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Productive thinking is like a map: it helps you get to where you wanna go.
And the better your thinking is, the better your map is at guiding you towards your destination.
So a competent thinker is like a good map-maker, also known as a cartographer.
But becoming a good cartographer requires you to evolve as a person, and evolution is
painful and tiring.
Being a bad cartographer is much less work.
So to become an incompetent thinker, you must learn the subtle art of how not to make a
Here are four steps to help you on your journey.
Step 1: Think in black and white terms.
As time passes, the world evolves, and sometimes, it evolves into its opposite: summer becomes
winter, rain becomes sun, day becomes night, and stress becomes calm.
The tension between opposites forms a spectrum of possible realities.
This means that if you wanna create an accurate map of reality, you have to account for opposite
points of view, not to mention all the points that lie in-between, with each point being
valid under the right condition.
Or in other words, you can't think in black and white terms.
But thankfully that's not what we're going for.
As unproductive thinkers, we get to choose a side.
So divide the world into discrete and fixed categories: black or white, left or right,
up or down, Jacob or Edward, and summer or winter.
Now pick a team.
It doesn't really matter which one you pick, as long as you stick with it forever.
Instead of viewing yourself as a complicated collection of particles that evolves across
time to meet the demands of a specific moment, view yourself as a singular, unchanging identity.
Treat other people as fixed categories as well.
Don't try to teach them, and definitely don't try to learn from or understand them.
What would be the point?
You are both already fixed categories.
Instead, look down on them, and take pride in the fact that you are on the right team.
Here's your new maxim, repeat it daily: I am this team now, I am this team forever,
I was always this team, I will always be this team, my team is forever right, and your team
is forever wrong.
Thinking in black and white terms allows us to draw our map once and never have to change
Change is painful and tiring, and thankfully, as incompetent thinkers, we'll never have
to do it.
Step 2: Avoid alternative perspectives.
Imagine if a large, strange object fell into the middle of the city—an object so big
you couldn't even see the top of it.
To accurately map out its shape, you'd have to look at it from multiple perspectives,
And what if it was changing shape?
Then you'd have to view it from multiple perspectives, across long periods of time,
to even see what it really is.
That sounds incredibly difficult, and I feel bad for the people who have to do that.
But as incompetent thinkers, we've already picked a side, and we can't talk to people
with different views and experiences than our own.
If we do, they might challenge what we currently believe, forcing us to adopt a newer, more
complicated perspective.
In other words, they might force us to change.
Remember, we're not trying to get an accurate depiction of the world here by comparing our
maps with others.
We're going for comfort and ease.
Step 3: never try to disprove yourself.
Once you've divided the world into black and white, chose a side, and have started
to actively avoid talking to the other side, you've effectively dealt with the external
Now it's time to deal with the internal world.
You know that other voice inside of you?
The one one that doubts whether you're doing the right thing, the one that tries to play
devil's advocate, the one some might call a conscience?
Silence that voice.
Never, and I mean never, leave room for your own doubt or objections.
Force your mind to become a single monologue that constantly reinforces the same ideas
over and over again.
And don't, whatever you do, test your map.
Don't check to see if the things you draw on there are still there.
Don't try to see if your ideas are still valid, or if there are conditions under which
they are not true.
Seriously, I only tell you this because I love you.
Even though we're striving to be incompetent thinkers, we're still human.
Being wrong hurts.
But if you never test your ideas, you'll never have to find out if you're wrong.
Step 4: believe things that can never be tested.
Now here's a rule so good that you should frame it on your wall, right beside your “Live.
If you believe in things that can never be tested, you'll never be proved wrong.
If you're never proved wrong, you'll never have to change your mind, or in other words,
you'll never have to change your map.
For example, you can draw an invisible flower in the centre of your map.
Because no one can test whether that flower is really there or not, you will never have
to change your mind about whether it exists.
In your mind, your map will always be right, and nothing feels better than always being
So there you have it, four steps to become an incompetent thinker.


How to Become An Incompetent Thinker

15 タグ追加 保存
Hannah 2020 年 7 月 30 日 に公開
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