If you feel like getting together with other interesting people to multilogue on “Intellectual Independence”, join us later today (17:30 CET) here:

According to Daniel Kahneman (but not exclusively) our System 1 makes around 90% of all decisions during our waking life.

System 1 is the part of our mind (made up of various regions of the brain, usually called the "default mode network") that gives us the ability to respond to our environment as fast as possible. A genetic selection of a well functioning System 1 has brought you here. It is crucial for survival. It is also a huge problem.

When (hopefully) well intended humans, like your parents, teachers and other peers were configuring your System 1 in the first seven years of your life, they filled it with all sorts of heuristics that (seemed to) made sense at the time.

These instructions trade accuracy for speed by operating on assumptions about the environment. If the environment never changes this is a good thing. If it does, you have a problem because your decision making is becoming misaligned with reality.

The environment we all live in has dramatically changed over the course of the past couple of decades and will continue to change at even higher velocity.

Our System 2 (or the executive network) understands this. It makes sense of the data it collects, analyses, makes plans - just to have those plans crossed by its own System 2 which simply does not care about anything System 1 decides.

As long as your System 1 and System 2 are not aligned towards the same outcome, you are torn in a battle between an almost almighty autopilot and an almost powerless pilot. You will crash.

In comes the salience network. We don't know much about it, but it seems to be have a mitigating function between the executive and default mode networks.

Combining what is intellectually and emotionally salient to us into instructions for our salience network in order to create a DEEP ALIGNMENT between System 1 and System 2 is how we safely land this thing.

In the upcoming three posts and multilogues we will focus on autobiographical vignettes on how to step out of our systems, engage in active self-recoding and identifying what is salient to us:

  • Overviewing

  • Autopoieting

  • Deathing

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel from Pexels