The importance of focusing on the similarities
When we look at situations, we prefer to look for what is distinct. Instead, we should pay attention to the similarities.
The four words "this time is different" makes us incorrectly think that differences are more valuable than similarities. When your reasoning and plans are based on the differences, you are probably speculating.
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When we focus on the differences, we lose touch with the evidence that the similarities point out. The history of a matter provides context.
Why is marking a book indispensable to reading it?
First, it keeps you awake, not merely conscious, but wide awake.
Second, reading, if it is active, is thinking, and thinking tends to express itself in words, spoken or written. The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks.
Third, writing your reactions down helps you to remember the thoughts of the author.
Our various cognitive biases make us behave irrationally, even though we believe we are acting logically. If we are tired, in a rush, or are distracted we tend to rush towards a bad decision. Other factors include working with an authority figure or in a group.
The rule to follow is to never make important decisions when one is emotionally weak, tired, distracted, or in a hurry.
The spiral of silence is a human communication theory developed by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann in the 1960s.
The theory explains how societies form shared opinions an how we make decisions surrounding difficult topics. According to the theory, we are only willing to express a statement depending on how popular or unpopular we perceive it to be.
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