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Nov 5, 2006

Cognitive Science: The Last Chance

"During the World Cup soccer tournament in Japan in 2002, the match between Ireland and Germany went into several minutes of extra 'injury' time. The score was 1-0 to Germany, and Ireland's hopes of getting into the semifinals seemed to be finished. Then at the eleventh hour, Robbie Keane scored a goal. For every Irish fan who watched the match there could be no doubt: the striker had saved Ireland's World Cup hopes. The previous hour and a half of skill and luck, good or bad, of a team of trained professionals seemed as nothing compared to the single final stroke. Did Keane really save the day? The question illustrates a curious feature of human thought. In a temporal sequence of events, people zoom in on the most recent one."

--Ruth M.J. Byrne, The Rational Imagination: How People Create Alternatives to Reality p. 157.

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