To Build a Fire

The man

What's wrong with the way the man thinks>

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The man is inexperienced and doesn't take his experience into consideration. He foolishly ignores all the facts that indicate danger--he underestimates the cold, he ignores the absence of travelers in the last month, he de-emphasizes his soon-to-be-frostbitten cheekbones. Again, processes are important: he does not make any mental processes, taking facts and assigning them increasing significance. While this may seem at first like an intellectual deficit, what the man truly lacks is instinct--the unconscious understanding of what the various facts mean.