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How to Be an Expert in a Changing World

http://www.paulgraham.com/ecw.html

paulgraham.com

How to Be an Expert in a Changing World
December 2014[[[[ If the world were static, we could have monotonically increasing confidence in our beliefs. The more (and more varied) experience a belief survived, the less likely it would be false. Most people implicitly believe something like this about their opinions.

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The experts and their ideas

The term expert defines a person who is very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area. 

Experts are specialists who, as a rule, are always right when it comes to their topic. However, they are also the ones who are the most at risk to promote obsolete ideas unless they keep up with the development in their field.

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Be ready to change your mind

Whenever you get stuck to an idea, you put yourself at risk to promote obsolete or just one-sided theories. You might, however, want to try keeping an open mind to the possibility of change. 

Change is unpredictable and being flexible enough to adjust in proper time is a sure key to growth.

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Coming up with new ideas

As an expert, one should try to be as open-minded as possible. Solving all kinds of issues while taking into consideration all possible scenarios might simply turn out to be the best thing ever.

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Focus on people

When trying to remain open-minded and to keep yourself away from obsolete ideas, you might want to consider surrounding yourself with creative people. 

After all, new ideas come from autonomous, sincere and spirited individuals. So better focusing on people than on creating new ideas while staying in the same old circle.

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Rather than be opinionated, we should strive to be informed.

We should know the other side’s argument better than they know theirs. Instead of attacking a straw man, aim to knock down the strongest version of an argument you disagree with.

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Feedback And Other's People's Opinions

  • Other people's opinions and feedback play a larger role than factual proof in debunking the existing thought patterns, beliefs and opinions of an individual.
  • While trying to tell right from wrong, like a multiple choice question, what other people are choosing plays an important role in the final choice.
  • Being an expert in a particular field also has the reverse effect, as one is less inclined to learn anything new, preferring the safety and comfort of the existing set of knowledge.

Changing People's Minds: Building A Bridge

A direct, upfront message aimed at debunking an existing belief has little effect on swaying an opinion, but if the message first presents the old belief and the justifications behind it, followed by the facts that try to refute the same, a bridge is created, and the impact is greater.

Rigid Thinking

The speed of technological and cultural development is requiring us to embrace types of thinking besides the rational, logical style of analysis that tends to be emphasized in our society.

Elastic Thinking

It is the capacity to be flexible, to embrace ambiguity, contradiction, and unconventional mindsets.

It is the ability to abandon our 'marriage' to our beliefs and assumptions, opening ourselves to new paradigms.

Explore The New

Elastic thinking is the way to cutting edge innovation, future visions, science fiction gems, and other great new ideas.

Our tendency to explore and learn has always created something new in the world.