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  • The universe is a big place.

  • Huge in fact, and rather complicated. Unfortunately the human brain is

  • relatively tiny and simple, at least in comparison.

  • To help you survive it has to work hard to make sense of things.

  • It does have some clever tools to help it achieve this. It can turn experiences into

  • symbols, recall sensations,

  • and identify patterns.

  • But most mental tricks take a lot of energy, and so your brain takes shortcuts.

  • For example,it will seek out ideas and confirm what you already suspect.

  • It will find the ideas of people you trust to be more appealing

  • than those of people you don't.

  • It will take your own experience and treat it as evidence.

  • It will blur the lines between what you feel to be the case and what you know to be the case.

  • Most of the time these tricks serve us so well,

  • we're hardly even aware of them.

  • But sometimes they mislead us. The biases which can be so useful can also blind us.

  • And in a complex world of differing opinions, its hard to know when to think using

  • shortcuts, and when to put some effort into using our heads.

  • Thinking doesn't always need to be hard however, logic is a useful way to identify ideas

  • that are likely to be helpful.

  • Logic is a way to combine ideas to come to a conclusion. Its like maths

  • only it can deal with more than numbers. You've probably used it already.

  • Think about the last argument you had. Did it go a little something like this?

  • "But everyone else is allowed to go, why can't I?"

  • A logical argument would be structured:

  • "All people are allowed to go,

  • I am people, therefore I should be allowed to go."

  • Logic is a useful way to combine established ideas to support the

  • acceptance of a new idea.

  • Looking for logic in an argument can help you decide whether you should agree

  • with somebody,

  • or wait for more information.

The universe is a big place.

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