When I was younger, I didn't know what confirmation bias was. I had to be introduced to the concept. After being introduced, I was able to make better decisions. Although it may seem trivially true to you (now?), it's not to everyone.
You may be reading more into "change their minds a lot" than is intended. A lot in this context means "more than most people". There's a reason phrases like "strong opinions, weakly held" become popular in rationalist circles. It's an emphasis on better decision making.
I think the first time I heard about this idea was in Marilyn vos Savant's Brain Building. She argued that societal infatuation with "having the courage of your convictions" is not the redeeming quality it's made out to be. She mentioned that she could always give her opinion on an issue, but she was also always prepared to change her opinion upon new information.
I'm pretty sure Bezos does not mean you should change your mind 180 degrees at each new contradictory piece of information. Like a Bayesian spam filter, if you've had lots of pieces of evidence for one position, it should take lots or very significant new evidence to change that position.
Decision making biases of various sorts are my chief pet peeve in modern life. It's almost impossible to discuss public policy with people, even in the smartest online forums I know. I think it's banned at Less Wrong. When I listen to the media, I spend most of my time ticking of the biases I hear.
Hah! You only think that because you're not counting the bad decisions.
>Decision making biases of various sorts are my chief pet peeve in modern life. It's almost impossible to discuss public policy with people, even in the smartest online forums I know. I think it's banned at Less Wrong. When I listen to the media, I spend most of my time ticking of the biases I hear.
But biases are like stereotypes in that they're shortcuts your mind has developed based on past experience. That's what people used to call "wisdom".
Sherlock holmes: eliminate the impossible, and what is left, however improbable is the truth. &tc.
Also Holmes is not a good example of a rationalist; his main ability comes from being a fictional protagonist. Holmes cannot be a much better source of rationality advice than Conan Doyle, who quite literally believed in fairies.
Although much of the work of discovering heuristics in human decision-makers was done by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, the concept was originally introduced by Nobel laureate Herbert A. Simon. Gerd Gigerenzer focuses on how heuristics can be used to make judgments that are in principle accurate, rather than producing cognitive biases