The Corner

Robot’S Rebellion

In the Books section of yesterday’s Washington Times is a review of “The Robot’s Rebellion: Finding Meaning in the Age of Darwin.” Among other things, the book makes the case that the mind processes information differently depending on the situation.

So, for example, the decision-making process employed by an engineer designing a car that can maneuver well on a curving mountain road in the rain is different from the decision-making process that the driver of that car will have to utilize if he suddenly finds himself in a skid on that road.

Not everyone is equally good at both kinds of decision making – just as not all runners are equally good at sprints and long-distance events.

In which kind of decision-making skills do we prefer a president to excel? Does our preference change in a time of war as compared to a period of peace?

And are there not some voters who take their time to carefully decide for whom to vote, while others make up their minds only when, as it were, the car is skidding and there are seconds left to choose?