Challenging our beliefs

I spent some time learning about how and what and why people believe things and how they reach a conclusion on what is true. I also found out that our perception of the world can be quite off; whether it is the distance between Penang and London or our arithmetic ability to multiply and estimate. - challenging our beliefs
Our perception can be quite “off”- challenging our #beliefs

Here are some findings. Thanks Meg for being my guiney pig.

1// Arithmetic abilities

We think we are so good. But are we? Try multiplying 2 by 2 and the result again by 2. See how far you can go. (the resulting numbers are significant as quantifiers of computer storage space) – eg. 64 MB of memory is actually 65,536 Kilobytes (ask a geek to find out why…)


or you can get a friend to 100 minus 9, the result you keep on minus 9 and work that lazy brain!

2// Play the alphabet game - alphabet game – alphabet game

Draw gridlines and start with A, B, C, D, E

Name a country / animal / food and get them to think of what they like. Get to know them.

3 // Challenge their perception of distance and time

Distance to popular cities around the world

Sure – these answers are easily google-able. But the fun is how we perceive distance and time.

100 metres – Usain Bolt 9.8 sec, how about you?

1km – Distance to the main road from your home

1000km – Bangkok?

10,000km – London?

When making guesses, we sometimes turn off our logic processor. Some think New York (EWR) is 70,000 km away from Penang whereas the furthest distance between 2 points on earth is a guess-timate 45,000km.

4 // Money matters

How much in ringgit is 1 British Pound?

Yes yes, we can google all these things and there is NO perceived need to remember such non-sense facts. But it’s fun. And it can be eye-opening, especially if you find out that people in Britain is paying
£ 1.24 (RM 6.50) per litre of petrol, in Stinkapore SGD 2.08 (RM 6.33), Brunei BND 0.53 (RM 1.60 – the number our politicians are aiming for in Malaysia) and of course Malaysian pump retail price of RM 2.20 (Dec 2018)

Further reading: Big Mac prices around the world –

If you want to step up to the next level, try challenging your inner held beliefs about god, life, and what is “right”. Be careful of Confirmation bias when looking for your evidences to prove your points.

These are some examples. If you have anything to add, ping me @philipkhor or comment on FB.


Posted by Philip Khor on Rabu, 26 Disember 2018

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