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Why We Need to Think for Ourselves

Think For Your Life

Instead of following the so-called experts, the recommendations of artificial intelligence and the advice given on news channels, we need to think for our own life, using common sense, logic, gut instinct, experience and our environmental cues.

We need to keep our eyes and ears open, not to be led by people who themselves do not know what to do and are only following an agenda.

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Why We Need to Think for Ourselves

Why We Need to Think for Ourselves

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-power-slow/202006/why-we-need-think-ourselves

psychologytoday.com

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Key Ideas

Herd Mentality

As human beings, we are made to learn and adopt a set of beliefs, never to be questioned. We develop automatic systems that get accustomed to a way of thinking and living, and anything that counters our beliefs is deemed false.

Blindingly following instructions and doing what all others are doing is a form of herd mentality and is devoid of any real thinking.

Diverse Opinions

While we need to consume less social media, doing a diverse set of readings is probably a good idea to broaden our view, and specialization in this age is something that is increasingly like a horse with blinders.

The trick is to question everything and stay well-informed and unbiased.

Drowning In Information

The deluge of information, opinions, data, choice makes us create tremendous amounts of anxiety in us to maximize and optimize our choices to perfection, and we are better off by ‘satisficing’ being content with our less than perfect choice, and makes us lead more fulfilling lives.

Perspectives

Everyone’s perspectives are just that, limited world-views which are biased, incomplete and discriminatory.

We need to bridge the mind-gap and see the world through the eyes of other people, leading to an active adoption of other people's perspectives.

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Preserving optionality

Preserving optionality means avoiding limiting choices or dependencies. It means staying open to opportunities and always having a backup plan.
The more options we have, the bet...

Having options

We are faced with options all the time, but life-altering ones often come up during times of great change. These options are the ones we have the hardest time capitalizing on.
If we’ve specialized too much, change is a threat, not an opportunity. Thus, if we aren’t certain where the opportunities are going to be (and we never are), then we need to make choices to keep our options open.

Navigating difficult times

When times are hard is when many investors make their fortunes and when entrepreneurs innovate. They have to see the opportunity in chaos.

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How we perceive philosophy
How we perceive philosophy

When most people think of philosophy, they believe philosophers simply argue about arguing. Philosophy is viewed as impractical and irrelevant to current issues.

In...

Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell

"Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don’t know."

Defining philosophy

Philosophy is examining our understanding of reality and knowledge. Philosophy consists of three major branches:

  1. Metaphysics - What is true about existence.
  2. Epistemology - How we can know that it is true. Epistemology has given us science, logic/reason, economics, psychology, and other theories of knowledge.
  3. Ethics - What actions we should take as a result of this knowledge. Ethics contains concepts such as democracy, human rights, the treatment of animals, and the environment.

When you order your thoughts into a coherent belief system, you are engaging in philosophy. To criticize philosophy, you must rely on philosophy.

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Think like Sherlock Holmes

“What Sherlock Holmes offers isn’t just a way of solving a crime. It is an entire way of thinking."

"Holmes provides... an education in improving our faculty of mindful thought...

Engagement
As children, we are remarkably aware to the world around us. This attention wanes over time as we allow more pressing responsibilities to attend to and demands on our minds to address. And as the demands on our attention increase so, too, does our actual attention decrease.

 As it does so, we become less and less able to know or notice our own thought habits and more and more allow our minds to dictate our judgments and decisions, instead of the other way around.

Pitfalls of the Untrained Brain

Daniel Kahneman believes there are two systems for organizing and filtering knowledge: 

  • System one is real-time. This system makes judgments and decisions before our mental apparatus can consciously catch up. 
  • System two, on the other hand, is a slow process of thinking based on critical examination of evidence. Konnikova refers to these as System Watson and System Holmes.

To move from a System Watson- to a System Holmes-governed thinking takes mindfulness plus motivation.

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