“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.” ~ Daniel Boorstin
The Art of Thinking Clearly is a nice book from Rolf Dobelli. In one chapter, Dobelli shares a couple of instances…
Every day, shortly before nine o’clock, a man with a red hat stands in a square and begins to wave his cap around wildly. After five minutes he disappears. One day, a policeman comes up to him and asks: ‘What are you doing?’ ‘I’m keeping the giraffes away.’ ‘But there aren’t any giraffes here.’ ‘Well, I must be doing a good job, then.’
A friend with a broken leg was stuck in bed and asked me to pick up a lottery ticket for him. I went to the store, checked a few boxes, wrote his name on it and paid. As I handed him the copy of the ticket, he balked. ‘Why did you fill it out? I wanted to do that. I’m never going to win anything with your numbers!’ ‘Do you really think it affects the draw if you pick the numbers?’ I inquired. He looked at me blankly.
Consider my own example. I was once a die-hard cricket fan…or let me say I was a fan of only watching India win (and hated it when they lost).
So, during crunch matches, I used to change my seating places in front of the TV frequently to hit upon one from when India started doing well.
I got up from that place, and the Indians either lost a wicket or dropped a catch, so I stuck to that place throughout the crunch situation.
I thought my seating place controlled the fate of the Indian team, which was such a stupid thought.