The Uncertainty Mindset 2019-2020

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#35: Patterning, herding, programming

vaughn2nd January 2021 at 12:43pm

This issue is about why everyone finds it so hard to see and recognize uncertainty and uncertain futures—as illustrated by the repeatedly poor decisionmaking about coronavirus at both governmental and individual levels.

Three human tendencies are at work here:

  1. Patterning: The past is much more certain than the future, so the patterning imperative tends to assume the future will be more certain than it actually is.
  2. Herding: If most people around us believe things will continue more or less in the same way (because this is essential for people to live together, work together, and depend on each other) as individuals we are disincentivised to believe that the future will be uncertain.
  3. Programming: Because we are habitsuated to living and thinking with the risk mindset (vs with the uncertainty mindset), risk becomes the default and dominant lens through we see the future and act in it—even when the future is both risky and uncertain.

You can find it here: #35: Patterning, herding, programming