The Thinking Ladder - Deepstash
The Thinking Ladder

The Thinking Ladder

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The Thinking Ladder

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Each of us looks at things differently, and it's largely based on our thinking patterns, education levels, inherent bias, self-identity, and real, first-hand experiences.

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Human beings tend to have two kinds of conflicting mindsets:

  • The Higher Mind, the conscious truth-seeking mind, has made human beings an advanced civilization.
  • The Primitive Mind is our hardwired, thousands-of-years-old survivalist part, the one that's still stuck in the dark ages.

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Our Higher Mind and the Primitive Mind always have a tug-of-war like conflict. The degree of the conflict can be placed in a spectrum, which is called a Psych Spectrum.

If the Higher mind is in control, we are placed higher in the Psych Spectrum and have the Primitive Mind under check. If we are placed at a lower degree in the Psych Spectrum, then the Primitive Mind is under control.

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The Primitive Mind

If we are low on the Psych Spectrum, our Primitive Mind is in charge, which means:

  • We are short-sighted
  • We act small-minded and  emotional
  • We behave in an egoistic way.
  • We lack self-awareness.
  • We are uncompassionate.
  • We show hypocrisy.
  • We are unaware to even know about any of the above actions.

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  1. The Scientist, for whom Truth is important. It approaches anything with objectivity and accepts that there are things still unknown.
  2. The Sports Fan, for whom along with the truth, confirmation to his/her beliefs is also important; initial beliefs are the right ones and any new information is approached with confirmation bias.
  3. The Attorney, for whom confirmation of 'his own' version' of the Truth is important; for him, his truth is already The Truth and now he just has to prove it.
  4. The Zealot, for whom confirmation to his/her beliefs is the Truth; there is no reasoning, as the truth is already known, and there is no need to prove it.

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  • While gathering new information, the Scientist Mindset goes for unbiased and broad information gathering. 
  • The Sports Fan Mindset has confirmation bias so cherry-picks his information to suit his narrative or the outcome he is rooting for.
  • The Attorney Mindset has to only pick the information that suits his version of the truth and nothing else
  • The Zealot Mindset does not require any information gathering as he is not there to prove anything to anyone.

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Evaluating and Judging

Truth-based mindset judges others by the way they think (HOW), while confirmation based mindset judges others by WHAT they think.

Truth based mindsets also have original viewpoints based on actual, objective reasoning, derived from the concept of first principles.

Confirmation-based mindsets are not concerned with truth so they are not having any original viewpoints, and only analogy based reasoning.

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The Unbiased scientific thinker strives to arrive at the truth using knowledge and conviction in equal measure. His vision is clear but he believes that obtaining real knowledge is hard and the world is a complicated, foggy place.

Whereas when we go to the bottom of the Psych Spectrum, we see that Truth is not important; only sticking with existing beliefs is required. The vision is foggy, but the belief is rock solid.

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Self-Awareness of Mindsets

Upwards of the Psych Spectrum, we see objective thinking and lack of ego, ready to accept the truth after we find it, rationally and by following an unbiased process.

As we go down the Spectrum we start to see flawed thinking and a stronger self-image, as preset and confirmed beliefs rule, not the truth.

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It is a process. As each of us is essentially getting better in our thinking, maturing to grow up psychologically, we are climbing to the higher rungs of the Psych Spectrum.

While we are in the process of going towards the Higher Mindset, we can never discard the primitive mindset totally.

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Bertrand Russell
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wise people so full of doubts.”

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