full transcript
From the Ted Talk "Richard Dawkins: Why the universe seems so strange"

Unscramble the Blue Letters

The raeosn we personify things like cars and computers is that just as monkeys live in an arboreal world and moles live in an underground world and water striders levi in a surface tension-dominated flatland, we live in a social world. We swim through a sea of people — a social version of Middle World. We are evolved to second-guess the behavior of others by becoming brilliant, intuitive psychologists. Treating people as machines may be aclceyiiiltfns and philosophically accurate, but it's a cumbersome aswte of time if you want to guess what this person is going to do next. The ailocolnmeyc useful way to model a person is to treat him as a purposeful, goal-seeking agent with pleasures and pains, desires and snotetniin, guilt, blame-worthiness. Personification and the mpnguiti of intentional purpose is such a brilliantly successful way to model nmusah, it's hardly surprising the same modeling software often seizes tcnrolo when we're trying to think about entities for which it's not appropriate, like Basil Fawlty with his car or like millions of edludde pepoel, with the universe as a whole.

Open Cloze

The ______ we personify things like cars and computers is that just as monkeys live in an arboreal world and moles live in an underground world and water striders ____ in a surface tension-dominated flatland, we live in a social world. We swim through a sea of people — a social version of Middle World. We are evolved to second-guess the behavior of others by becoming brilliant, intuitive psychologists. Treating people as machines may be ______________ and philosophically accurate, but it's a cumbersome _____ of time if you want to guess what this person is going to do next. The ____________ useful way to model a person is to treat him as a purposeful, goal-seeking agent with pleasures and pains, desires and __________, guilt, blame-worthiness. Personification and the ________ of intentional purpose is such a brilliantly successful way to model ______, it's hardly surprising the same modeling software often seizes _______ when we're trying to think about entities for which it's not appropriate, like Basil Fawlty with his car or like millions of _______ ______, with the universe as a whole.

Solution

  1. control
  2. people
  3. deluded
  4. scientifically
  5. humans
  6. live
  7. intentions
  8. reason
  9. imputing
  10. waste
  11. economically

Original Text

The reason we personify things like cars and computers is that just as monkeys live in an arboreal world and moles live in an underground world and water striders live in a surface tension-dominated flatland, we live in a social world. We swim through a sea of people — a social version of Middle World. We are evolved to second-guess the behavior of others by becoming brilliant, intuitive psychologists. Treating people as machines may be scientifically and philosophically accurate, but it's a cumbersome waste of time if you want to guess what this person is going to do next. The economically useful way to model a person is to treat him as a purposeful, goal-seeking agent with pleasures and pains, desires and intentions, guilt, blame-worthiness. Personification and the imputing of intentional purpose is such a brilliantly successful way to model humans, it's hardly surprising the same modeling software often seizes control when we're trying to think about entities for which it's not appropriate, like Basil Fawlty with his car or like millions of deluded people, with the universe as a whole.

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
middle world 19
quantum theory 6
steve grand 4
empty space 4

Important Words

  1. accurate
  2. agent
  3. arboreal
  4. basil
  5. behavior
  6. brilliant
  7. brilliantly
  8. car
  9. cars
  10. computers
  11. control
  12. cumbersome
  13. deluded
  14. desires
  15. economically
  16. entities
  17. evolved
  18. fawlty
  19. flatland
  20. guess
  21. guilt
  22. humans
  23. imputing
  24. intentional
  25. intentions
  26. intuitive
  27. live
  28. machines
  29. middle
  30. millions
  31. model
  32. modeling
  33. moles
  34. monkeys
  35. pains
  36. people
  37. person
  38. personification
  39. personify
  40. philosophically
  41. pleasures
  42. psychologists
  43. purpose
  44. purposeful
  45. reason
  46. scientifically
  47. sea
  48. seizes
  49. social
  50. software
  51. striders
  52. successful
  53. surface
  54. surprising
  55. swim
  56. time
  57. treat
  58. treating
  59. underground
  60. universe
  61. version
  62. waste
  63. water
  64. world