How Natural Selection Screwed Us
Humans were given the superpower of rationality — so why don’t we use it when making decisions?
About two times a week, I swim for an hour straight at a nearby pool:
I’ve done this regularly for about five years now, which means I’ve done this workout roughly 520 times over the last few years.
Yet every single time I reach the parking lot of the pool, this is what I feel:
I feel this every… single… time.
Sometimes it takes a herculean effort to get my ass off the driver’s seat and walk toward the pool.
Other times, it’s not as bad… but reluctance is certainly still at play here.
In the locker room, I unenthusiastically put on my swimsuit, silently hoping that the entire pool was drained over the last five minutes in some sort of freak accident of physics. I then hobble over to the pool, slightly annoyed to see that all the water is indeed still there, eagerly awaiting my entry for the 521st time.
But when I finally jump in, the cool of the water touches my skin, and something interesting happens.
Immediately, my body starts making autonomous motions before I have the chance to even think about it. My arms stretch out and delve into the water in a rhythmic manner, creating the strokes necessary to propel me through the…