The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't
A better way to combat knee-jerk biases and make smarter decisions, from Julia Galef, the acclaimed expert on rational decision-making.
When it comes to what we believe, humans see what they want to see. In other words, we have what Julia Galef calls a soldier mindset. From triba ...more
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Here's a way to tell scientific intelligence from legal intelligence. Both may start from the idea that something cannot be done and think up arguments to explain why. However, the scientist may discover a flaw in the argument that leads him change his mind and to discover a way to do it...
The legal thinker will merely try to patch the flaw in the argument, because, once he has chosen a side, all his intelligence is devoted to finding arguments for that side.
― John McCarthy
I was a bit of a ...more
I've met Julia a few times and am friendly with her. I'd be happy if this book does well, and expect that to lead to a (slightly) more reasonable world.
That said, in the interest of having a Scout Mindset, I want to be honest about my impression.
The Scout Mindset is the sort of book I'm both happy with and frustrated by. I'm frustrated because thi ...more
However (there's always that however), what I did not like was the same-old-same-old tradition among modern-day non-fiction writers who think it's the best strategy to make it to that 200+ pages by adding as many evidences as they can to validate their precious insights. It's annoying. I don't want to get used to this stupid tradition just because Julia ...more
Galef argues that adopting this mindset or attitude is key to bec ...more
After reading many great books such as Thinking, Fast and Slow, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion and Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst (one of my favorite non-fiction books), I'm already convinced that it's necessary a conscious effort ...more
A central theme of this book is that we don’t have to choose. With a bit of extra effort and cleverness, we can have both. We can find ways to cope with fear and insecurity. We can take bold risks and persevere in the face of setbacks. We can influence, persuade, and inspi ...more
Basically there was no way i was not going to like this book. I hadn't heard of Julia Galef prior to her appearance on the Wright Show a few mont ...more
It starts with a breakdown of the language we use around arguments and debates, much of which ...more
One of the last concepts she co ...more
i think soldier mindset is still too valuable to give up. maybe the synthesis would be something like sociometer theory: scout mindset at all times in your own head, take off or put on the soldier mask as needed. ...more
Unlike many other books on cri ...more
I think there are some false equivalencies presented to make a point. An example was given for reading a comment ("all men need to die in a fire") by an "extreme feminist" and exp ...more
[Imported automatically from my blog. Some formatting there may not have translated here.]
Another good book in the "How to Think" genre. I didn't like it quite as much as (guess what) How to Think by Alan Jacobs. But this is a noble effort.
When you are considering a contentious issue, Ms. Galef suggests you can approach it with either the "scout mindset" or the "soldier" mindset. The soldier approaches reasoning as defensive combat; evidence is accepted or discounted not on its inherent value...more
### The Book in 3 Sentences
It's in your best interest to see the world as it is instead of as you want it to be.
Knowing how to think clearly is very different than actually doing it.
Just knowing about our biases isn't enough, but there are good strategies to improving your thinking.
### My Top 3 Quotes:
Our judgment isn’t limited by knowledge nearly as much as it’s limited by attitude.
The test of scout mindset isn’t whether you see yourself as the kind of person who does these things. It’ ...more
the motivation to see things as they are, not as you wish they were. Scout mindset is what allows you to recognize when you are wrong, to seek out your blind spots, to test your assumptions and change course. It’s what prompts you to honestly ask yourself questions like “Was I at fault in that argument?” or “Is this risk worth it?” or “How would I react if someone from the other political party did the same thing?” As...more
But my prior endorsement of this book's arguments are a deeper problem for giving it a five-star review, because "Th ...more
The ways in which cognitive biases lead us to self-deceive at the expense of truth is well documented and covered in several other works. Learning about them, and avoiding barriers to clear thinking, is worthwhile and importa ...more
“It was the most interesting conversation I’ve ever had with Bill, and the most revealing. It was around eleven o’clock in the morning, and we were discussing some technical issue, I don’t remember what it was. Anyways, I didn’t agree with him on some point, and I explained my reasoning. Bill says, 'I’ll have to think about that, I’ll call you back’.
Then I get this call at four in ...more