What you could be

By Confusion on donderdag 21 augustus 2008 21:37 - Comments (13)
Category: Philosophy, Views: 5.902

If events conspired to make you the victim of cosmic bad luck, you could be notoriously absentminded. You could be distracted while bringing your daughter to the day-care center. You could be worried about someone and, hurrying over to meet him, get out of the car without a second glance. You could work hard all day, get back in the car, drive to the day-care center, be told there that you never dropped your daughter off, hurry back to your car and discover that you forgot so thoroughly that she is now dead, baked by the sun.

This could be you. You could be known as a good friend, a well-liked colleague, a devoted husband and a loving father and still this could be you. Remember that, next time you feel like flaming someone for their stupidity or their evilness. They may be just like you, only less lucky.

Inspired by Daniel Dennetts account of the same incident in his book Freedom Evolves

Volgende: An XSLT to turn XML into CSV 08-'08 An XSLT to turn XML into CSV
Volgende: Theories without predictive power should still be funded 08-'08 Theories without predictive power should still be funded


By Eim, donderdag 21 augustus 2008 23:15

That's like the Bible; don't be angry at someone, you ough to be kind.

By Tweakers user Arfman, vrijdag 22 augustus 2008 00:04

This really happened?

By Tweakers user painkill, vrijdag 22 augustus 2008 02:45

Yes, this really happened.

Het got so disctracted the second he parked his car, he just forgot about the child.

And the truth is, this could happen to almost everyone, whe all have moments that we just dont pay attention to everything that happes arounds us.

Sad, but true.

By Tweakers user Anoniem: 69767, vrijdag 22 augustus 2008 11:37

Ah the goold ol' never ending freewill debate.

By Jasper, vrijdag 22 augustus 2008 16:21

pics or didn't happen ;)

By blizzkid, vrijdag 22 augustus 2008 18:06


Wat een totaal zieke reactie. Het zal jou maar overkomen, al wens ik je dat niet toe. Respect bestaat blijkbaar echt niet meer. En begin niet over humor, want jouw reactie bevat totaal geen humor!

By Tweakers user FirePuma142, vrijdag 22 augustus 2008 20:05

@ Blizzkid

Chill! Ik moest er om lachen. Ik kan nog wel wat ziekere humor verzinnen (BBQ, geen Chinees meer halen voor het avondeten, vast lekker met zongedroogde tomaten). Maar neem toch niet alles zo serieus, humor is een manier om met dingen om te gaan, en dan kan een grap best.

By blizzkid, vrijdag 22 augustus 2008 20:16

Ik kan ook wel tegen een ziek grapje. Alleen is dit geen ziek grapje, maar een respectloze opmerking. Just my 2 cents.

By Tweakers user kamerplant, zaterdag 23 augustus 2008 10:28

zoek maar op nu.nl. Deze situatie is helaas vaker voorgekomen. Sterker nog, ik ken iemand vrij dichtbij waarbij dit ook is overkomen, ik denk niet dat ze pics hebben gemaakt :{

By Tweakers user Giant87, zaterdag 23 augustus 2008 15:42

Wat heeft het voor nut om verhalen her te vertellen in vaag engels op je blog?

By Tweakers user Anoniem: 189242, zondag 24 augustus 2008 11:08

Een kind vergeet je niet, ook al wordt je afgeleid.

By Tweakers user Confusion, zondag 24 augustus 2008 11:19

@Eim: I'd rather say the Bible is sometimes like self-conscious common sense ;)

@Holoris: I don't think the existance of free will is relevant here. The implicit point is that I could imagine this happening to myself.

@Giant87: These blogs are indexed by Google. I'm not writing for a Dutch audience, but for as wide an audience as I can possible reach. I used the same descriptive phrases as used by Daniel Dennett and although my skill at building correct English sentences is far from his, I doubt there is anything 'vague' about it. (Of course, everyone is welcome to point out deficiencies in my English language skill. But please keep them out of these comments and mail them to <my nickname>@tweakers.net)

@g3unes: There is a long history of people forgetting about their children, without these people being known as 'irresponsible'. They are usually known as decent people and no one would have predicted this would happen to them. Yet it happens. You may not believe it, but what you *believe* really isn't worth very much in the face of these raw facts, that tell you that it could in fact happen to ordinary people like yourself.

[Comment edited on zondag 24 augustus 2008 11:21]

By Tweakers user Morrar, zaterdag 30 augustus 2008 11:34

This is no news really, this effect is well know in psychological research and has been called the actor-observer-bias (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actor-observer_bias).

Basically, what it boils down to, is that people always underestimate situational influences on others' behavior, while they tend to (over-)emphasize the influence of such influences on their own behavior.

So when someone leaves his kid to die in a car, he must be a really bad / dumb / evil / etc person, while if I were to do such a thing I was a good person but in a realy bad / hasty / etc situation.

It has been suggested that the bias helps you keep a more positive self-image.

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