Introduction 00
Journey to Elsewhen 01
The View from in Here 02
Outside Looking In 03
In the Blindspot of the Mind's Eye 04
The Hound of Silence 05
The Future Is Now 06
Time Bombs 07
Paradise Glossed 08
Immune to Reality 09
Once Bitten 10
Reporting Live from Tomorrow 11
Afterword 12

Printable Version

Once Bitten
In this and the next chapter I ask whether and how people can overcome the errors that I describe in the previous chapters.

It is easy to understand why people make mistakes when they are doing something they've never done before. But why do people make mistakes when they are doing something they've done a thousand times? In Chapter 10, I argue that we often don't learn from our own experience because we often don't remember that experience accurately.

Psychologist Dan Schacter describes the tricks that memory can play on us, and psychologists Dan Ariely and Ziv Carmon show that memories of emotional experiences tend to leave out information about how long those experiences lasted.

Which is more important—experience or memory of experience? If you could have an hour of ecstasy that you'd forever remember as torture, or an hour of torture that you'd forever remember as ecstasy, which would you prefer?

"The Sin of Bias" in D.L. Schacter, The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers(New York: Houghton-Mifflin, 2001), 138-160.

D. Ariely and Z. Carmon, "Summary Assessment of Experiences: The Whole Is Different from the Sum of Its Parts," in Time and Decision, ed. G. Loewenstein, D. Read, and R. F. Baumeister (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2003) 323-49.