On March 25th, a California man named Mike Hughes launched himself 1,875 feet in the air on a homemade rocket to prove the earth was flat. While Hughes was being loaded into an ambulance after his back-injuring takeoff+landing, he announced that he hadn’t managed to prove anything since he couldn’t see any earth beyond the horizon.
A reporter asked him if the horizon he observed was evidence of the natural curve of the earth. “No,” he said, “I just didn’t get high enough to see the whole thing. Next time I’ll have to go even higher.”
There’s a little “Mad” Mike Hughes in all of us. Humans are really bad at being objective. In fact, we an overwhelming tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of our existing beliefs. And in the age of google, its easier now than its ever been to find supporting evidence for any belief, regardless of its validity.
So how do we avoid falling victim to confirmation bias? By being wrong.
When is the last time you recall realizing you were wrong. If you can’t remember, it doesn’t mean you’re right all the time. It means you lack self reflection.
Don’t trust people who think they’re right. Trust people who know how to admit when they’re wrong.