October 9, 2020

I have mixed feelings about Dilbert (and about the Trump-friendly "facts don't matter, only persuasion matters" of its creator Scott Adams) but this strip from 1992 has really stuck with me; it's a very important point fairly well presented:

I have some quibbles (the "interaction of chemicals" is by no means "random") but it's important to know that action precedes rational thought and narration.

There are anecdotes involving hypnosis and split-brain patients that provide crystal clear examples of how the narrative brain will confabulate explanations for what the system as a whole (conscious/unconscious) has done - if a person acts because of unknown hypnotic suggestion or because of instructions given only to the non-verbal lobe, our inner narrator is rarely at a loss for SOME reason why it made sense to do whatever the body just did.