Being Wrong vs. Realizing You’re Wrong

Most profound (to me) question at TED: "What does it feel like to be wrong?"

audience answered: bad, embarrassing, awful, etc

"You're answering a different question: what does it feel like to *realize* you're wrong?"

Actually *being* wrong doesn't feel like anything at all. It feels just like being right.

That's from John Lilly's Twitter feed, reflecting on the TED conference.

6 comments on “Being Wrong vs. Realizing You’re Wrong
  • It’d be much more interesting, Ben, to know how this really affected you. Where have you been wrong, and what did you do about it?

  • Either being wrong or being right
    cannot be determined objectively.
    It is only the epistemological realization that enables us to tell which is which -Whether it’s a bitter failure or a sweet success.

  • Could it be that since ‘wrong’ does not exists in reality, it is an abstract thought and has no representation and no feeling associated with it (show me a bucket of ‘wrong’)? Could it be that the feelings of “bad, embarrassing, awful, etc” arise when we say ‘I should not be wrong, that’s bad’?

    Lets look at two different scenarios.

    The first one is that I want to get a raise in my job and I decide to take some actions to get it. After the fact, I not only get the raise, but actually I get reprimanded. The thought could be: ‘I did not get what I expected from my actions, I was wrong’, and the subsequent thought could be ‘It should not be that way, that is awful!’.

    In the second scenario, I am in Vegas at a casino playing for money. I make the bet and I lose. The thought could be ‘I was wrong’, with the subsequent thought being ‘Well, let’s see if I win next time’.

    Both situations have the ‘I was wrong’ evaluation, but the feeling was different.

    I conclude that ‘I was wrong’ is not associated to any particular feeling.

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