In 1999, my life purpose changed. Instead of avidly devouring information telling me WHAT to think, for the next 20 years I’ve spent all my spare time learning HOW to think.
I began to investigate the many types of Logical Fallacies and Cognitive Biases and how to recognise them being used by others, and, very importantly, when I was using fallacious reasoning myself.
I learned that we all simplify ideas into concepts that are easily explained due to the fundamental nature of communication, and that simplifications are nearly always wrong.
I learned that thinking about thinking is physically tiring, and to try and be compassionate and patient when trying to explain new information to someone.
Ideas and beliefs can be tribal, and some of the most anxious moments come from questioning things that bind us to our tribe(s).
Ideas are tribal and also genetic (nurture and nature). We have an instinctual, genetic reaction to rejecting different explanations that seem a threat to our tribal bonds, and that are an imposition on our time and energy.
Fight or flight is in our nature: We fearfully avoid or flee from rethinking beliefs, or we fight aggressively to defend them.
Rarely do we think it’s worth the time “re-wiring” a conclusion our neurons have already recorded (though we are also creatures of doubt and uncertainty, and this can help being open to new explanations).
I’ve loved reading about the scientific method and the history of how global standards of evidence and methods of proof, testing, and analysis have improved and been built upon exponentially.
I’m aware of how pride is important in our standards of evidence. We can be proud of our tribal or patriotic beliefs, our emotional breakthroughs, and our “Sunk Costs” (time spent maintaining a habit).
I’m also aware that I’m proud of what I’ve been learning and practising, and that makes me vulnerable, and sometimes appear aggressive or defensive.
I have some bad memories of being verbally abused for questioning an idea when I’ve tried to explain HOW to think logically about that idea.
I have learned and must remember that before, during, and beyond all this, honesty, patience, and compassion are the key to meaningful communication.
Did you notice I didn’t write about the reason why we hate clicking on links?
Maybe what I DID write about might make you think of some reasons.
Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet (Possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.)
List of fallacies (Wikipedia)
About Me (Zenmode)
How I lost weight (Zenmode)
The Psychology of Running (Zenmode)
An Adaptive Spiral (Zenmode)
Less Alcohol (Zenmode)
How I started running (Zenmode)
How to spot a weight loss scam (Zenmode)