Do you tend to see things as they are?
Or do you tend to see what you want to see?
To cut to the chase: how important is it to seek truth and honesty? Especially if it means the possibility of compromising your existing beliefs and ideas about the world?
If you’re unsure, or if these questions have you thinking, “Whoa, I need more caffeine before going down a philosophical rabbit hole…”, today’s episode has you covered. (Grab your beverage of choice beforehand. ☕)
Julia Galef, author of The Scout Mindset and host of the long-running Rationally Speaking podcast, explains the difference between the soldier mindset (see what you want to see) and the scout mindset (seeing things as they are).
She explains why we often default to the soldier mindset of defending ideas we desperately want to believe, and reviews several thought exercises that we can use to instead train our brains to scout for the truth.
“But the truth is scary! If most people have a soldier mindset, it can’t be that bad…right? What’s the point of the scout mindset?”
Julia talks about that, too — specifically, about how scout mindset can give you an edge with making good decisions. For example, looking for high quality sources of information helps you weigh trade-offs, and it can also save you from making costly investment mistakes. We also discuss specific examples of when having a scout mindset can prevent you from risk of ruin.
You’ll enjoy this episode if…
- You want thought exercises that can easily jolt you out of confirmation bias.
- You’re tired of analysis paralysis and want a mental model you can use to accept certain outcomes.
- You’re fairly sure you need to do more work in becoming self-aware (especially if you have a penchant for engaging in arguments on the internet).
- The Scout Mindset, by Julia Galef | Book
- JuliaGalef.com | Website
- @JuliaGalef | Twitter
- A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market, by John Allen Paulos | Book
- Intellectual honesty, cryptocurrency, & more (Vitalik Buterin) | Rationally Speaking Podcast Episode
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