The Illusion of Control posting reminded me of another concept. I have watched perfectly rational, intelligent people get upset during a card game because the cards were dealt out of order. Random cards, dealt out of order. Random.

I have seen people that I personally know to be very intelligent believe in all sorts of nonsense, and even seen them defend some of it in an almost religious intensity. Which, of course is the way that nonsense is typically defended. Pick your non-scientific favorite: typically right-wingers denying climate change or left-wingers spreading GMO fear. It can be difficult to comprehend, if it’s not something you already believe in, how others can think some stuff is true.

This phenomena has a name: Dysrationalia. I encountered the term while reading about why puzzles go viral, at the time when the “what is Cheryl’s birthday” meme was spreading. At least I thought I did, up until I looked through the article while writing this one I found that it isn’t mentioned.

So, learning about going viral wasn’t where I learned that dysrationalia existed as a research topic. I already know that we can’t trust our memories because they change over time. That means that I’ll just have to assume that I wanted an excuse to write about dysrationalia and that the illusion of control gave me an excuse to do it. Or that I liked the viral article and wanted an excuse to write about it.

More likely it was the article Why Smart People Do Stupid Things. Yep, that was it.

It makes no difference: this is written, so why not just press the publish button? You now have two more articles to read.