these traps or the way the traps look may be different but they're traps nonetheless.

A great example of this is Isaac Newton's fascination with alchemy and his habit of drinking mercury to extend his life. He lived into his 90s, so maybe it worked, but he also died of mercury poisoning - who knows how long he might have lived or what else he might have contributed to the scientific fields if not for that little thing he managed to convince himself was the truth? Newton was an absolute genius, but even he . . .

This particular case may seem more excusable because it was dealing with something not as easily verified in Newton's time as in our time. But it turns out there's relatively simple biases that shortcut the mental defenses even of people with higher intelligence and an analytical thinking style.

In this case, simply repeating something over and over again will lend itself to the appearance of credibility. This is already recognized as having hypnotic power in music, in slogans and propaganda, and really breaks down the veneer of things in the world. If you ever ask yourself why you see something being said over and over again, even when its blatantly and obviously not true or just a pandering to an audience or a party, here it is. The more you say something, the more something is allowed to be said, the more it seems like the truth. This, I think, is extremely important to keep in mind when making your way through the world, and can help inform a lot of the decisions that corporations take with regards to the nature of content they allow on their platforms.


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