I have this debate at home every few months when someone is sick? At what temperature do you consider someone having a fever? “Body temperature” being 98.6°F is a bit of myth. The bubble was burst for me by Freakonomics last year when I heard this podcast.
This idea has still stuck in our house. 36.6°C it is. 36.9°C… uh oh. 37.1°C… you better get to bed. 37.4°C… ebola.
The point isn’t to berate some people for still believing this but to illustrate how ideas learned early in life can stick with us. It’s almost as though abandoning the idea is like betraying part of who we are.
I think we all hold these strong beliefs in many parts of our lives. Most of the time, they are harmless, but some of the time, they are strongly limiting. Two technologies that one could develop could be game changing for humanity:
- Identifying where we hold beliefs that are factually disprovable.
- Crafting an argument that is understandable to us so that we are open to accepting that the belief is incorrect and adopting a new belief.
A device that can change our mind would be the most enabling for humanity.