We’re All Hypocrites Now

It was discouraging and humbling to learn that we are all hard-wired with bad heuristics, i.e. we think poorly. The good news is that with enough discipline and care, we can usually overcome our built-in deficiencies. But neuro-behavioral research doesn’t stop, and the latest news from the front lines is even more discouraging. We are all hypocrites now.

What can be done? First and foremost, we must refrain from moral vanity. It’s an old lesson – be slow to condemn. You remember: the plank in the eye. But it’s almost as important to guard against the moral vanity of others. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if someone is “outraged” about some behavior, there’s a good chance that they’ve done something even worse. Keep that in mind when you watch, read, or listen to the news. It’s a tough race for first place in the moral vanity contest: Hollywood or Washington? But who am I to judge?

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