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Three Filters Needed to Think Through Problems

Andy Benoit

"Most geniuses—especially those who lead others—prosper not by deconstructing intricate complexities but by exploiting unrecognized simplicities."

Andy Benoit

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Externalities

An externality affects someone without them agreeing to it. It can be positive or negative. Most externalities are small but can make a significant impact over time. Understanding the types of exte...

The First Law of Ecology

We can never do one thing. We should consider what the second-order consequences will be. When we interact with a system, we need to find out what the broader repercussions of our actions will be.

Negative Externalities

They can occur during the production or consumption of a service or goods. Calling something a negative externality can be a way of avoiding responsibility.

If a factory pollutes nearby water supplies, it causes harm without added costs to the factory. The costs to society are high and are not reflected in the price of whatever the factory produces. Even if pollution is taxed, the harmful effects still remain.

Questions about the meaning of life contain assumptions:
  • “What’s the meaning of life?” Assumes that there’s a single meaning.
  • “Does my life have meaning?” Assumes (or at least hints) at a “...
Problems of meaning=problems of insufficient value
Those who think life is meaningless feel that there is a gap between their expectations and reality: between the degree of value that life should have and the degree of value that it actually has. - Iddo Landau
To find meaning in life, we can either:
  1. Add more value: identify activities that are valuable to us  or we can remove activities that reduce value.
  2. Change our thinking: Perhaps our life already has sources of value, but we just aren’t looking at things in the right way. 
Transgenerational thinking
Transgenerational thinking

With this kind of thinking, you can develop and grow the way you think about problems, your role in solving them and the consequences.

For parents, for example, this ca...

Futures thinking

Usually when we're imagining the future, we always include in our visions about dealing with problems like poverty, climate change or cancer some techno-utopia solution (with all sorts of new technologies). And there is nothing wrong with that, but we should stop seeing the future in just this one way.

Move from Future to Futures and open yourself up to considering all kinds of possible scenarios and all kinds of solutions.

Telos thinking

Telos comes from the Greek language, and it means “ultimate aim” or “ultimate purpose.” This call for the process of asking yourself one question: “To what end?”

As we try to solve a particular problem, we also should think about what will come after we solve it.