We should function as reasonable people. It seems dangerous to do otherwise. And yet, human evolution has not selected against confirmation bias. The New Yorker’s Elizabeth Kolbert examines what seems to be a uniquely human trait: Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds: “If reason is designed to generate sound judgments, then it’s hard to conceive of a more serious design flaw than confirmation bias. Imagine … a mouse that thinks the way we do. Such a mouse, ‘bent on confirming its belief that there are no cats around,’ would soon be dinner. To the extent that confirmation bias leads people to dismiss evidence of new or underappreciated threats — the human equivalent of the cat around the corner — it’s a trait that should have been selected against. The fact that both we and it survive … proves that it must have some adaptive function, and that function … is related to our hypersociability … Presented with someone else’s argument, we’re quite adept at spotting the weaknesses. Almost invariably, the positions we’re blind about are our own.” (I’ve definitely spotted this trend in those who disagree with me.)

+ “This is the same bias that makes you fear swimming in the ocean lest you get attacked by a shark, despite shark attacks being far less common than, say, death by coconut.” Wired on the cognitive bias President Trump understands better than you.

+ NAFTA destroyed the job market in Michigan. Or did it?

+ Stat: “Tired of alternative facts, fake news, and breathless hyperbole, two professors at the University of Washington are trying to strike a blow for science. Their weapon? A new course: Calling Bullsh-t In the Age of Big Data.” (To be honest, I don’t even believe big data exists…)