49. Hindsight bias

After something important happens, it feels like we knew it would all along. This is hindsight bias, another cognitive bias with an extensive literature32. The phrase I knew it all along, when the speaker actually didn't, exemplifies this way of thinking. Unless there is a written record or recording with the exact text of a prediction, it is difficult to verify how correct it is or how likely it was to be made by luck. Concerning global risks, by their very nature we cannot have hindsight knowledge of them, therefore we are stuck with having to predict things in advance the very first time. We may overconfidently predict global risks by analogizing them to simpler risks for which we have the benefit of hindsight.