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Collective Stupidity -- How Can We Avoid It?

  • Published on Sep 30, 2023 veröffentlicht
  • Go to Nautil.us/SABINE and get 15% off your membership!
    Correction to what I say at 11:53 -- I was referring to Milgram's famous experiments in which people administered electroshocks to others when ordered so. It had nothing to do with prisons. The prison experiment was from Philip Zimbardo, not Milgram. Sorry about that.
    When we come together in groups we can be so much more than the sum of the parts. But sometimes groups are just much more stupid. Collective stupidity is the flipside of collective intelligence, and we see it a lot on social media. Why are groups sometimes collectively stupid and sometimes not? What can we do to be more intelligent in groups? In this video I explain the most important points.
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    / @sabinehossenfelder
    00:00 Intro
    00:45 Emergent behaviour
    04:12 Collective intelligence
    07:58 Collective stupidity
    14:49 What can we do?
    18:34 Nautilus Special Offer!
    #science #socialmedia
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 0

  • Craig Kam
    Craig Kam 6 months ago +1236

    When I was young, my father told me that the louder and more confident sounding a person was, the more you should be suspicious of the points they were trying to make. This perspective has served me well in life.

    • Roman K.
      Roman K. 6 months ago +21

      Oh, ja-ja! Frau Hossenfelder sounds pretty loud and VERY confident. I guess you should be worried.

    • Jaroslav Pešek
      Jaroslav Pešek 6 months ago +4

      ​@Roman K. Who?

    • Roman K.
      Roman K. 6 months ago +36

      ​@Jaroslav Pešek The author of this video. The channel is named after her. It seems individual stupidity can still compete with the collective one.

    • Just Askin'!
      Just Askin'! 6 months ago +23

      @Roman K. Let me get this right: You think Frau Hossenfelder is stupid? No no, I won't insult you or anything if you do. I just want to know what we're all dealing with here. 🙂

    • duck youtube
      duck youtube 6 months ago +59

      Confidence shouldnt be the sole factor for you to question the legitimacy of one's abilities.
      As Aristotle says, demonstrate what you know. If they cant do that, then you know they are full of shit.

  • Billy Graham
    Billy Graham 5 months ago +535

    In college I had a class in critical thinking. The instructor had us get into groups of 7. We read compound sentences and interpreted the sentences. We agreed on several compound sentences but then came a confusing sentence. We debated and 6 of us agreed that the sentence meant one thing but the 7th team member disagreed. One fellow just said “he’s wrong, move on.” I said “let him explain himself, because maybe he’s right.” And so we heard the lone dissenter, and it became clear to all of us, except the guy that wanted to move on quickly, that the lone dissenter was correct in his analysis. The guy that refused to listen to the lone dissenter never would change his mind. But I wonder if that wasn’t some sort of a social experiment and the disagreeable fellow was a plant to see how we would respond. I’d like to believe we passed the test, if it was a test.

    • Triasho
      Triasho 5 months ago +51

      Ever watch 12 Angry Men? Very similar to that situation.

    • Spencer
      Spencer 5 months ago +54

      Good for you asking the question! Questioning everything is central to Critical thinking. Only Lazy minds blindly accept what they are told.
      - _“Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.”_ Thomas Jefferson

    • Alan Robertson
      Alan Robertson 5 months ago +42

      Critical thinking and the basis of proof should be taught a lot earlier than college. A glaring omission. I speculate its because there are too many unfounded beliefs out there so critical thinking would offend too many vested interests. Unfortunately most people are not taught this, even at college.

    • The Devil's Advocate
      The Devil's Advocate 5 months ago +19

      We saw in practice the world isn't a critical thinking world

  • Daniel Carter
    Daniel Carter 4 months ago +63

    You've all probably heard this one before....
    A teacher was giving a lesson about the Salem Witch Trials and he set up the rules for a practical hands-on lesson.
    “I'm going to come around and whisper to each of you whether you're a witch or a regular person. “ Your goal is to build the largest group possible that does NOT have a witch in it. At the end, any group found to include a witch gets a failing grade."
    The teens dove into grilling each other. One fairly large group formed, but most of the students broke into small, exclusive groups, turning away anyone they thought gave off even a hint of guilt.
    “Okay," the teacher said. "You've got your groups. Time to find out which ones fail. All witches, please raise your hands." No one raised a hand.
    The kids were confused and told the teacher he'd messed up the game. "Did I? Was anyone in Salem an actual witch? Or did everyone just believe what they'd been told?" And that is how you teach kids how easy it is to divide a community.
    Given our current state of affairs, does this sound familiar to anyone? Does it not reflect the current affairs globally? So ask yourself the question, who is making the claims and who benefits? It's almost never a case of this side is always wrong or this side is always the right side.

    • Jeff Yang
      Jeff Yang 3 months ago +4

      we played this except we also voted who would get metaphorically burnt at the stake and someone voted to burn the entire class

    • Eli Hathaway
      Eli Hathaway Month ago +2

      That's awesome, and the parallels to our current society are scary.

    • Tetra Sphere
      Tetra Sphere 23 days ago

      Reminds me of the Stanford prison experiment, which I still don't understand how it was possible. Maybe I'm immune to group think or the herd mentality. I'll never understand how it's so easy to manipulate people

    • blah blah
      blah blah 18 days ago

      ​@tetrasphere8165 yeah, I think it's because if people in a group don't y'know see the people in the group as beneath them or dumber than them, they'll trust their ideas or statements because they'll believe almost everyone around here is as smart as them (which is usually true) thus making it so they're less likely to think deeply about it due to it being a complicated topic. And that's what most of the people in the group are assuming too, allowing the spreading of stupid ideas that were being shared with the utmost confidence. Though even I don't get how the results of the stanford prison experiment came to be.

    • George Sheffield
      George Sheffield 2 days ago

      You need to do a long you tube on this

  • Greg Bayley
    Greg Bayley Month ago +7

    My mother started warning me at a very early age,”beware of the crowd mentality”. I think she was talking about “Group Stupidity”.

  • Inventor Brothers
    Inventor Brothers 5 months ago +98

    My Mom used to work with a child abuse agency. She said that there is a special way to question kids so you don't influence what they say. Kids often say what they think you want to hear instead of their personal observations, so you have to avoid asking leading questions. For example, if you are asking about if a door was open or closed, you ask "how was the door?"

    • Isochest
      Isochest 3 months ago +7

      Very insightful. Give the disadvantaged person the lead but don't make an issue of it in any way

    • Anna Lisa Vajda
      Anna Lisa Vajda 3 months ago +8

      Well that's interesting because I think many people would not want to hear about child abuse at all and likely deter victims if they use a scolding tone or ignore them completely. As an adult victim I found I had to apologize to people just for telling them because I knew they didn't really care.

    • Chris Freebairn
      Chris Freebairn Month ago +3

      ​@Anna Lisa Vajdathese days it's the other war around, ppl leap at any hint of child abuse; notice the absence of men in early education? This is the reason; normal interactions with young children are suspect when a man is involved, so men opted out of that fraught environment.

    • Clorox Bleach
      Clorox Bleach Month ago +4

      It hasn't been that way for a while. Social workers I had to deal with made it abundantly clear which answers were correct. It also became apparent that anything I said in mom's defense was extremely suspect, but anything I said that could be construed as against her was gospel.
      I only recently got over hating southern women, and regained tolerance for, if not trust in the government. I'll probably always hold a grudge against the profession for taking away my way of life.

    • Isochest
      Isochest Month ago +1

      @Anna Lisa Vajda Sounds right. Most people have little or no empathy and will back an abuser over a good person but whinge when they get dumped on.

  • Wit Wisniewski
    Wit Wisniewski Month ago +12

    I had a friend who had fun walking the woods with hunters (carying loaded guns). He would suddenly point at nothing and watch them immediately fire in that direction. This was very repeatable.

    • Mohamed Ahmed Fathy
      Mohamed Ahmed Fathy 18 days ago

      Is it because the case is urgent and important so DO it as in the video?

  • Kostas Holopain
    Kostas Holopain 6 months ago +795

    Can we take a minute to appreciate Sabine's excellent sense of dry German humour?

    • Rick Skeptical
      Rick Skeptical 5 months ago +19

      Was going to comment on the humor myself. A wonderful gem of YT educational entertainment.

    • Eduard van Kleef
      Eduard van Kleef 5 months ago +26

      Dry German humour does not exist. Which makes Sabine's ability to rise beyond her cultural environment all the more admirable.

    • Kostas Holopain
      Kostas Holopain 5 months ago +30

      @Eduard van Kleef I've been living in Germany for the last 11 years- Germans are funnier than the stereotypes picture them. Although their general sense of humour might not be everyone's cup of tea.

    • Eduard van Kleef
      Eduard van Kleef 5 months ago +10

      @Kostas Holopain I've lived (as a foreigner) in Germany for the most of the past 28 years after living in Britain for four years and some other countries in between. I agree that Germans are funnier than the stereotypes picture them. German stand-up comedians mostly grin into the camera to signal the audience that it's time to laugh, although there are exceptions (e.g. Dieter Nuhr) and it's generally been getting better.

    • Kostas Holopain
      Kostas Holopain 5 months ago +6

      @Eduard van Kleef to be honest, I am not into German stand up comedy, perhaps for the reasons you mentioned, so I can't give a valid opinion on the subject. I was making a general statement based on my experiences with friends and co workers. Which makes my statement rather subjective and debatable. I only know that the people I come in contact with, are generaly good natured and humorous. I am lucky!

  • Dan noringer
    Dan noringer 4 months ago +11

    When I led a team of 130 engineers, managers and other professionals, I found that meeting once a week in an open setting of all primary stakeholders where every stakeholder was given time to speak their mind, report progress, request any needed resources, and identify risks and problems that they see was a critical process step that enabled the entire team to accomplish their extremely difficult and complex goal after 19 months on schedule and under budget. Speaking up was encouraged, and reporting problems and risks at the earliest possible time was rewarded with mitigating resources. Also all was reported up the chain with only minor editorial changes.

  • Todd
    Todd 4 months ago +18

    Thanks! Keep making these great videos. As an American living in Germany for 5 years, I appreciate your sense of humor in ways not possible if I had never left the USA. You are an excellent explainer. Please keep sharing your insights.

  • Chris Garvey
    Chris Garvey 4 months ago +15

    It's been a while since visiting. I forgot how dead pan hilarious Sabine is. 'Prevent my hair from looking like cauliflower', 'you vs. a cheese cracker! > I had to back that one up, wasn't sure I 'heard what I heard"! Thanks Sabine, for the education and the laughs.

    • Mark Jenkins
      Mark Jenkins Month ago +2

      I heard her say hair like sour kraut.

  • Patricia Welty
    Patricia Welty 3 months ago +7

    Absolutely love the use of common sense put forth on this channel. Thank you.

  • Mo Draccin
    Mo Draccin 4 months ago +4

    One of the biggest problems of our complex times, i believe - and would never have thought about trying to solve it. It's a very exciting topic - thank you Sabine! I learned a lot and had some hearty laughs. As someone else said it nicely: I'm drawn in by the science and i'm staying for the jokes.

  • Eric Cartmenez
    Eric Cartmenez 6 months ago +642

    Collective stupidity has become a force of nature as of late. I put it down largely to the internet and the echo chambers it has created but there's still more to it...

    • Terry Bollinger
      Terry Bollinger 6 months ago +69

      Yes, and one of the "more to it" items is the creation of swarms of rantbots posing as humans to amplify the message of their owner.

    • bluesque
      bluesque 6 months ago +21

      That's how pretty much everybody feels! So who is stupid and who is non-stupid?or, is it subjective?
      Eric, take it easy. Internet at worst only shows how stupid we already are.. and at its best people use a lot of intelligence generated by the smart guys!

    • Requited
      Requited 6 months ago +11

      The internet has just returned us to a state similar to smaller communities where we are exposed to everyone's opinion, even the government and big organization capture of the information sources is similar to the control they had over the smaller groups and community.
      Granted it has removed the few restraints that people usually have by talking to someone in person but that just means you are getting a more truthful representation of the person's self.

    • jorriffhdhtrsegg
      jorriffhdhtrsegg 6 months ago +6

      Was it formerly authoritative stupidity? On the one hand perhaps its due to individual autonomy, so everyone must hold opinion that they are an expert. Yet it seems illusory- doesn't social media seem to be evolving to waste our time even more, lack any real content and thrive on dissociated states? Isn't there a trend to get involved in heated fights, and reductive focusing on details? A component of empathy is removed by the medium too... If you want an answer to a question no one is interested, if you tweet an incorrect assumption you will get thousands and possibly start a culture war in the process.

  • Deward Roy
    Deward Roy Month ago +2

    Fascinating, as always. Thank you for your diligence and all the work that went into this amazing presentation.

  • ed smith
    ed smith 3 months ago +14

    Human ignorance is the biggest problem facing humanity. This is an excellent video that just touches on this topic. There if far more to this subject than people realize.

    • Larry Tate
      Larry Tate Month ago +4

      I agree with your statement but I'd like to make one correction. We are all ignorant to some degree which means we just don't know everything. But to be willfully ignorant is unforgivable especially considering that most of us have a smartphone and could easily look up something but the willfully ignorant won't do that it would destroy the illusion that they're right .

  • Steve Harris
    Steve Harris 5 months ago +18

    Reminds me of the jury I was on when a couple of jurors managed to change the minds of 10 others. Good video Sabin and love your humorous outbursts.

    • dying101666
      dying101666 5 months ago +9

      Sounds like 12 Angry Men.

    • Nerdy Ali
      Nerdy Ali 4 months ago +3

      Being on a jury is my worst nightmare. If the state hasn't made it's case and you think the defendant is a psycho, what do you do if you're the only holdout?

    • Thomas W. Eggers
      Thomas W. Eggers 3 months ago +2

      @Nerdy Ali You continue to vote "not guilty", and continue to explain why. It can be very difficult. Many people can't stand the social pressure.

    • Richard Hunt
      Richard Hunt Month ago +2

      I was on jury duty. The judge explained our technical duty in law. The jury members were pathetic and ignored what they had just been told. Sheep. I stuck to my guns, guilty on 3 irrefutable points. Not guilty on the other 4 with no proof. No other way possible, what a bunch of nitwits. 😔

  • SigFigNewton
    SigFigNewton 5 months ago +75

    The most important step to preventing collective stupidity is to treat censorship with disdain.

    • John Smith
      John Smith 3 months ago +9

      Not when collectively stupid people throw the word censorship around to describe all criticism they get, which many do these days.

    • Ghost7856
      Ghost7856 2 months ago +15

      @John Smith Criticism is not a form of censorship in the first place, so that's a non-issue. By the same token, forcefully shutting down discussion on a topic does not qualify as critcism.

    • charles reid
      charles reid 2 months ago +5

      silencing falsehoods is a good thing and is historically the norm. The current storm of idiocy is directly correlated with the internet giving every loon and idiot a platform to share with their fellow idiots

    • Ghost7856
      Ghost7856 2 months ago +9

      @charles reid You know what other things are "historically the norm"? State endorsed slavery, public executions and tribe wars.

  • Tim McC
    Tim McC Month ago +2

    The topic of collective stupidity reminds me of Stapp's Law:
    "Our universal aptitude for ineptitude makes every human accomplishment an incredible miracle."
    Personally, its always spoken to me as the understanding that human beings are fallible as individuals and how those fallacies can influence the collective.

  • Kevin
    Kevin 6 months ago +352

    Great video and explanations as usual. One minor correction. The "prison experiment" was conducted by Philip Zimbardo at Standford . Stanley Milgram is known for his experiments on obedience conducted in the 1960s during his professorship at Yale.

    • Sabine Hossenfelder
      Sabine Hossenfelder  6 months ago +238

      Yes, you are right of course, sorry for that blunder! I put a correction in the info below the video.

    • kukul roukul
      kukul roukul 6 months ago +24

      now im gonna amplify that by saying IM SO CONFIDENT Sabine doesnt know to lace her shoes unless they are entangled somehow :P

      KEN HICKFORD 6 months ago +17

      @Sabine Hossenfelder Why can't posters on here admit they make blunders like you????

    • SameAsAnyOtherStanger
      SameAsAnyOtherStanger 6 months ago +6

      Thanks. I didn't give a second thought that Milgram's punishment experiment didn't take place in a prison. While I would have guessed it used non-Incarcerated people, I assumed Sabine must have been right and I updated my knowledge on that particular obscure bit of information accordingly. Milgram's more famous experiment is famous, but I'll proly never have use for it in conversation.

    • kukul roukul
      kukul roukul 6 months ago

      @KEN HICKFORD its counter productive ? :(

  • Zach H
    Zach H 5 months ago +11

    This reminds me of "Bonhoeffers Theory of Stupidity" which explains nicely how almost everyone you know seemingly lost their minds over the last few years. Fantastic video today!!

    • William Crowley
      William Crowley 4 months ago +1

      Exactly what I was going to comment

    • William Crowley
      William Crowley 4 months ago +1

      Well not exactly but same point

    • Trillion Bones
      Trillion Bones 3 months ago +1

      You might be interested in Cipolla's 5 rules of stupidity. It expands on it really well

    • Zach H
      Zach H 3 months ago

      Trillionbones, thank you for the suggestion. While remedial, Sprouts, does a nice summary with illustrations here on YT and explained it nicely. Bonhoeffer and Cipolla's theorys work well together. Very illuminating.

  • Just Me If You Please
    Just Me If You Please 5 months ago +205

    Advice I've long given to people when working with boys and young men: "The average IQ of a group of boys goes down with every boy you add to the group." 1 or 2 boys unsupervised are not as likely to do something stupid. A group of 5 boys are almost guaranteed to do something stupid if left unsupervised for very long. Grown men are not immune to this phenomenon - they're just better at not getting caught.

    • VEM m
      VEM m 5 months ago +7

      They do lie and then they know how to hide. Brilliant I concour , Amen to your comment.. 🍷😈👍😆

    • Akinyi Omer
      Akinyi Omer 5 months ago +17

      But how come we see this behaviour in boys and young men in such a pronounced way? I'm thinking that in order for this behaviour to make sense, they're either consciously or unconsciously trading off their intelligence/impulse control etc for something else that they either see or find more valuable.
      I've always had this hypothesis that it's the approval of other men, but that's just one idea. Is it that they feel safe to indulge in that part of themselves when there's guys around? Like they conduct themselves pretty well all day but regress into that young recklessness when they feel they've gotten permission?
      D'you have any other thoughts or observations on this? And boys/men out there - d'you want to weigh in on your reasons why?

    • Executive Chef Lance
      Executive Chef Lance 5 months ago +22

      @Akinyi Omer As someone who played every Sport but was outsider and had few friends such that there was really never more then 3 of us hanging out. There are two sides of this. The first is Social Acceptance. The second is Trolls/Pranksters. My small group of friends just loved to troll. Like one time I figured out how to get into the School District Account List. Figured out you can shift select 1000 people at a time and send everyone a message. I got suspended for a month for that. Another time we stole like 50 vibrators from a store and turned them on and put them everywhere around the school.
      Another time guys on the Baseball team were trying to get me to fight someone. I punched one them right in the face instead. As I had bullied quite a bit and was a very angry person due to my Father dying. So I just decked this kid pressuring me to fight. And that is one of the reasons I never ever would hang out with anyone of any of the sports teams. They always try to pull some macho nonsense. Baseball coach was pissed at first when I told exactly what happened he kinda chuckled. Instant Karma right don't try to bully kids into fighting for respect or whatever.
      If I had hung out with the Sports kids. And not the Troll/Stoner/Skater/Video Gamer kids. I probably would have done more Hazing type nonsense. Instead I was bullied and an outsider for a large part of my life. And became very angry and just never took crap from anyone. If I was accepted into Social Circles more readily I probably would have went along with whatever nonsense. That is also another key thing. Acceptance. Guys will do many thing to feel accepted. I was over that by age of 14. Luckily that is when I found my one true friend. If a young guy doesn't have a best friend that is a very bad thing. Every man needs one true best friend.

    • Not your dad, but your daddy
      Not your dad, but your daddy 5 months ago +5

      Sometimes we gotta have a little bit of fun. A good mix between playing stupid/ trolling and having deep convos is what makes my friendships great. Just because a group of people talks bullshit doesnt actually mean that they think what they say is right xD

    • NeonFroot
      NeonFroot 5 months ago +6

      Adult males have rights. Thats why its wasier for them to get away with it

  • alex with the glasses
    alex with the glasses 4 months ago +3

    Enjoyed this overview🙏
    When I worked in a big CAE software company, loaded with intelligent and conscientious people, and would see releases and schedules still go pretty bad, I called it “communal incompetence” - individuals being just fine but what emerges not so much.🤷🏻‍♂️

  • Ed Raymer
    Ed Raymer Month ago +2

    Sabine, I also appreciate your videos and explanations provided. Thank you for the excellent work!

  • Skrungy
    Skrungy 4 months ago +4

    What people miss about the toilet paper is that people are very complex and there is a lot of intuition involved, our conscious is not aware of the exact nature of intuition only the resulting answer in the form of a feeling. I think people instinctually realized how important Hygiene is during a pandemic, and secured the most needed resource at the time which was not necessarily food and water but personal hygiene.

  • Gabi Austen
    Gabi Austen 6 months ago +292

    This is perfect! I remember my Dad telling me during Covid-19, that ,,You can have as much toilet paper as you want, but it won’t do you any good without something to eat!” 😂😂😂

    • Stewie
      Stewie 6 months ago +1

      35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
      You can always get food and water. Toilet paper, not so much.

    • planesounds
      planesounds 6 months ago +11

      @Stewie You always need water and food. Toilet paper not so much.

    • Stewie
      Stewie 6 months ago +5

      @planesounds the moral is that people are willing to share food and water. Toilet paper, not so.much. if you want to enjoy the luxury of toilet paper, you are going to have to provide it yourself.

    • planesounds
      planesounds 6 months ago +3

      @Stewie Exactly, provide it yourself. It doesn't have to come in a sweet smelling roll. You can make it yourself. Either literally, or substitute other paper or cleanse with a wash (bidet). But you get it right when you refer to "the luxury" of toilet paper. I was away from home when the storm broke and there was the rush on the supermarkets where I was. Happened to overnight in a country town over a hundred kilometres from the nearest town and called into the local supermarket. I took the last 4 pack from their shelf and left before the locals saw my out of State number plate. Still have that pack under the back seat in my car. It'll come in handy one day.

    • Doctor K
      Doctor K 5 months ago +6

      You won’t need toilet paper without something to eat.

  • Wayjamus
    Wayjamus 15 days ago +1

    I remember an old episode of Candid Camera where they had someone get into a crowded elevator and face the rear wall that had no door. They then had a camera set up on different floors. It showed the plant then change position to face the next wall to his right (or left, can't remember lol) He kept rotating with each floor and at the end of the clip, everyone was rotating with him. It was hilarious but illuminating at the same time.
    I've used lessons like that in my own plans for world domination. They are coming along nicely. : )

  • HootanHM
    HootanHM 5 months ago +5

    You are one of my favorite Clip-Sharers, and it's not related to how many likes and views you get!
    I not only bothered to like the video, I also spent some seconds to appreciate all those hours you spent to make this video!
    Keep it up, and keep it shorter 😉

  • Traruh Synred
    Traruh Synred Month ago

    My mother and her friends used to do that staring at nothing trick when they were kids. They were in NYC. They stare up at a building and even though they were only kids other people would be joined by others. When they got a little crowd they'd leave and walk around the block (NY blocks) and usually, there'd still be crowd lookup at the building where nothing was going on when they got back. This game may well have predated the experiments.

  • Josie Chaney
    Josie Chaney 2 months ago

    Thank you for this brilliant analysis!! Among other things, it’s validating of my bias against “confidence culture,” where all you need to fix a sink is “confidence.”

  • Derpasaurus
    Derpasaurus 2 months ago +1

    So glad I got your channel recommended. Truly great science content.

  • Neurability Technologies
    Neurability Technologies 6 months ago +122

    I’m so impressed with how you weave everything together to make important topics accessible, understandable and entertaining to learn about. Kudos to you.

    • Jose P. Monto'Jah
      Jose P. Monto'Jah 5 months ago +1

      So radical honesty creates learning networks but lying creates misinformation cascades?
      Just like _pseudo logos_ are indistinguishable to _logos_ ?

    • Just-a-fella
      Just-a-fella 5 months ago +3

      When everyone in a collective is their own individual, then the collective is smarter, but peer pressure makes the collective dumber.
      In the 1960s I was taught this in primary school, and by my scout master, and by my father.
      It is old school common sense but just seems new and wise in today's follow-the-crowd mentality.

    • Kelly Robinson
      Kelly Robinson 5 months ago +1

      José: "Radical" honesty?

  • eddie E
    eddie E Month ago

    Very great video. I loved it. I've always said, the more reasonable one is, the less confrontational they are. Unfortunate, but true. Examples of this are seen every day in every facet of life.

  • KitCarpo
    KitCarpo 5 months ago +5

    I love it!: "I've given up on correcting Wikipedia on quantum mechanics". Spot on Sabine.

      AL THOMAS 5 months ago

      🙌 👏 🙏 🤝 👍

  • Nick Bruder
    Nick Bruder Month ago

    You are so right! I was baffled drawing the line from what you said about stupidity, some time ago and what happened in the first Republican debate. “Averaging collective intelligence only works when the individuals don’t influence each other. ” Paraphrasing.
    When asked to raise their hand if they would support Trump if nominated, only a few hesitated and looked around for a split of a second.

  • Iseektruth
    Iseektruth 3 months ago

    I really enjoy your channel. You have a nice sense of humor for a German 😊. The simplicity of your explanations makes the complex concepts more understandable.

  • Theophilus Jedediah
    Theophilus Jedediah 4 months ago

    I love this channel! She just had a video about the US Congress and Senate! Also you have to be careful about asking information of people who delight in schadenfreude. Sometimes it easier to be stupid than to constantly be the but of the attacks of aggressive bullies in the office.

  • When Better Cars Are Built
    When Better Cars Are Built 6 months ago +99

    One of the many great pieces of advice my dad gave me is: If EVERYONE is doing it or saying it or thinking it, proceed with caution and examine it closely. I have added to that: The truth or reality is static, but perceptions are dynamic.

    • GodotWorld
      GodotWorld 6 months ago +7

      There use to be another saying for this my grandmother liked to pull on me when I got caught doing something stupid, like smoking, because I was in a group of people that were all doing something stupid. "If everyone was jumping off a [ cliff / bridge ] would you do it too?"
      Covid very clearly demonstrated that the last people we should be listening to are the first people to solidify their opinions, demand censorship of all conflicting discussion and insist everyone else stop poking holes and just do what they're told for a hamburger, or else.

    • Anne-Louise Goldie
      Anne-Louise Goldie 5 months ago +3

      Your last sentence is now an official 'life quote' for me 💛

    • Jose P. Monto'Jah
      Jose P. Monto'Jah 5 months ago

      Nice to be the son of Kant

    • When Better Cars Are Built
      When Better Cars Are Built 5 months ago +2

      @Jose P. Monto'Jah You could say my father was a Rekant.

    • 19Murad77
      19Murad77 5 months ago +1

      Your father's advice is very wise, and your addition is brilliantly formulated.

  • Kevin Sands
    Kevin Sands Month ago +3

    I did an escape room a couple weeks ago. Afterward, the owner was telling us that there is a sweet spot on the number of people it takes to be fast. Too few, they don't have opinions to find the answer. Too many and you have the opposite problem. It slows the group while listen to the bad ideas. Same concept

    • Mike Athens
      Mike Athens Month ago +1

      So what's the sweet spot?

    • Kevin Sands
      Kevin Sands Month ago +1

      @Mike Athens According to the lady that owned the place, groups of 4 send to be the highest performers

  • ya33a
    ya33a 5 months ago +5

    I was in a variation of the ash experiment in 1980, before I knew it existed, I was one of one out of 20 people who stuck to my own judgement, I messed up their results and was singled out as a rebel ...yay me...lol, I also got top 5% for my math exam for the state...

    • Inventor Brothers
      Inventor Brothers 5 months ago +2

      Lol that's funny 😂 congratulations on your math exam placement though!

  • ARTC
    ARTC 4 months ago +3

    What a pleasure it is to follow Sabine. Great work.

  • paul dow
    paul dow 5 months ago +1

    I think there is a video/drama from the 1960/1970 period regarding the prison guard / prisoner study.
    It showed how our biases ,group pressure's and motivations impact our behavior. The study involved paid volunteer's to be assigned to one of two groups for each half of the month long study. They were allowed to make own rules.
    The drama as it unfolded brought forth some harmful group behavior and personality traits of the participants.and more.

  • TheStereoClub
    TheStereoClub 5 months ago

    When I take the time to evaluate a situation or point of view, I try to understand the levels of greed, tribalism and stupidity involved. Your presentation suggests the first two contribute significantly to the third, but stupidity seems capable of spontaneous generation in any collection of humans. Great content- it rates a 0 on all 3 of my metrics! Plus it inspired some interesting comments.

  • John C
    John C 6 months ago +327

    I always thought how fascinating it is that insects, like Bees or Ants that aren't really intelligent at all, can create huge and complex structures.
    Emergence is one of the coolest phenomenons in nature!

    • Sabine Hossenfelder
      Sabine Hossenfelder  6 months ago +79

      I agree!

    • Daarom
      Daarom 6 months ago +10

      if you're interested in emergence, watch the lecture Sean Carroll did on it.

    • Rene Dekker
      Rene Dekker 6 months ago +14

      Always makes me think of the book "Gödel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter, in which he describes an intelligent conversation with an ant hill.

    • John C
      John C 6 months ago +6

      ​@Rene Dekker I've heard about that book!
      Is it good? I really need to finally put it on my list haha.

    • Terry Bollinger
      Terry Bollinger 6 months ago +6

      This video got me wondering: Might the existence of such incredibly precise and powerful constructs as DNA be a consequence of some particularly subtle form of "group" intelligence? But if so, what are the units of the group? The fact that my brain goes blank when trying to answer this question is precisely why I find it intriguing.

  • gstlb
    gstlb 3 months ago

    Love this. Just discovered this channel. If other videos here are this good, I have a new favorite channel. And I’m not the least bit influenced by the 900,000 people who are already followers…

  • Rudy Flameng
    Rudy Flameng Month ago

    The panic buying example is a good one. Because it is ultimately selffulfilling. If enough people buy large quantities of toiletpaper it does become scarce and it does start to make sense to do it, too.

  • Fredrick Wendroff
    Fredrick Wendroff 2 months ago

    Love the covid analogy during covid , I remember it well , I didn't worry though , I knew I could use all sorts of things to wipe my backside 😃.

  • Aaron
    Aaron 4 months ago +1

    I’m scarcely capable of not forming opinions when I’m presented with information on a topic. Generally, if I want to mitigate personal bias, I have to enter situations where my subconscious opinions are challenged, let my emotional state change accordingly (usually in a very negative way), and then figure out why I think and feel what I do in that moment. Once I figure out what ideas I hold to so dearly, I ask myself why. I try to find other perspectives and opinions, whether those perspectives come from the internet or nearby individuals, and I reevaluate from there. If I can’t account for my own biases through outside sources, I can’t expect anyone else to be able to do the same.

  • FanOfLiberty1776
    FanOfLiberty1776 Month ago

    Very interesting discussion, and very well done. It brought to mind the susceptibility of some groups of people to believe conspiracy theories. Please do a discussion about conspiracy theories, if you don’t already have one. I just came across your channel and I will look through your video library.
    I’m subscribing.

  • Charlotte Innocent
    Charlotte Innocent 6 months ago +171

    I learned this one absolutely years ago in my youth. I knew (I didn't grow up in Europe) that Poland had a coastline. Obviously. I was decently educated enough to know this simple fact. I met a friend who came from the UK, and swore up and down that it did not! He was emphatic! He was so certain of himself. I am the 8th child of 9. I was NEVER the best in my family in any subject or sport and had been badly bullied at school. I doubted myself despite the certain knowledge Poland had a coast, after hearing him be so certain I was wrong and he was right. After years of always being told I was wrong in everything, I shrugged and said "you must be right". Later, I checked because of a nagging feeling. Nope, I have been right all along.
    Later as I lived longer and got older and just a little bit wiser, I discovered that I had been put down unfairly by others. I was right far more often than wrong and that others had caused me to have an unjustly negative self image. I had been trained to consider myself automatically as of less value and wrong compared to others.
    Now I question even those who seem convinced of themselves. I am still not always right. I am not as intelligent as I would like to be and I know that I am only a short distance above the average, aka, enough to obtain a bachelors degree. This doesn't mean I allow myself to be swept aside any more and I am no longer as easy to fool.
    Confidence or lack thereof is a HUGE factor in this. People put their faith too easily in those who speak with emphatic confidence rather than real experts because we naively assume no one would be so certain unless they had facts. But there is a large group of the population who fall in the dunning kruger way, to the false self belief in themselves that is the polar opposite of the condition I once had having no faith in myself whatsoever. These people believe they are always right despite having very little knowledge or facts on their side, and speak with conviction, misleading the crowds.
    Just trust NONE of it. Neither yourself nor others without checking into all of whatever it is yourself carefully. And then check again doubted your first conclusion.
    I never followed the crowd. That was part of my school yard downfall. I refused to follow, and became a loner. This no longer leaves me feeling the least bit sad. When I got to uni, I discovered veritable communities of loners! And we are better off than the followers. They are walking about with blindfolds on being led by the untrustworthy.

    • Number Six
      Number Six 6 months ago +14

      How you think is more important than what you think. BTW, 5-10% of all people are loners. Without them, human societies might not be able to survive in the long term. Unfortunately, some loners choose to deny their nature, but they make poor joiners.

    • Andy
      Andy 6 months ago +21

      It sounds like you found yourself on the other side of that Dunning-Kruger curve, where critical thinkers misjudge their own aptitude as lower than it actually is. I'm glad you've overcome your irrational self-doubt, while still holding a healthy sense of intellectual humility that we are all sometimes wrong. I respect and admire your love of the truth.

    • Thomas
      Thomas 6 months ago +1

      Thanks for sharing your story, can feel with you, and assume, Bee is the same type, just a lot smarter. Yes most people are braggart, happily I found some friends anyway, hope you too. I'm curious, what's your country, any coastline there?

    • Charlotte Innocent
      Charlotte Innocent 6 months ago +2

      @James James That would be awkward, as my husband (not the man mentioned here) is English.

    • Charlotte Innocent
      Charlotte Innocent 6 months ago +3

      Thank you for the very kind words everyone. We were playing a quiz game at the time, list every country you can think of with a coast line. All countries correct, one point, any country wrong, minus 10.

  • iPsychlops
    iPsychlops 5 months ago

    11:49 Slight correction: Milgrim did a different social conformity experiment, which preceded the Stanford Prison Study (which was "performed" by Philip Zimbardo. Not an experiment either, as there was no control group and no random assignment). Milgrim's study was on social conformity to authority, and he was seeing how far people would go in shocking (he was not actually shocking) another person.

  • Peter J Hillier
    Peter J Hillier 3 months ago

    I suspect one can help oneself make the correct Decisions by ensuring that the Information one uses is as independent and unbiased as possible, question always question. Excellent as ever. Vielen Dank.

  • M Wing
    M Wing 4 months ago

    Excellent topic to discuss . I have seen classic examples of this type of behavior for a very long time now in large groups of people . What I find is that this is very dangerous . Not just the interacting of people with people but it is the bad guy that sees this and decides to use this " fault " to his or her advantage and that is already happening . Collective stupidity ! Great description . :O)

  • Bryan Chance
    Bryan Chance 4 months ago

    I once heard someone said (not to me LOL), "ignorance can be remediated but stupidity is forever.." So, I'm afraid we are doomed!

  • Mikko Rantalainen
    Mikko Rantalainen 6 months ago +124

    In the meetings I have to attend, I'm intentionally going with declaring my opinions pretty quickly with a prefix roughly along the lines "My first feeling is that ..." - I've found that it helps other people to express their non-final opinions, too. And I think it pretty clearly conveys that I'm willing to change my opinion during the discussion.

    • laestrella
      laestrella 6 months ago +6

      Don't even get me started on typical meetings run by inexperienced managers who let them proceed as pure office politics sh*t shows. Everyone vehemently arguing against people they want to step over and agreeing with only what the manager says. Even when it's blatantly wrong.
      Totally unproductive and pointless.

    • Just Askin'!
      Just Askin'! 6 months ago +4

      I do the same thing, Mikko. I say my opinion and stress that it's "non-final" as you say, then ask for input. About 60% of the time, we don't change what we're doing. About 30% of the time, the convo goes in the direction of improving that thing we're talking about. And about 40% of the time (overlapping the edges of the 60 and 30), we decide to discuss it again in 6 months or a year; in other words, "We favor changing it, but it's not high enough of a priority, so let's come back to it in 3 months."

    • Mikko Rantalainen
      Mikko Rantalainen 6 months ago +3

      @Just Askin'! Sounds pretty similar to my experiences! Though the percentage for "this is not high enough priority right now, postpone" is even higher for our team.
      The problem with that style is that in long run, you'll have a huge pile of postponed things simply because no couldn't make a decision "we'll not do that at all".

    • Jose P. Monto'Jah
      Jose P. Monto'Jah 5 months ago +3

      So radical honesty creates learning networks but lying creates misinformation cascades?
      Just like _pseudo logos_ are indistinguishable to _logos_ ?

    • george mira
      george mira 5 months ago

      It would be so nice if you instead adhered to statistical probabilities.

  • Jean-François Kener

    We can't avoid collective stupidity except by not joining groups. From my years of observing people, people group with others who share common psychological deviations. Most of people are wrong in basic things, they just group together to gather confidence.

  • javamanV3
    javamanV3 2 months ago +1

    Sabine - Great show, as always! Also you look great if I might say so. As I have gotten older I have become more outspoken. I love your channel. I have a technical degree from the late 60's (math and physics) and your show is perfect for someone like me who has forgotten more than I can say. Thanks again for a pleasant time.

  • Pierre van Male
    Pierre van Male 5 months ago +1

    11:54 Milgram is famous for an experiment about obedience (with fake electric shocks). The controversial prison experiment (known as"Stanford experiment") was conducted by Zimbardo.

  • Karl Fillmore
    Karl Fillmore 5 months ago +2

    Sabine, I appreciate your confident presentation of your ideas.

  • Aaron Davis
    Aaron Davis 4 months ago +1

    Panic buy occurs because people are afraid of panic buying. It makes sense to buy more of a product if there's a good chance that it's going to run out. It's irrational at the group level but makes perfect sense as an individual, especially once the panic has already began.

    • Leonard Gibney
      Leonard Gibney 4 months ago

      Same with runs on banks. People rush to get their money out because they fear the bank is in trouble so causing the collapse they fear.

  • Olivier Van Cantfort
    Olivier Van Cantfort 6 months ago +42

    Never underestimate the power of herd behaviour. I had an amazing example some years ago (before we all got Waze in our pocket). I was like many other people driving home from holidays. The traffic on the highway was very dense but still fluid. Then there was a police car next to the largest mobile electronic sign that I ever saw outside concerts. It read "Warning ! Work ahead - 1 lane only. Currently : 20 km jam, 4 hours delay!
    Alternative: take next exit and follow signs. 15 min delay". So I left the overcrowded highway and followed the signs. To my utter amazement,I was totally alone. I saw no car in front of me or in my mirror for about 15 minutes. Talk about ignoring your personal information to follow the herd 😮
    Herd behaviour is exacerbated in stress and disaster situations. I had emergency training with firemen for my work and one of the first thing they taught was that, if you are ever caught in a disaster, ignore the crowd, stop 30 seconds to observe and think by yourself. They had numerous examples of crowds passing right in front of emergency exits and ignoring them, or worse, running towards the danger...

    • Fullstrengh100
      Fullstrengh100 6 months ago

      I used to drive on a very busy county road to go home from work, usually for an hour. Then it occurred to me the 25 mph streets were faster even at a lower speed. If I took regular streets I usually home in 25 minutes or so.

    • Warlord Megatron
      Warlord Megatron 5 months ago +1

      I don't think anyone who understands herd behaviour underestimates it given the number of theists on this rock

    • Michael Kearney
      Michael Kearney 4 months ago

      Politicians love herd behavior, especially the capacity of people to ignore logic and embrace patently stupid ideas. Just consider what activates many activists, intellectually vapid slogans that can be repeated incessantly. Collectivists love this -- ask Mao.

  • #DigitalTransformation
    #DigitalTransformation 5 months ago +2

    That is how holisitc groups/ systems has been born, I guess. Important and good content with Sabine Hossenfelder as usual.

  • Malidictus
    Malidictus 5 months ago +1

    OK, I was not prepared for the "prevent hair from looking like sauerkraut" joke. It set me into a laughing fit so hard I ended up coughing. Thank you :)

  • Nick Bruder
    Nick Bruder 9 days ago +1

    Commented earlier without replies :(
    Would like to throw Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Sabine’s essay.
    Glad to still see intellectual conversations on the internet.
    Just for fun:
    “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
    - Mark Twain

  • Andy M
    Andy M 4 months ago

    An anecdotal illustration of this concept follows. A group of winter hikers got lost. They did what you're supposed to and found a stream. But a group of the louder and more bossy hikers just *knew* that town lay in the opposite direction. According to the anecdote, the group of hikers became convinced that in this one case, water must be flowing uphill.

  • Dan White
    Dan White 18 days ago

    A lot of this topic is covered in the book "Influence" by Dr. Robert Cialdini. In it he writes about results from years long studies of how people are influenced.

  • Propane
    Propane 6 months ago +111

    I'm glad the phenomenon of confident people dragging down collective performance was mentioned. I feel there's a lot more to it, though. 'Group politics' for example. A member of a group might say or do things they don't think are for the best, because they were influenced by others. There could be a any number of motivations for doing so. To my experience, there is almost always someone in a group who seek to control what others say or do. Usually they fall in the category of 'confident people'. Sometimes that's a good thing (people confident in their ability happen to be right at times), but often it isn't.

    • Barbara Seville
      Barbara Seville 6 months ago +16

      When you discover that you are by far the most capable/knowledgeable person in the group, leave…let them spin their wheels while you have a nice cup of coffee. The fad for “teamwork” promotes mediocre results. Not to put too fine a point on it, Richard Feynman left the Challenger investigation committee and solved the problem quickly.

    • Jean Michel Guiet
      Jean Michel Guiet 6 months ago +1

      Just feeling like Grotendik when he said that the "job is done, what next ?" ❤

    • Mentaculus42
      Mentaculus42 6 months ago +2

      Considering that the hot gas seal problem was fully identified and understood at the hands-on engineering level before the launch, how did Feynman contribute to the recognition of the management level political problem that allowed the cheese holes to line up?

    • Just Askin'!
      Just Askin'! 6 months ago +7

      @Barbara Seville "When you discover that you are by far the most capable/knowledgeable person in the group, leave…let them spin their wheels while you have a nice cup of coffee." Yep, Barbara, that's precisely what I did when everybody started talking about doubling and tripling up masks, and now when the same people insist that we need "boosters" every couple months.
      Meanwhile, they are ignoring the plain facts and the increased incidents of myocarditis amongst our younger generation. One of the absolutely most dangerous things about groupthink is that the group often finds it more difficult to get over their cognitive dissonance and normalcy bias than an individual might. It's always the group who is filming a gruesome crime happening right in front of them, and it's always an individual who steps in to stop that crime and the criminal perpetrating it, right there, dead in its tracks.

    • Barbara Seville
      Barbara Seville 6 months ago +3

      @Mentaculus42 By demonstrating the simple and blindingly obvious mechanism, the only explanation left was stupidity/malfeasance on the part of management.

  • Mr. Jiyu Nanohana
    Mr. Jiyu Nanohana 5 months ago +1

    This is an incredible video and 100% relevant to the current situation on earth.

  • David Raven
    David Raven 5 months ago +1

    For my level of intelligence, this educational video in your vast series, I can use and pass on. Thank you, Sabine. 🤔👍😎⚡💥

  • Frank O'donnell
    Frank O'donnell 3 months ago

    sadly my own personal stupidity never seems to go away which is why I fear it more than the collective kind

  • Chris Lee
    Chris Lee Month ago

    0:00: 🌟 Collective intelligence and emergent behavior in living organisms and particles.
    3:45: 🐜 Collective intelligence can be both beneficial and detrimental, as seen in the behaviors of ants and humans.
    7:29: 📚 Collective intelligence relies on careful information collection, as biased information can lead to problems.
    11:12: 📰 The text discusses the concepts of information cascades and herd behavior, providing examples from various fields such as social media, finance, and experiments.
    15:01: 🤔 Making smart decisions in a group can be challenging, but there are strategies to avoid bias and improve outcomes.
    18:58: 📚 Nautilus is a literary scientific magazine that covers a wide range of topics and provides quality information on scientific discoveries.
    Recap by Tammy AI

  • Paul Bessell
    Paul Bessell 2 months ago

    Great video. This business about people being influenced by others being the reason they are not allowed to know how others are voting in an election until they have voted themselves and the election is over, is the very reason I think polls should be banned at least three months before elections or referenda are held. It stops tactical voting and forces people to vote only for what they genuinely believe to be right.

  • Uncle Kenny's Place
    Uncle Kenny's Place 6 months ago +88

    I have done the "look up in the sky" trick, as a child. My father taught it to me. He was wonderfully anti-social in some ways.

    • Steve Weiser
      Steve Weiser 6 months ago +6

      Your old man sounds like a pretty cool guy.

    • Marco2G
      Marco2G 6 months ago

      Not having seen the video yet, I can only assume this is some Till Eulenspiegel thing :D

    • Nef
      Nef 6 months ago +9

      My aunt, cousin and I put a twist on this one at the zoo, looking into empty enclosures and exclaiming how cute the nonexistent animal was or pull the old "my god that thing would tear off your arm!" trick 😂

    • NIL
      NIL 6 months ago +9

      There are funny shows, where 6 people in a waiting room at the doctor, all jump up everytime a bell rings. An unsuspecting client walks in and within two rings, she will join the ridiculous behaviour. Hilarious stuff.

    • Timsey Tiger
      Timsey Tiger 6 months ago +2

      A slightly morbid twist, looking at the nonexistant body in a murky city river

  • John Delphia III
    John Delphia III 4 months ago +1

    I wonder how collective stupidity, or contagion, might work with AI systems or financial programs (quants).
    I think there's the possibility that a cascade of pattern recognition systems with similar logic might produce a 'run on the banks' type of crisis, maybe in combination with stock shorting programs.
    The speed of things now might mean there's an underlying dynamic instability to the economy that would be hard to determine or have preventive measures in place beforehand.

  • Crowhillgal
    Crowhillgal 5 months ago +2

    I just loved this video. The dry humor is very much appreciated, too. 🤭

  • pawelpap9
    pawelpap9 3 months ago

    This is almost as much fun as social scientist talking about quantum mechanics.

  • Mario Hennenberger
    Mario Hennenberger 4 months ago

    very interesting, and absolutly true, especially when it comes to things that have different outcomes for different groups and they do mix upp, like entrepreneurs with Empployes as they do have a different view the outcomes will varay massively, but in case of the stock market, this is actually an advantage as there is some group activities and the traders that do know what they are doing do not follow them.

  • John Rowson
    John Rowson Month ago

    There needs to be an inductive theory of some kind that makes predictions about behavior. For instance the one I was working on includes a memory for a person, that would have short term, and long term. A belief desire set, and rationality conditions ( minimal ) for intent, and action. The individual then is to the group, as the SM is to emergent ?

  • What Willis Was Talking About

    Just a quick correction: the “prison” experiments were conducted at Stanford under professor Philip Zimbardo, the obedience to authority experiments were conducted by Milgram. Both are worth referencing in this case.

    • Dave it.
      Dave it. 4 months ago +5

      True slime moulds aren't fungi either, but protists. But yeah, really minor nitpick.
      And while I'm actuallying, the slime moulds are supposed to be an example of Dijkstra's algorithm in nature, not collective intelligence.

    • What Willis Was Talking About
      What Willis Was Talking About 4 months ago +1

      @Dave it. lol I couldn’t help it

    • Dave it.
      Dave it. 4 months ago +2

      @What Willis Was Talking About Oh I'm getting a total blast at knowing something Sabine doesn't. Which was kinda the point of the episode, so maybe it was intentional... I knew about the Milgram obedience experiments (and Zimbardo's too), but I had no idea about the people pointing at nothing experiment.

    • Malachi White
      Malachi White 4 months ago +1

      Were not those studies recently somewhat discredited? I thought I read that somewhere.

    • What Willis Was Talking About
      What Willis Was Talking About 4 months ago +1

      @Malachi White some people have criticized the prison experiment for being too callous and lasting longer than it had to. Others have also attempted to replicate it and come up with very different results, apparently.

  • msamour
    msamour 3 months ago

    Hi Sabine, One thing that you did not cover is the cultural zeitgeist that seems to exist at a point in time. There seems to be a massive drop in cognitive function in the last 30 years. There are decisions being taken today that would not have been taken 30 years ago. Like you said " keep your back against the wall and inch your wait out". I've been finding that I am withdrawing from society in the last few years. I cannot seem to tolerate all the strangeness that the collective minds around me are doing. It's a very disturbing feeling. Nice dry puns, and jokes by the way!

  • adam eckard
    adam eckard Month ago

    In high school I had an art project. It was a test on how people react to a sign. It was also an letter form assignment. I made a sign that said " Don't touch, dry paint". It took less than five minutes before a kid touched the wall with the sign on it. I passed the assignment, tell you anything?

  • Stefano Pinchetti
    Stefano Pinchetti 4 months ago

    I remember an undeclared experiment a teacher made on us. He measured a thickness with a micrometer, declared the result, let's say 3,45 mm, and asked the people in the room to repeat the measurement. They declared their results, which varied for some 1/100 of millimeter. Then he gave it to me, and I startled, repeated the measurement, mumbled several times, until he got impatient, so that finally I declared, with embarrassment, 4,46 mm. "Impossible!" came out of someone sitting next to me. Only, the teacher had made that "error" intentionally and everybody then just checked the last digit...
    On the other end, when I was at a football match in the middle of the Milan ultras section, and they were singing "he who doesn't jump is an 'Interist'" (supporter of the other team in the city, aka the enemy, and they were not even playing against them!), I immediately went up and down on the tip of my toes... me being an interist not withstanding (but keeping some contact with the ground all the time, so technically it wasn't jumping, but a good impression of it, if I say so myself).

  • Richard Lopez
    Richard Lopez 4 months ago

    Her sense of nuance is impeccable.

  • Jerry Kendrick
    Jerry Kendrick 6 months ago +46

    Sabine, with dry humor and great clarity of thought you explain these intuitively obvious things so well!

  • Janet Bayford
    Janet Bayford 5 months ago +2

    Excellent. This confirms my belief that we need to add Critical Thinking to the educational curriculum in UK schools. Not sure our politicians would agree though. I was lucky enough to have parents who encouraged me to analyse the data from multiple sources and make up my own mind. Not that I have always followed the rule. Like most people I guess, I have felt social or physical pressure to agree with the views of others, even if I disagreed with them but not about anything really important I hope.

    • Nat
      Nat Month ago

      Teaching critical thinking is oxymoron

    • Janet Bayford
      Janet Bayford Month ago

      @Nat I disagree, but so what?

  • Chris BigBad
    Chris BigBad 5 months ago +7

    Hah. That reminds me of one of those soft-skills training, where the company hopes you become a better human / team-player by forcing you through a power-point presentation. They tried to prove, that working in a team always yields better results than fighting it out alone and set up a helicopter-crash-in-the-mountains-survival-role-play-game. First, each individual was supposed to rank the items from a list for survival. then do it as a team. then get graded. my team made me worse. alone, i was better than any team we had. :( sitting in discussion with my team and watching them stomp into the wrong direction was painful.

    • Thomas Weir
      Thomas Weir 5 months ago +3

      I think that if hell exists, then it will be an eternity of ‘team building exercises’, facilitated by the devil, who just happens to be an overly enthusiastic middle manager with delusions of their own competence.

  • darkspel
    darkspel Month ago

    People preoccupied with other people's stupidity are often pretty stupid in their own way. Always be wary of someone telling you: *I* will tell what's stupid and what's not

  • Larry Tate
    Larry Tate Month ago

    Unfortunately for many people it's impossible to avoid the stupid as they have to go about their daily lives. I'm fortunate that I was able to retire at 50 with no debt and a comfortable income that allowed me to isolate and avoid people and this has served me well. The only advice I could offer people who don't have this advantage is to just avoid people as much as you can and whatever you do avoid mainstream media that's how you make stupid people.

  • CodeAwareness
    CodeAwareness 6 months ago +10

    Sabine, I feel this episode is a fundamental stepping stone into something incredibly relevant. Connecting math, psychology, linguistics, and possibly other disciplines.

  • ObservantPirate+
    ObservantPirate+ 5 months ago +17

    Sabine is the source of awesomesauce...with a mind sharp as a sword, and a Farscape "Chiana" hair-do and physique, combined with her overall excellence and humor.

    • VEM m
      VEM m 5 months ago +2

      Aha, well someone sure seems to have the hots for old Sabi.. hmmm!

    • Zach H
      Zach H 5 months ago +1

      What the frell are you talking about!?

    • Sovereign Brehon
      Sovereign Brehon 4 months ago +1

      I know this reads like an escort review.

    • TraditionalAnglican
      TraditionalAnglican Month ago

      I wonder how many reading the comments have seen “Farscape” & know who “Chiana” is or just how sexual the character is! 😅

    • TraditionalAnglican
      TraditionalAnglican Month ago

      @VEM m- Pretty & whip smart - What’s not to love?!? 😅

  • Melissa Aldosari
    Melissa Aldosari 5 months ago +1

    Certain (perhaps all) politicians know this very well. If you say something (a lie) with enough confidence, loudly enough and perhaps most importantly often enough, the people will start believing it! No matter how far from the truth it may be! Note: certain politicians repeat the same words 3 or more times in a row, to convince those listening to believe them. 🤦‍♀️

  • Eldred Lir-Errant
    Eldred Lir-Errant 4 months ago +10

    Excellent video. Thank you.
    This is why a smaller, de-centralized government is so important. One party has been cultivating collective stupidity in our [USA] public school system for a few decades, and now on social media and mainstream media. They make children and weak-minded adults willfully ignorant; such stupidity is very dangerous because they can react quite violently when their views are even questioned. Bonhoeffer would say these stupid people are even more dangerous than evil people.

    • Naomi and Corvin
      Naomi and Corvin 3 months ago +3

      And ironically, this is the same party that has been parroting "small government" mores, only growing their government's reach further and further into people's personal lives.

  • #Kyiv With Geoff & Tanya

    It starts with engaging the brain, do not take anything at face value, get rid of negative people in your life. I am currently purging and it’s amazing how it’s my fault, I am wrong, I should apologise. Well I just erased from my life 😂🎉. People who refuse to admit that their position is flawed are not worth a discussion

  • George Sheffield
    George Sheffield 3 months ago +3

    It comes down to asking the correct question and allowing all possible answers .. Not giving a limited selection of answers to obtain the prefered / desired results .

    • George Sheffield
      George Sheffield 3 months ago +1

      This is the difference between a didgetal computer and a quantum computer .

  • threeMetreJim
    threeMetreJim 6 months ago +40

    The built in fear of missing out, or not wanting to look different seems to drive a lot of behavior. I did the looking up at a building corner to demonstrate it to a friend many years ago and almost got beaten up when I told my friend, loud enough for the people also standing looking at nothing to hear, "i told you looking at nothing would attract a crowd". But I've always been a bit of a prankster. Also never conformed to "the norm" and speak my mind - no real fear of missing out or wanting to look like others (a bonus of having Aspergers).

    • Darryl Day
      Darryl Day 6 months ago +1

      Very interesting, I hadn’t though it as being advantageous but I can see your point.

    • Paul Michael Freedman
      Paul Michael Freedman 6 months ago +2

      Yup, as a fellow aspie, I can concur.

    • Skwalka
      Skwalka 6 months ago +3

      Another factor, similar to the fear of missing out, is the fear of punishment, this would be the case of closeted homosexuals condemning gay behavior, or following rituals they dont believe in.

  • Steve Dolesch
    Steve Dolesch 5 months ago +1

    Sabine, I agree. I see that everyday at the shopping mall where I volunteer. I see a group of men at a table just blabbering about nothing and at another table I see people, both sexes, having a decent intelligent conversation. Gabi Austen, your dad is right on. 🤣

  • mirror image
    mirror image Month ago

    Collective stupidity can be avoided by seeing things as they really are

  • diana armstrong
    diana armstrong 4 months ago

    Wow! Such an important message so beautifully delivered!

  • Ken Bregman
    Ken Bregman 5 months ago

    Your presentation touches upon the idea that individual contributions to an issue can come to a fairly true evaluation of the reality. One of the conditions for this to be true is that the result of the other participants is not known to the person participating to avoid their decision or perspective influencing their private perspective. In government elections however, opinions are broadcast widely on media, numerous polls are taking how people are responding to these opinions, and these polls also are published; in the end people may be swept up in this cascade rather than remain true to their own opinions. Aside from this technical issue having first past the post elections instead of proportional representation is a more fundamental factor influencing possible election outcomes.

  • James Francom
    James Francom Month ago

    I love your subtle but spot on sense of humor.

  • Perfectly Timed System Error

    There's also expectation bias. Especially when you have to present your decision publicly.
    In this case, instead on relying on the information that you hold, you give your answer based on what you think the group expects you to say.
    Another case can be, when you want to fit in a group and you weight the answers based on what the most correct one should be based on your knowledge of the group.