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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

  • map.

  • 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

  • it.

  • 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 cityan 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,

  • right?

  • 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

  • world.

  • 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 yourLive.

  • Laugh.

  • Love.”

  • poster.

  • 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

  • right.

  • So there you have it, four steps to become an incompetent thinker.

Productive thinking is like a map: it helps you get to where you wanna go.

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How to Become An Incompetent Thinker

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    Hannah posted on 2020/07/30
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