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.
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
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
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
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 – https://www.statista.com/statistics/274326/big-mac-index-global-prices-for-a-big-mac/
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 https://philipkhor.com/web/ideas/2018/luck-plays-an-important-role/ 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.