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It is human instinct to sort and categorize. We are hardwired to discriminate and frame everything around us in binary black and white. It’s how our brains work. Migrant or refugee? Muslim or Christian? Them or us?
Rather than reaching out to those who are different, we bond with those who are similar to ourselves. Rather than challenging our own thinking about the world, we endeavour only to confirm what we believe. The difference between polarized beliefs becomes ever greater. Dangerous possibilities arise. ISIS. Brexit. Trump. The Alt Right. Through persistent binary thinking our capacity for rational through – seeing the grey, rather than the black and white – begins to erode.
Black and White Thinking is an alarm call. It highlights this issue at a time when our world is experiencing a rising tide of religious intolerance and political extremism. It argues that by understanding our evolutionary programming we can overcome it, make sense of the world and in future make far subtler – and much better – decisions.