When Smart People Suggest Stupid Solutions

I've frequendy wondered why people sometimes come up with painfully silly solutions and don't stop to realize it. If they would give the matter more thought they would quickly see that their solution couldn't possibly work. I believe their reasoning runs something like this: The moment a spectator sees a magical effect that he doesn't understand, he is confronted with a problem, a problem that stands square in front of him like a granite boulder. He can't budge it. It's there and will always be there. Now, if the spectator contrives some solution, in a way he has enabled himself to move the problem. He can roll this boulder out of his way, so that he is no longer confronted by it. The problem seems to be solved. Usually, when this occurs, the spectator is so delighted at having rolled the problem out of sight, his mind throws a big party. He's solved the problem!

Because his mind is dancing and celebrating its victory, it never stops to realize that it only moved the problem, but it still exists in another place. The spectator spends no further time considering solutions after having rolled the rock to one side. This explains why very intelligent people sometimes come up with absurd explanations. Once people start such mental benders, it's extremely difficult to get them to think further. I've yet to find a surefire way of preventing such unfortunate lapses of logic from occurring.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment