Our Future Path!    A plan for a better world!

Worldview (a Foundation)


We all grow up and live our lives in different ways. We all have experienced a unique combination of environments, education, events, and many other influences. Along with some impact from our own unique set of genetic predispositions, our life experiences combine to affect how each of us view and process the things that we see, hear, read, and interact with in the world in a way that is a little or a lot different from the way others view and process things.

For instance, while some of us grew up or live in the lap of luxury or in adverse poverty, most of us grew up or live in some form of a middle-class home. We grew up or live in a city, a small town, a suburb, a farm or someplace else. Some of us grew up or live in very segregated neighborhoods, while others grew up or live in very diverse neighborhoods. Some of us grew up or live in safe communities, while others grew up or live in communities where crime and violence are a common occurrence. Some of us also grew up or live in households with different numbers of parents, siblings, and other relatives, with different religious beliefs, with different amounts of discipline, and with many other differences.

Our lives can also change from year to year and even day to day. We go to different colleges or trade schools, move to different places, do different types of work, get married or stay single, have children, get divorced, take up diverse hobbies, live through many natural and manmade disasters, lose loved ones, have many successes and failures, and much more. All these different things lead each of us to develop our own unique view of the world.

Our view of the world is limited to what we have experienced, seen, or read or heard about. Given the vastness of our world, it is unlikely that any one person has learned about all the different things in our world. Since each of us has knowledge of only some part of our world, we all have different views of our world. Without knowing everything, our view of the world would be incomplete and may not be accurate. In fact, given how little of the world most of us have experienced, seen, or read or heard about, it is very likely that our view of the world is not only incomplete, but it is very inaccurate and flawed.

We may be able to see this more clearly if we read the story of “The Blind Men and the Elephant”, by American poet John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887). In this parable, six blind men meet an elephant for the first time and each man touches a different part of the elephant and makes predictions about what the elephant is like. One man touches its trunk and says it is like a thick snake. Another touches its ear and says it is like a fan. Another touches its leg and says it is like a tree trunk. Another touches its side and says it is like a wall. Another touches its tail and says it is like a rope. Then the last one touches its tusk and says it is like a spear.

It is important to realize and to understand how incomplete, inaccurate, or flawed each of our views of the world may be. We only grow up and live in a small fraction of the world and only interact with a small fraction of its inhabitants. We are also inundated with misinformation and lies that come from many different sources, even from those individuals who are close to us and whom we believe we should be able to trust.

If we do not consider the limits of each of our views of the world, then we cannot understand nor appreciate the views, opinions, and lifestyles of others. In addition, we may not recognize what else the world has to offer and risk missing out on the things that could make our own lives better and brighter. We could also impede our ability to create a better and brighter future for all of us.


All the things that happen in our lives combine to create our unique collection of attitudes, values, stories, and expectations about the world around us. This then informs and guides our every thought and action. Since each of us has lived a very different life, we have each developed our own unique worldview.

When we are young, we constantly need to change our worldview to survive all the rapid changes going on with our own bodies and with the world around us. For instance, we learn lots of new things, we grow out of believing in Santa Claus, we become interested in sex, and we grow more responsible. However, over time, we can become more rooted in how we see ourselves and the world around us. In fact, our worldviews can become so rooted in who we are that it seems like they have become set in stone. This can make it hard for us to make any needed changes in our lives that would improve our lives.

Each of our worldviews leads each of us to filter and to interpret information and events in different ways. This can lead each of us to evaluate what we see, hear, read, and do in ways that are different from others with different worldviews. That is, we will use our confirmation bias (which I will describe in an upcoming subsection) to filter out anything that does not agree with our worldview and often interpret or misinterpret things to make them fit our worldview. In other words, our worldviews can sometimes prevent us from seeing things in a different way and, more importantly, prevent us from seeing things as they really are.

If our worldview does not cause us or those around us any unnecessary or undue harm, then it may serve us just fine. However, when our worldview does not align with reality, then it almost invariably does cause some unnecessary or undue harm to someone. With all the misinformation, lies and conspiracy theories that are now coming from individuals and groups trying to manipulate us, it is becoming more and more likely that many of our worldviews have become distorted and do not align with reality and may even stray into total fantasy.

Unfortunately, it would be impossible for us to eliminate completely the biases created by our own worldviews, but we can try. First, we must admit that we do have a worldview, and that it probably does not totally line up with reality. Then we need to stay aware that our worldview may taint the way we see things or even blind us to some things, which may make it harder for us to see things as they truly are. Finally, we must commit to making the extra effort to see through all the misinformation, lies and conspiracy theories being thrown at us and to update our worldview so that we can better see things as they really are.

When we learn that a long-held belief is not true, it can be hard. It can be as hard as losing a loved one, and we may go through the same 7-stage grieving process of shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance. At first, we may be shocked that our belief is not true, so we may try to deny it, and then get angry about it. We may then try to strike a bargain where our belief was not wrong. Once the truth starts to sink in, we can become depressed, but then we start testing out this new truth. Finally, we accept it, and the new truth becomes part of our updated worldview.

In addition to our unique upbringing and experiences, the biggest contributors to our worldview are the cognitive biases that we are born with. Many of our cognitive biases help us to survive, but others can and have led us astray. Our worldview is also affected by and affects our human and moral values and our emotions, which can all help or hinder our ability to make good decisions.

Cognitive Biases

Throughout human history there have been times when we have had a lot of things going on around us. Today, this is even more true than in the past. However, our brains have not had the capacity to handle all this incoming sensory information without being subjected to cognitive overload. Therefore, there are times when we simply have not been able to pay attention to nor to process all that is going on around us.

What we needed was some efficient and effective way to filter out the less important information, so that we could concentrate on what was most important to our survival. As a result, our human ancestors evolved certain cognitive biases that helped them determine what was most worthy of their attention. However, like most things that we have inherited from our ancestors, we did not all inherit the same things. Therefore, some of our cognitive biases may be somewhat different from those of others.

Our cognitive biases are simple rules and short cuts that evolved over time and became hard wired into our ancestors’ and our subconscious. Our subconscious uses these rules and short cuts to filter out what it determines is less important, and to alert us to what it determines is most important. For the most part, these cognitive biases helped our ancestors survive by ensuring that they paid attention to things like signs of danger, food sources or reproductive opportunities.

For instance, our cognitive biases made us pay attention to any indications that there is a lion in the tall grass. We may not see the lion, but we pay attention to any sign that one might be there, and if a sign is there, we would instinctively react to save themselves. If our ancestors had not paid attention to these signs, they might not have survived for us to be here today.

These simple rules and short cuts evolved so that our subconscious could use them to help us decide what to look for to protect us from the dangers and other challenges that our ancestors faced in the past. However, they were not designed to help protect us from the dangers and other challenges that we now face today in our more complex industrial and technological age.

This means that our cognitive biases do not always serve our best interests in our modern world. In fact, some of our cognitive biases can lead us astray by making us pay attention to the wrong things. To counter this until such time as our cognitive biases evolve better simple rules and short cuts to fit our modern age, we need to recognize when our cognitive biases are leading us astray and to train ourselves to pay better attention to our modern dangers.

More than 150 cognitive biases have been identified. Some of them serve us better than others. Dozens of these cognitive biases can negatively affect how we view the world and how we make decisions. The following are just a few of our cognitive biases that could lead us astray or that could allow others to manipulate us.

Dunning-Kruger Bias

We are inclined to think we know more about something than we do. This is especially true for individuals who know the least about something. This is the Dunning-Kruger effect, which occurs when our lack of knowledge about something leads us to overestimate how much we think we know about it. This overestimation can lead us to be overconfident and more prone to accepting misinformation as fact. A person’s overconfidence can in turn lead us to think that person knows a lot more about something than that person does.

There is a saying that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. That is, when we only have a small amount of knowledge about something it may lead us to think we know more than we do. When we do not know all the needed facts, we are also more vulnerable to misinformation and to making bad decisions. On the other hand, the more we learn about something the more we will realize that there is far more to learn about it than we thought, and our estimation of our level of knowledge becomes more accurate and we become less prone to believing misinformation.

With this Dunning-Kruger effect, many individuals who know the least about some subject may think they know a lot about the subject and use their limited knowledge to state their opinions in a very confident manner, even when they are wrong. In contrast, individuals who know a lot more about the subject are better at knowing what they do not know and may not seem as confident in stating their opinions, since they may stress the fact that there are some unknowns. The danger lies in that many of us will conflate confidence with knowledge and go with the less trustworthy opinions of the individuals who know the least.

As an example, we may learn that company A makes a product that is currently very popular. If that is all we know, we may think we know enough to make a big investment in that company. However, if we learn more about the company, we may find that there is a lot more we need to know. That is, we also need to know more about the company’s financial condition, what other products the company makes, the future of this currently popular product, and much more. Without getting this additional information, we may make a bad decision and risk losing our investment.

Our ancestors might have needed to know a lot, but only when it came to a few things. They just needed to know things like how to get food, how to avoid dangers, how to get along with the members of their tribal group, and how to reproduce and to raise their children. Those who did not know enough or who did not listen to those in their group who did have the knowledge, did not survive. In these small tribal groups, it was probably easy to know who knew a lot about each different thing.

Today, most of us need to know something about a lot more things and are much more dependent on others who know more about the things that we need to know about but do not have the time to learn. Most of the individuals who have the knowledge we need are not in our group of friends and family, so we are less likely to know how much we can trust their knowledge.

The Dunning-Kruger effect can then lead us to listen to the individuals who seem more confident instead of the individuals who are more knowledgeable. The problem is that many of the more confident individuals have a Dunning-Kruger bias that makes them think they know more than they do, which can lead them to provide us with less reliable information. Some individuals who seem more confident may also be purposefully misleading us for their own nefarious reasons.

There are many examples where the Dunning-Kruger effect has turned many straightforward reliable scientific facts into controversial issues. Just a couple of these are the contrived issues with climate and vaccinations. Although there is ample evidence that we are causing climate change, too many individuals who do not know enough about how our climate works are being misled by climate change deniers. Similarly, too many individuals who do not have a working knowledge about how vaccines work are being misled by anti-vaxxers.

Confirmation Bias

We are inclined to prefer data that confirms our worldview. That is, we seek out, favor, or give more weight to information that confirms what we already believe, even when what we believe is wrong. We also are inclined to filter out or to block out information that contradicts our worldview. Since we tend to ignore evidence that would contradict our beliefs, this makes it difficult for us to correct any of our beliefs that are wrong.

Our ancestors lived in small tribal groups where most individuals had seen and experienced a lot of the same things. Therefore, their worldviews would often have closely aligned with the other members of their group. This would have helped to strengthen their social cohesion, which was important for their survival. Their social cohesion also would have probably helped to overcome many of the problems caused by any flaws in their worldview.

Each group’s shared worldview would have been tested over the years, decades, and centuries. If it had not led to too many serious problems in the past, then it probably continued to work fine for them, since things changed slowly back then. On the other hand, a worldview that was too far out of sync with reality could have led the group into serious trouble.

Today, things are quite different. Things change much more rapidly, which forces many of us to change our worldview or be left behind. Most of us also no longer live in a tribal group, which means we meet and interact with far more individuals who are outside of our family, friends, and work groups. Many of these other individuals come from very different backgrounds, so they may also have worldviews that are far less in line with our worldview. This is especially true the less they and we have in common and the further their or our worldviews are out of sync with reality.

When our worldviews differ from those around us, there is the danger of conflict, especially when their or our worldviews are wrong. Even without conflict, wrong worldviews can cause us many other problems.

However, whatever our worldview, today we can probably find others who have a similar worldview online. Our confirmation bias will even lead many of us to seek out others with a similar worldview. Although we may find comfort in knowing others have a similar worldview to our own, it can make it less likely and harder for us to correct our worldview when it is wrong.

When we passively take in information, we allow our confirmation bias to filter it, so we may not learn what we need to correct our worldview. The key to overcoming our confirmation bias is to do active listening, active reading, and active seeing. That is, when we are taking in important information, we need to process that information consciously as we receive it, so we can try to let in the valid information and to filter out the invalid information.

Negative Information Bias

We are inclined to pay more attention to negative or bad news than to positive or good news. When we get positive or good news, we usually do not need to do much except to enjoy it. However, when we get negative or bad news, we usually need to adjust to what has happened or to act to make things better. In addition, we need to learn from negative or bad news so that we can better avoid or deal with it in the future.

Our ancestors needed to prioritize being alert to dangerous things like predators over safe or less threatening things. Their very survival depended on it. They also needed to pay attention to things that could go wrong which could negatively impact them. This also means paying more attention to things that went wrong as opposed to things that went right. By paying attention to things that could go wrong, they could better avoid them and could be better prepared to handle their aftermaths.

Today, we do not just get news that directly affects us or our family and friends, but news from around the world. Furthermore, news organizations know that we pay more attention to negative news, so they devote more time to giving us the negative news. This means that in addition to getting more information today than our ancestors ever did, more of it is negative information.

For instance, we are now more likely to hear about and to pay attention to reports of crime in our neighborhood, city, or area over all the good things happening around us. This could lead us to believe we live in a neighborhood, city, or area that is less safe than it really is.

In addition, even though we are paying more attention to just the negative news, we could still be getting so much of it that we could suffer from cognitive overload. On top of that, most of this negative news is beyond our control, so we may feel powerless to do anything. This could lead some of us to be anxious or depressed. To deal with this, many of us turn away from the news and other sources of information. This can lead us to be less well informed, and easier prey for those who want to manipulate us.

A better alternative would be for us purposefully to seek out more of the positive and good news, and to take more control over what happens locally, nationally, and globally. When we take more control over what information we receive and over what happens around us, we will have more power to make our lives better.

Predictive Information Bias

We are inclined to pay attention to patterns that can help us predict what will happen in the future. This allows us to see order in the chaos and to make sense of our world. Some things repeat over short periods of time, so we can quickly see a pattern and learn to predict what will happen next. Other things may not repeat for months or years or even centuries, so it is much harder for us to be able to see a pattern unless we are able to reference the past occurrences that others have recorded.

This predictive information bias allowed our ancestors to see patterns in the weather, the stars and the path of the Sun, which allowed them to predict the changes in the seasons. In turn, this allowed them to predict animal migrations and when different foods would be available. Among many other things, our ancestors also saw that certain foods or plants made them sick, and that other foods or plants could heal them or help them feel better.

However, our ancestors often saw patterns where none existed, which led them to make some bad predictions. For example, they often erroneously equated solar or lunar eclipses, earthquakes, diseases, floods, or droughts with angry gods, with spirits or with other supernatural beings. They then tried to appease these supernatural beings with things like animal or human sacrifices. If things happened to get better, then it reinforced the nonexistent pattern, which meant they would continue doing similar things like making sacrifices in the future.

Today, we have accumulated far more information than our ancestors ever had. This accumulated information has allowed us to see that many patterns that our ancestors saw are not real, to see more detail in some patterns, and to see many new patterns. This has allowed us to make better predictions about the future. For example, we no longer equate many celestial events and natural disasters with supernatural beings, we can better predict the weather, and we can now predict how many things at the atomic and subatomic levels will work.

For our predictive information bias to work properly and to see patterns clearly, we need to collect enough valid information and to filter out all the invalid information. The problem is that we are now inundated with far more information than we can effectively process, which can lead to cognitive overload. In addition, far too much of this information is invalid. That is, the information we now get is chock full of lies and misinformation.

We continue to look for and to see patterns and make predictions based on the patterns we see. However, with so much misinformation around these days, it is hard to accumulate just the valid information. Which means we are looking for and seeing patterns in the invalid information. This leads us to see many patterns and conspiracies that do not exist, to miss patterns that do exist, and to misinterpret patterns. Then, when we erroneously base our decisions on this flawed predictive information, we can end up making bad decisions.

Crowd Bias

We are inclined to follow the crowd, especially in environments or in situations that we are not very familiar with. When we do not know where to go, what to do or what is happening, we are usually better off following the lead of those who do. That is, when the individuals leading the crowd know the right thing to do and are doing it. However, if these leaders do not know what they are doing or are not doing the right thing, then those of us following them may be led astray.

Our ancestors were members of tribal groups. These groups worked together for the protection and benefit of the group and its members. If members of our ancestors’ tribal group were running away, then they probably had a good reason for doing so. Therefore, it would have been advantageous for our ancestors to do the same and to save themselves from whatever danger was coming their way.

Today, many of our social, business, and other groups are not as closely knit as our ancestors’ tribal groups, nor do they have the same incentives for protecting and benefiting their members. In fact, many individuals in these groups may only be looking out for themselves. Therefore, following these crowds may not always work out as well for us.

For instance, if members of some social media group are pushing some product, stock, investment, or conspiracy theory, they may have some ulterior motive. Therefore, we would be better off researching and investigating those things ourselves, and then making our own decision instead of just following this crowd.

In addition, our inclination to follow the crowd can also lead us into mob violence. That is, when those around us start rioting, we may be inclined to follow the crowd and do the same. In this situation, we should think about what is happening, and if we do not agree with it, then we should try to stop it or at least to extricate ourselves from it.

Bottom line, if there would be no harm or we feel there is danger in not acting, then we should probably follow our instinct and go along with the crowd. However, if we are not sure and we have time to think about it, then we should think about it before acting. In any case, if we do not agree with what the crowd is doing, then we should not follow this crowd.

Story Bias

We are inclined to interpret information as being part of a story, even when the facts do not actually support the narrative. We do this because stories are easier for us to remember than other types of information. We are living the story of our lives, and our brains are designed to remember our story, and in turn any story.

Stories can combine lots of information and many facts. When we remember a story, we remember the information and the facts. Therefore, we rely on these stories more than on individual facts.

Our ancestors told stories that they passed down from generation to generation. For most of human history, we did not have a way to write things down, so we told stories that included the information that our descendants needed to know. Each story could include a lot of information and facts, and life lessons.

Many memory aids rely on our ability to remember a story better than a list of facts or items. There are a couple of ways to weave those facts or items into a story. We could create a unique story each time we need to remember a list of things, or we could add the list into an existing story. The more outlandish the story, the easier it can be to remember.

For example, let’s say we need to remember a list of items to pick up at the grocery store. For instance, we need bread, milk, carrots, lettuce, and eggs. To help remember these items we could create a story of a ship navigating through rocky shoals. However, the ship is a loaf of bread, the water is milk, the ship mask is a carrot, the sails are lettuce leaves, and the rocks are eggs.

Another way is to picture yourself walking through some location and placing the things you need to remember along your path. For instance, when I go to the grocery store, I picture myself walking the aisles picking up the items I need. Since I get a lot of items from the produce section, I often use an additional memory aid there. For instance, I might picture a produce clerk and replace his facial features with the fruits and vegetables that I want to pick up.

Our predictive bias can combine with our story bias to create conspiracy theories. That is, we will see some pattern in random facts or events, and then create a story to explain those facts or events. Since we would remember the story better than the facts or events, the conspiracy story may be easily spread, while we may forget which facts and events in the story were the original ones.

Our story bias can also help to explain why we do not always vote for the political candidates that best match our positions on the issues. Basically, a position on an issue might just be a single fact, which we are not great at remembering. We are much better at remembering the stories that candidates tell, than what they say are their positions on the issues.

If candidates want us to remember what their positions are on the issues, then the candidates should weave their positions into good stories, so we would stand a better chance of remembering them. However, when candidates do tell stories, they are far more likely to be negative stories about their opponents than stores about their positions on the issues. Even worse, our negative information bias will combine with our story bias so that we will pay more attention to and more easily remember the negative stories.

These negative stories may also include a lot of distortions of the truth, misinformation and outright lies. By including these untrue facts in stories, it will make it easier for us to remember these distortions, misinformation and lies than the true facts. Therefore, when we hear stories, we need to be careful to ensure that they are true and complete.

Similarity Bias

We are inclined to see ourselves and those who seem to have more similarities with us in a favorable light and see others with a skeptical or negative view. We instinctively add individuals to our in-groups and to our out-groups. The individuals in one of our in-groups may share more common attributes such as physical appearance, religion, political view, hobby, education, or profession.

Our ancestors lived in tribal groups that worked together for the protection and benefit of the group and its members and were often in competition with other groups. The members of our ancestors’ tribal groups were mostly related to one another and therefore shared many more similarities with them than with individuals in other groups. Thus, being similar was associated with individuals who were trustworthy and those who were less similar were associated with individuals who were less trustworthy.

Today, most of us do not live in tribal groups and are less likely to live with or near our relatives. Instead, we must interact with a lot of individuals who are not related and with whom we may not share many similarities. However, we still want to be part of an in-group even though it is much harder to do now than in the past. This can lead us either to see everyone around us as part of an out-group or to seek out any group that will accept us.

When our similarity bias makes us desperate to be part of an in-group, we leave ourselves vulnerable to being manipulated into joining the wrong type of group. For instance, a hate group might try to make us feel welcome and try to turn us against some other group that they have defined as an out-group. This can lead some individuals to become prejudiced and to commit violence against those in this out-group.

When we limit ourselves to just associating or working with individuals with whom we share similarities, we lose out on a lot. Most of us, even those of us who appear different, are fundamentally good and could be allies if we give them a chance. We can overcome our similarity bias by finding common or complementary ground with those individuals who appear different. If we can do that, then our in-groups grow bigger and stronger, and we would have less to fear from those who remain in our out-groups.

Expediency Bias

We are inclined to want certainty and simple answers to our problems. Expediency Bias occurs when we prefer to act quickly rather than to take the time needed to get clarity and understanding. In some cases, we need to act quickly. If our life is in danger, like when our house is on fire, we may need to act quickly to save our life. However, if our life is not in danger and we are just in a hurry or are tired, we may make a rush to judgement and suffer for our rushed bad decision.

Even when our life is not in danger, there are cases where making an expedient decision is okay or even good. For example, if we need to choose between a few different relatively good options, it may be best to make a quick choice rather than risk losing out on all the options.

On the other hand, we should never make a quick decision when the consequences of a wrong decision could be significant. For example, we should never make a quick decision when picking a career, a home, or a spouse, or when making any other life altering decision.

Individuals and groups who want to manipulate us want us to make a quick decision. They may try to generate a sense of urgency. They may give us some cherry-picked facts, misinformation or lies that support what they want us to do. They may also try to convince us that there is a simple answer to some complex problem.

There are a few things that we can do to overcome our expediency bias. First, we should never make a big decision when we are in a hurry, rushed or tired. Second, we should develop the habit of gathering all the relevant facts and logically processing these facts before we make any big decision.

Experience Bias

We are inclined to take our own perception (our worldview) to be the objective truth. Experience bias occurs when we forget that other individuals see the world differently than we do. That is, we assume that our view of problems and situations comprises the whole truth instead of realizing that our view of the world is incomplete and may be inaccurate.

Our unique combination of experiences has shaped our perception of the world. As I talked about above in the subsection on our Worldview, this has led each of us to see the world a little or a lot different than everyone else. When our perception of something is incomplete, wrong or even just off a bit, others can use that to manipulate us.

When dealing with other individuals we need to keep our different worldviews in mind. We need to find out how they see things and to let them know how we see things. If we perceive things differently or even the same, we first need to verify what the truth is. Only when we all know the truth will we be able to make a good decision and have a chance at coming to a valid agreement. Even if that agreement is to disagree.

Distance Bias

We are inclined to give more weight and credence to things and to individuals who are close to us and to fail to put much value in things and individuals who are further away from us. That is, we prioritize things that are nearby, such as in physical space, in time or in other domains. For instance, there is a saying that goes something like, if you cannot be with the one you love, then love the one you are with.

Salespeople and others will try to take advantage of our distance bias to sell us something or sell us on something that may not be our best option. Just because something is close in space or time does not mean it is the best option. We need to be aware that there may be better options and to take the time to look further away.

In our globalized and fast paced world, some of the best individuals, things and ideas may be located far away in space or time. If we rely on just what is close, we may risk losing out on someone or something better. We need to look at what is near and far, and what is in the past, present and future.

Safety Bias

We are inclined to avoid loss more than to seek gain. That is, we prefer to play it safe rather than to take a risk. We tend to obsess over the bad things that might happen and underestimate the good things that might happen. Therefore, we are more afraid of any possible loss than we are excited about any possible gain.

For example, we prefer not losing money over gaining money. Therefore, we may choose to invest in something safe that has a lower return on investment than something riskier that has a higher return on investment. Individuals trying to manipulate us may try to make what they want us to do seem safer than the alternatives.

The sunk cost fallacy is an example of a safety bias. When we have invested a lot of time or money in something that is not working out, we may continue to invest in it to try to avoid the loss. For instance, we may have invested a lot of time and money in a relationship or project that is not working out, but we continue to stay invested in the relationship or project to try to avoid the loss of what we have already invested.

Our safety bias can also lead some of us to have such a strong aversion to loss that it can affect our tolerance for risk. That is, our negative reaction to a loss caused by our safety bias can counterintuitively lead us to increase our appetite for risk. That is, it can make us willing to take greater risks to try to recoup our losses. For instance, instead of doing the sensible thing and walking away when we are losing at the roulette table, we double down.

It is not only actual losses that can lead us to taking greater risks but simply the perception of loss or of falling behind others. For instance, an owner of a successful business may take greater risks trying to grow the business when the owner feels the business is falling behind its competitors. In addition, when politicians or political parties think they are losing votes, they may try risky policy changes.

Since our safety bias is wrapped up in our emotions, we need to create some psychological distance, or else our emotions will warp our decisions. We need to make our decisions less personal or less immediate. For instance, we could imagine that we are making the decision for someone else, or we could imagine that we had already made the decision in the past and then see whether we are happy about it or not.

Moral Values

The consensus is that our morality is a collection of biological and cultural traits that promote cooperation. According to the Moral Foundations Theory, our values, virtues, norms, practices, identities, institutions, technologies, and evolved psychological mechanisms work together to suppress or to regulate selfishness and to make cooperative social life possible. Per this theory, our morality or moral values are based on 5 moral foundations. These are authority, care, fairness, loyalty and purity.

Authority includes our respect for social order and obligation to our relationships and duties. Care includes our virtues of caring and compassion. Fairness includes our stance against unfair treatment and cheating, and our more abstract notions of rights and justice. Loyalty includes our obligations to our groups like self-sacrifice and vigilance against betrayal. Purity includes our stance against physical and spiritual contagion, and our stance for things like chastity, wholesomeness, and control of desires.

Some researchers believe that purity should not be included in the moral foundations, since it just mainly deals with things like our need to avoid diseases, parasites, and waste products, and does not help with cooperation. Although I would think that trying to keep ourselves and others healthy would help with our cooperation.

In addition, some researchers believe that we should include some of the well-established types of evolved cooperation as additional moral foundations. These include competitive altruism, kin altruism, reciprocal altruism, and respect for prior possession.

Competitive altruism includes certain indicators of status like bravery and generosity. Kin altruism includes the sacrifices we make to care for and to protect members of our families. Reciprocal altruism includes sacrifices we make to benefit unrelated individuals who may reciprocate in the future. Respect for prior possession includes our respecting property rights and prohibiting theft.

Our moral values are a valuable part of who we are. We may feel that our moral values are being guided by solid facts. However, our moral values are shaped by how we are raised and by what injustices occur in our lives. That means that each of us may come to perceive some of the moral foundations as being more important than the others, which may lead many of us to prioritize the adherence to a different subset of these moral foundations.

Our moral values help shape who we are and are embedded in our worldviews. Therefore, our moral judgements are mostly guided by our intuition and by our gut feelings instead of by our deliberate reasoning. They guide our behavior and determine how we feel that we all should behave towards others and can guide us toward kindness and social justice.

With each of us prioritizing different moral values over the others this can lead each of us to perceive the morality of a given act differently. Our moral values come down to what we intuitively perceive as being right or wrong, which may be somewhat different than what others perceive. Even to the point where one person perceives a given act as right and the other sees it as wrong. This can cause a lot of problems if we start seeing and labeling our opponents as immoral or even evil.

Studies have shown that liberals and conservatives tend to favor different moral values. Liberals favor care and fairness, while conservatives favor authority, loyalty, and purity. Of course, we all favor each of these moral values along a continuum. Therefore, the more strongly individuals favor some moral values over others can lead them to have views that are more liberal, more conservative, or something else. A libertarian might also tend to favor care and fairness like liberals but prioritize respect for people by not forcing a particular moral code on them. However, other individuals might favor other combinations.

It has also been shown that by framing an issue based on a person’s favored moral values, we can sway that person’s opinion. For instance, conservatives can be swayed more to favor environmentalism by arguing for a clean planet based on purity than by arguing to protect the planet based on care and fairness. Liberals can be swayed to spend more on the military by arguing for fighting inequality based on fairness than by arguing for American supremacy based on authority or loyalty.

A major goal of my 3 basic rules is to promote cooperation. Therefore, these rules ("do no undue harm", "protect everything from undue harm", and "allow all living things to live their lives their way") should align closely in some way with the moral foundations. If we compare these rules with the moral foundations, then it should be obvious that these rules align nicely with at least the moral foundations of authority, care, fairness, loyalty, reciprocal altruism, and respect for prior possession. I believe these can also be grouped together under the category of mutual respect.

Human Values

Our human values are the things that we feel are most important in our lives. Human values like honesty, love, loyalty, truth, and peace are considered our basic inherent values because they bring out the fundamental goodness in us and our society. Some of our other human values include things like affection, care, community, empathy, equality, fame, family, glory, gratitude, guidance, power, prestige, recognition, respect, status, success, and wealth.

Psychologists divide our human values into two broad categories. These are our intrinsic values<\b> which come from within the self and our extrinsic values<\b> which are dependent on outside stimuli.

Our intrinsic values are those which are rewarding in and of themselves or for their own sake. These include such things as creativity, social justice, and connection with nature. Those of us who lean towards intrinsic values prioritize things like community, empathy, and equality, and are more open to change and are protective of our environment.

Our extrinsic values are centered on external approval or rewards. These include such things as awards, social status, self-image, and personal security. In contrast, those of us with strong extrinsic values are drawn to things like power, prestige, status, and wealth. Those of us who prioritize extrinsic values are motivated by individual rewards and have a propensity for aggressive behavior and tend to dismiss social and environmental concerns.

In our American cultural landscape, there has been a veneration of individualism and the accumulation of wealth. This has created a breeding ground for extrinsic values. In fact, a characteristic of the ‘American Dream’ is a desire for upward mobility, financial success, and fame. This is reinforced by the media and advertisers and helps to nurture a society where our extrinsic values flourish.

The division of society into ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ that started in the 1980’s and the subsequent shift in the political climate to embrace more free markets, capitalism, deregulation, and reduced government has led us to have a greater focus on our extrinsic values. Our political landscape in the United States over the last few decades has intensified this situation. As we have become more focused on extrinsic values, we have tended to gravitate towards more right-wing ideologies and the political parties that seem to validate this new more extrinsic worldview.

Since our extrinsic values depend on what we have and on what others think of us, prioritizing them can lead us to compare ourselves with others and to become envious of those who have more things, wealth, power, and recognition. Our envy can lead to anger, to hate, and to violence. If we prioritize our intrinsic values, we do not need to compare ourselves as much with others and we can be happier with ourselves, and with those around us like our families and friends.

When we overly prioritize our intrinsic values, we may be happier, but we may not care about the recognition and wealth that would come with working productively and that in turn would contribute to the prosperity of our community. When we overly prioritize our extrinsic values, we will be vulnerable to feelings of envy, anger, and hate, and more vulnerable to resorting to violence and to being manipulated by others. The key to our human values is to find the right balance between our intrinsic and extrinsic values, and not let ourselves go to extremes when prioritizing any of our human values.


Most of us experience many different emotions throughout the course of our lives. Although we may recognize our emotions, understanding our emotions is not an easy task. There is little agreement among researchers on what our emotions are. However, researchers are still proposing theories, and they do have some basic agreement on some of the core elements of emotion.

Since some of us are often confused by the difference between an emotion, a feeling, and a mood, the first thing to do is to define them. An emotion is how we deal with a matter or situation we find personally significant where it elicits a subjective evaluation and results in a physiological response and a behavioral response. A feeling arises from the conscious expression of an emotional experience that may be influenced by our memories, beliefs, and other factors, and is classified in the same category as pain or hunger. A mood is a short-lived emotional state that lacks a specific stimulus and has no clear starting point.

Most of us experience many different emotions throughout the course of our lives. Although we may experience a wide variety of emotions, it has been theorized that they all derive from some basic emotions. There is some disagreement about which emotions are the basic ones, but they usually include anger, contempt, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise.

In addition, it is generally agreed that an emotion is made up of three parts. These are a subjective experience, a physiological response and a behavioral response. We will now look at each of these parts in a bit more detail.

An emotion begins with a subjective experience, which is also referred to as a stimulus. Basically, something happens, and then we subjectively interpret what happened based on our worldview. Our subjective interpretation can then lead us to experience one or more emotions, which could be different than what others would experience with the same stimulus. The intensity of each emotion may also differ by individual. For instance, the loss of a loved one could evoke various levels and combinations of anger, sadness, and regret in different individuals.

A physiological response is the reaction of our autonomic nervous system to an emotion that we are experiencing. The autonomic nervous system controls our involuntary bodily responses and regulates our fight-or-flight-or-freeze response. It is theorized that these automatic responses evolved to help our ancestors survive. Although, in some cases many of us overreact or underreact.

A behavioral response is how we express an emotion. Our emotions combine to help determine how we feal, which can then be expressed via facial expressions, body language, or many other reactions based on our societal norms and our personalities. For instance, we could smile or laugh when happy, frown or slouch when sad, jump or skip for joy, cringe or repel in disgust, or scowl or strike out in anger.

Our emotional state helps to control how we feel. How we feel can affect our thoughts and the way we think and feel about other things and how we respond to everything else in our lives. Depending on our emotional state, we may respond very differently to the events and the individuals in our lives and those who we encounter in either a positive or negative way.

Our emotions can also cloud our thoughts and decision-making ability. When we let emotions take over, our ability to think rationally goes out the window and we make it easier for others to manipulate us. For this vary reason, individuals who want to manipulate us will often try to stir up our emotions. Therefore, we need to be able to recognize and to control our emotional state to help us prevent others from manipulating us.

If we need to think rationally about something, then we must first recognize our emotional state. If we are not in a good emotional state, then we need to find a way to control our emotions before we make any decisions that require rational thought. By control, we want to be able to regulate our emotions and not to repress them. There was a reason for our current emotional state, so we do not want to ignore it. We need to look at why we have these emotions, determine if they are valid, and adjust our emotions as needed.

There are different methods for regulating our emotions. What we need to do depends on what emotion we are feeling and on our individual personality. The best thing we can do is to find what works for ourselves and to be ready to act when needed. Then, once we have our emotions under control, we will be able to think rationally, and be less vulnerable to being manipulated into acting in some way against our beliefs.


Every day, we must make hundreds or thousands of decisions. These include a lot of mondain little everyday decisions like what to wear, what to eat, etc. all the way up to the occasional life-changing decisions like where to go to school, where to live, where to work, who to marry, how many children to have, when to retire, etc.

To make good decisions, we need to have enough of the right information. In some cases, we may already have the necessary information, but in other cases, we need to obtain it. In either case, we must have or get good information. That is, we must have or get truthful, reliable, and useful information, or we run the risk of making bad decisions.

In the broadest sense, there are basically two ways in which we could decide something. We could consciously decide by analyzing the facts and options using logic and our common sense. On the other hand, we could leave the decision to our subconscious by relying on our intuition or gut feeling.

For decisions that have a big impact on our lives, deal with something new or require overcoming some bad decision that our intuition made, we may need to think consciously through them. That means doing a lot of information gathering and research, listing and comparing the positive and negative things about each possible option, and logically analyzing all the relevant data to decide what is the best option. However, even when we are trying to decide consciously, we may not find a clear best option, so we may still end up needing to make the final decision with our intuition.

For many decisions, it may be fine to go with our intuition or gut feeling. When we rely on our intuition to decide, our subconscious mind does all the analysis using the rules and short cuts that it has developed over our lifetimes. The result may be a good decision or a bad decision depending on how good the rules and short cuts are in our subconscious minds.

When we are born, we come with some cognitive biases already wired into our subconscious minds. They helped our ancestors intuitively and instinctively make many decisions that enabled them to survive. Now, they can still often help us make many decisions efficiently and effectively when we use our intuition. This frees up our conscious minds to deal with the bigger and newer things in our lives. However, our cognitive biases do not always give us the best or even a good decision.

Over our lifetimes, we add many additional rules and short cuts into our subconscious to help guide us in making some of our decisions. In some cases, we consciously decide to add a rule or short cut into our subconscious or to update a rule or short cut that we had. However, in many cases, our subconscious adds or updates many of its rules and short cuts without us realizing it.

For example, I consciously added a rule to wear the next outfit in my closet, unless I needed to wear something different for a special occasion. I did that because I sometimes get what is known as analysis paralysis. That is, I sometimes get stuck trying to decide what to wear. For a similar reason, I consciously came up with a few rules around deciding what to eat and what to do in many other cases.

In addition to us adding rules and short cuts consciously to our subconscious, many rules and short cuts get added without us deciding to do so. Since they are added without us thinking about them, we may not know when, how or why most of them were added, or even what rules or short cuts were added. However, one way this may happen is due to pattern recognition. That is, our subconscious realizes that we make the same decision each time something happens, so it adds a rule or short cut for it so that we do not need to keep thinking about it each time.

For example, when I was a kid, I seemed to have come up with a few rules about what not to eat, although I do not remember ever consciously deciding on those rules. For some of these foods, it may have been that I did not like the way they tasted, or others may have spoken badly about them. Now that I am an adult, I have tried some of these foods and found that I do like them, so I have consciously changed my rules so that I will eat these foods.

Of course, if we end up with bad rules or short cuts in our subconscious, then our intuition could end up making some bad decisions for us. Therefore, it is important to take care when we consciously add a new rule or short cut, and to recognize when our rules or short cuts are not working the way they should, whether they were added consciously or subconsciously. If we find that our intuition is making bad decisions, then it is time to look at and to update the relevant rules and short cuts in our subconscious.

Although we may always want to make the best decisions, there are a lot of things that can interfere with our decision making. These include the worldviews that we create for ourselves, the cognitive biases that we are born with, the moral values that we prioritize, our emotions, and all the misinformation and lies that we are inundated with.

To make better decisions, we need to be aware of and to take steps to deal with all the things working against our ability to make good decisions. In the previous subsections, I talked about some of the things that can taint our worldviews and interfere with our good decision making, and what we can do so that we can make better decisions. In the upcoming sections, I will talk about some other things that can interfere with our good decision making.


Like everyone else in the world, I have my own unique worldview, which is incomplete and has its flaws. Unlike many others, I have tried to keep an open mind, to imagine myself in other individuals’ shoes and to try to see things from their point of view. In this light, knowing a little about my background may help you to understand a little bit about how I view the world and how that may have influenced the ideas that I came up with and that I am presenting here.

I have dated some but have remained single. I have lived in many different places in at least 8 different states. I have lived on a farm where we had an outhouse and canned our own food, in big cities, in the suburbs, and on military bases. I have rented apartments, owned homes and a condo and was an owner in a co-op. I have also done some traveling within the United States and to other countries such as Canada, Mexico, and several European countries.

I did not go to college right after high school. Instead, I attended classes part time while working either part time or full time. Initially, I studied accounting, then machine theory and practice, but later switched to computer programming and took some engineering classes. Since I moved around quite a bit, I had to switch colleges several times. In the end, I got an associate degree in accounting, a certificate in machine theory and practice, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science.

I have worked at many different jobs in many different industries. I have done farm chores, worked in a grocery store, done bookkeeping and accounting, and worked as a computer programmer and systems analyst. As a Programmer/Analyst, I have worked to design, to build and to implement a wide range of systems for retail, insurance, manufacturing, financial, banking and service companies.

I most recently worked as a web application developer, where I gathered and analyzed business requirements and converted them into appropriate web-based business to business (B2B) applications. I retired in 2022 so that I could spend more time working on trying to update and to promote my ideas for a better and brighter future.

For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in and sought to learn many different things to understand myself and the world around me. There have been many times when I have not been satisfied with the usual explanations or justifications for things, so I have asked questions and dug deeper to find the underlying truth. In my high school year book, I even stated that “I study all things in search of the key to the universe”.

As I learn new things, I have tried to keep an open mind and to update my worldview as needed. As a result, my current worldview is somewhat different, and hopefully more accurate, than it was in the past. However, I realize that I may not have always been successful in updating my worldview to agree with reality. Therefore, whenever I am working on my ideas for a better future, I always try to keep in mind how my own worldview may influence my ideas and try to reduce the influence of any resulting biases that I may have and to update my worldview as needed.

In my pursuit of understanding, I have read and studied the ideas of many different individuals from throughout history on subjects such as philosophy, religion, government, and science. By combining what I have learned and by using some no-nonsense common sense and logic, I was able to gain a better understanding of the problems that our modern civilization is facing. I was then able to come up with my philosophy of life and use it to come up with some ideas for creating a better and brighter future.

Next Section

Knowledge - Knowledge gives us the power to create a Foundation for a better Future.

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Friday, February 09, 2024
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