Sam Harris on Joe Rogan Podcast 192


Sam Harris: Yeah, yeah


Joe Rogan:  when you’re in San Francisco and it doesn’t make any sense and it will last for a little while. Is it.. is it possible?


Do you believe, like have you ever had personal experiences where you know, you knew someone staring at you and you looked and they were. You knew the phone was gonna ring and it did.


Sam Harris: Oh yeah.. a lot.


Joe Rogan: Is that all bullshit?


Sam Harris: No, not bullshit. But, a huge component and perhaps the component that explains all of those experiences is what’s called sampling bias. Where you notice all the hits and you don’t notice the non-hits.


Joe Rogan: Right


Sam Harris: You don’t notice all the time. You pick up the phone and you have no idea who’s calling you.


Joe Rogan: Right


Sam Harris: Which is most of the time.

Joe Rogan: Right


Sam Harris: And this is before called-id obviously. Caller id has, has ruled


Joe Rogan: <laughing>


Sam Harris: out the <inaudible>  psychic phenomenon. Uhm but, so we know we don’t keep track… the hits are salient to us and the failures aren’t so religious people do this all the time.


God always gets credit for good things He does but he doesn’t get scored for all the disasters he fails to prevent so.


Bus crashes and everyone’s dead except one little girl and it’s God’s miracle that you know she walked away. But what about all the dead people?


Joe Rogan: Right. Of course.


Sam Harris: Uhm and so the non-hits always outweigh the hits and if you actually do the classic demonstration of this which is still shocking to people is the uhm, it’s called the hot hand fallacy in basketball.


The idea that people get on a shooting streak. You know Michael Jordan, he would shoot 2 outside jumpers and when he goes up for his third, there’s this sense both in him and the audience that he’s actually more likely to make that third shot having made those prior to.


Because he’s on a roll. That whole feeling of being on a roll in basketball has been studied because uh, was amazing for professional sports like basketball is the statistics are like every single game that has ever been played is completely broken down.


But we know every shot and every you know, basket and every rebound and so forth. So statisticians can sit down and analyze is there such a thing as a hot hand.


Is it actually true that if a guy has made three jumpers in a row, he’s more likely to make the fourth or is the fourth truly independent of everything that’s gone before?


And they found that despite the personal experience of being on a roll, and despite the fact that we feel like we’ve all seen someone on a roll, there’s really no such thing as being on a roll in basketball.


Now there may be other sports where it’s different but there’s so much chaos and so much uncertainty. Once that ball leaves your hand, uh, it’s a low percentage enough phenomenon that it is actually insensitive to


Joe Rogan: statistical analysis


Sam Harris: No. Insensitive to the fact that you feel great and everything is going well for you and you just sank 2 baskets and you go up and sink a 3rd.


That 3rd, you’re no more likely to sink that 3rd than you were, uh, if it was your first one. And you just failed to, you just missed 2, and then you go up for the 3rd


Joe Rogan: So you completely discount the players’ comfort? Like when they feel like they’re in their zone that doesn’t exist? I mean what is the zone?


Sam Harris: It’s an illusion.


Joe Rogan: Is it just a state of mind created as it happens?


Sam Harris: So what’s amazing about this is.. this is


Joe Rogan: So no one’s ever more likely to make a basket. Is that what you’re saying?

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