Keeping the Mind Sharp

Good evening,

Last week I stumbled upon a really fascinating podcast and blog.

You Are Not So Smart

The central theme of You Are Not So Smart is that you are unaware of how unaware you are. There is an old-and-still-growing body of research across several disciplines with findings that suggest you have little idea why you act or think the way you do. Despite this, you continue to create narratives to explain your own feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, and these narratives – no matter how inaccurate – become the story of your life.

You Are Not So Smart is a fun exploration of the ways you and everyone else tends to develop an undeserved confidence in human perception, motivation, and behavior. I hope by reading it and listening to the podcast you’ll rediscover a humility and reconnect with the stumbling, fumbling community of man trying to make sense of things the best we can.

On my 12+ hour total road trip last weekend I listened to quite a few of these casts and found them to be invaluable. When I get paid next month I intend on ordering the books too.

Critical thinking skills are among the many skills one needs in order to survive and thrive in this world. This podcast is definitely a sharpening stone.

Until next time,
Ravn Thor

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Keeping the Mind Sharp”

  1. My sharpening stone is multiplayer strategy gaming: nothing like watching your plans ripped apart millions of times, while being shit-talked into the ground, to keep you rational.

    On a related note: don’t tell people they’re idiots: they tend to invent elaborate delusions excusing their behavior, and painting you a terrible monster. Trick them into thinking they realized it on their own, and also trick them into being comfortable with the realization. It’s rarely worth the effort, but if you have to do it.

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    1. https://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/06/10/the-backfire-effect/
      Indeed, this series (The Backfire Effect part 1, 2, and 3) goes right into that very point. And this one too: https://youarenotsosmart.com/2017/01/30/yanss-094-how-motivated-skepticism-strengthens-incorrect-beliefs/

      It’s a pretty cool podcast, you may like it.

      I used to game quite a bit in the past. Just don’t have as much time to do it anymore. It would definitely relieve some stress though. I suppose I could dust off my steam account.

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  2. Em. I’ve listened to a few, and they seem reasonable and productive. I don’t like how they’re addressing the issue of irrationality, even though I recognize it as the necessary method for teaching most people to reason – and, more importantly, will likely be the most effective method for encouraging humanity to reason in the coming years and decades.

    But, frankly, I take a fatal stance on the issue. Irrationality leads to every form of social instability; social instability generates desperate situations for people, which generates more irrational people, which generates more instability; an irrational person is therefore complicit in every single crime that occurs through the entirety of humanity. I could go indepth if requested, but that’s the jist of it.

    That being the theoretic case, this is not an issue to be dealt with slowly, with kindness and patience. But, again, I completely acknowledge that their method will be the most effective given current circumstances.

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