I have been watching
the discussion illustrates how people’s judgment is a mix of perception and to their own character. The smart view is that it’s too early to know what Irma will do but most, say 80%, have a judgment as to whether it will hit Florida or the Carolinas, Washington or New York or possibly go out to sea and hit nothing. Clearly from the fact of a hurricane 3000 miles away with a very diverse set of possible pass to a judgment, say that it will hit New York (as one person said, “I have a pretty bad feeling about this I’m sure it’s going to hit New York.” ). there has to be the addition to the perception that strong emotional bias. The most obvious biases are towards doom thinking and trivialization. Because the site attracts people who are interested in following the hurricane’s development and movement, the doom-sayers predominate.
Reminds me of Y2K where the same thing happened. People “knew” that it wa going to be a big deal, or they “knew” that it was just made up hype. This division of attitudes in the face of little evidence made analysis difficult. The reality turned out was a mix of real and imagined problems. Separating those out was hard. Wth the Hurricane obviously most places will not be hit, but which will? Since we can’t tell we are torn between saying “prepare” and “cool it.” For those who do get hit cooling it will have been the wrong advise? A great philosophical problem. Buts lots of interesting psychology about perception, judgement and reality.