Live in a fake cosy world or the matrix

By | Ego, Self-serving Bias

(Excerpt from Thinking In Bets by Annie Duke)

In the movie, the matrix was built to be a more comfortable version of the world. Our brains, likewise, have evolved to make our version of the world more comfortable: our beliefs are nearly always correct; favorable outcomes are the result of our skill; there are plausible reasons why unfavorable outcomes are beyond our control; and we compare favorably with our peers. We deny or at least dilute the most painful parts of the message.

Giving that up is not the easiest choice. Living in the matrix is comfortable. So is the natural way we process information to protect our self-image in the moment. By choosing to exit the matrix, we are asserting that striving for a more objective representation of the world, even if it is uncomfortable at times, will make us happier and more successful in the long run.

But it’s a trade-off that isn’t for everyone; it must be freely chosen to be productive and sustainable. Morpheus (unlike Letterman) didn’t just go around ripping people out of the matrix against their will. He asked Neo to make the choice and exit the matrix with him.

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