Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, says in his essay “Reporting Live From Tomorrow” that we should learn from experience to predict our future instead of using our imagination. Gilbert says, “If human is a living library of information about what is feels like to do just about everything that can be done. Then why do the people with the library cards make so many had decisions? ”(Gilbert 171) Author uses an interesting metaphor to bring his main idea out.
He implies, if we all learn from other people’s experience, then we are not supposed to make any mistakes. Author says, “The first is that a lot of the advice we receive from others is bad advice tat we foolishly accept. The second is that a lot of the advice we receive from others is good advice that we foolishly reject”(Gilbert 171). Here author gives two possible reasons why people despite we learn from history and other people’s experience still make mistakes.
Author says, “If a particular belief has some property that facilitates its own transmission, then that belief tends to be held by an increasing number of minds. ”(Gilbert 172) Whether it is a true belief or a false belief, as long as it facilitates its own transmission, it will be transmitted. Author says, “The belief-transmission game is rigged so that we must believe that children and money bring happiness, regardless of whether such beliefs are true. This doesn’t mean that we should all now quit out jobs and abandon out families.
Rather, it means that while we believe we are raising children and earning pay-checks to increase our share of happiness, we are actually doing these things for reasons beyond out ken. ”(Gilbert 177) Author answers the question which he proposes at the beginning of this section. Why do people still working so hard when they have enough money to enjoy their lives? Why do people still tend to have a kid when they know rising child is a hard work? It might seem that we are doing something that does not make us happy. Actually, we are doing it for a more noble reason “beyond our ken”.
Author says, “We don’t always see ourselves as superior, but we almost always see ourselves as unique. Even when we do precisely what others do, we tend to think that we’re doing it for unique reasons. ”(Gilbert 182) I laughed when I read this, because this is exactly what I think about myself. I consider myself is smarter than average student, but not the smartest. However, I consider myself as unique, and I like to do something that distinguishes me from other people. However, after I read Gilbert’s essay, I think I should evaluate myself more rationally.