Time travel! No not like Marty McFly, but in our heads. Backwards via memories, albeit imperfectly. And forwards, to make plans for the future and think about all the ways they could go wrong and then make new plans and then etc.
Foresight is profoundly human and completely innate to your brain: just try and sit still with your thoughts for a bit, and you'll see how often you think about what comes next. Without foresight, no skyscrapers, art, podcasts or health service. No anything we call home, really. But also no climate crisis. Because it turns out that just like our memories, our ability to see and guard against bad things in the future is distinctly imperfect - cf, the global pandemic - and that's got us into a whole heap of trouble.
What's to be done? Joining Dave to talk all things foresight is Dr Adam Bulley. He's a cognitive scientist and one-third of the authors of The Invention of Tomorrow: A Natural History of Foresight. Follow Adam on Twitter @adamdbulley.
-- 06:41: A great New Yorker article about Elizabeth Loftus's pioneering work on memory.
-- 12:54: More about the patient who was scared of shaking hands.
-- 35:22: Hyberbolic discounting, via the superb crew at Decision Lab.
-- 40:23: Hal Hershfield says you make better decisions if you see your older self.
-- 42:37: An extract from Tali Sharot's book, The Optimism Bias.
-- 47:31: The book is Premonition, by Michael Lewis, and here's a review.
Your Brain on Climate is a podcast about human psychology vs the climate crisis: what we think, why we think it, and how it all adds up to a planet-sized emergency. Contact the show: @brainclimate on Twitter, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support the show on Patreon: www.patreon.com/yourbrainonclimate.
The show is hosted by me, Dave Powell, who you can find @powellds on Twitter. Original music by me, and I twiddle all the production knobs too.
Show logo by Arthur Stovell at www.designbymondial.com.