Farnham Street posted an article titled The Value of Grey Thinking.
« What one piece of advice would you recommend to become a better thinker?
The question is kind of cheating. There is, of course, no one thing, and if Farnam Street is a testament to any idea, it’s that you must pull from many disciplines to achieve overall wisdom. No truly great thinker is siloed in a small territory. »
« Slogans become substitutes for actual understanding, and it’s not as benign as it seems. The slogan isn’t just a shorthand: It replaces thinking for many people, because it’s hard to generate real understanding… It’s a lot easier to land somewhere simple and stay there. It requires less energy. »
« Reality is all grey area. All of it. There are very few black and white answers and no solutions without second-order consequences. »
« It takes a substantial deprogramming to realize that life is all grey, that all reality lies on a continuum. This is why quantitative and scale-based thinking is so important… Nearly all things are OK in some dose but not OK in another dose. That is the way of the world, and why almost everything connected to practical reality must be quantified, at least roughly. »
« The first step towards thinking in 3D is realizing that you carry many of your cherished positions too strongly. Most of practical reality lies outside the realm of mathematical certainty. »
« It’s only once you can begin divorcing yourself from good-and-bad, black-and-white, category X&Y type thinking that your understanding of reality starts to fit together properly. Putting things on a continuum, assessing the scale of their importance and quantifying their effects, understanding both the good and the bad, is the way to do it. Understanding the other side of the argument better than your own, a theme we hammer on ad nauseum, is the way to do it. Because truth always lies somewhere in between, and the discomfort of being uncertain is preferable to the certainty of being wrong. »