How to avoid being fooled

I just read these on Twitter, and they are marvelous. Posted by Gurwinder @G.S.Bhogal


in 10 tweets I'll explain 10 heuristics that will make you smarter

1. Epistemic Humility:
Don't try to be right, try to be less wrong. Avoiding idiocy is easier to make a habit than achieving genius, and by beginning from the position that you'll become more aware of your blindspots and find it easier to change your mind

2. Munger's Iron Prescription:
To determine how well you understand a debate, try to state the opposing view as convincingly as you can. If you can't state the opposing view at least as strongly as the people supporting it, then you shouldn't feel entitled to your own view.

3. Survivorship Bias:
The info in your feed has been selected because it's surprising. It is a reflection not of the ordinary, but of the extraordinary, not of reality, but of that which is uncharacteristic of reality. Remember this whenever you're feed convinces you the world is crazy.

4. Wittgenstein's Ruler:
Always ask yourself, "what does the info suggest about the source of the info?" If someone says everyone he meets is an asshole, the asshole is likely him. Equally, if an article outrages you, consider that it was crafted specifically to outrage you.

5. Streetlight Effect:
The majority of the world's info is produced for the average human, and the average human isn't very smart. So avoid getting your info from popularity contests like top search results, "trending" algorithms, and NYT bestseller lists.

6. Popper's Falsifiability Principle
We try to protect our most cherished delusions from reality. So, for each of your beliefs you should develop a clear idea of what would persuade you that you're wrong. Otherwise your belief is immune to reason and it should arouse your suspicions.

7. Antiroutine:
Indoctrination requires the repetition of routine. So to avoid being brainwashed, periodically switch up your news sources so you alternate between outlets of clashing stances.  The more mercurial your news consumption, the greater your resistance to manipulation.

8. Opinion Lock:
We find it hard to change our minds as we think it makes us look weak/stupid. So resist the urge to rush out an opinion, as once you've declared your stance, your ego won't easily let you switch, especially when there's a public record of your opinion history...

9. The Never-ending Now:
 We're always chasing the latest info, but this tends to be junk whose main selling point is novelty and not quality. Instead of the new, seek info that's stood the test of time: classic literature, replicated studies, proven theorems.

10. Journaling:
To practice clear thinking, practice clear writing. You only become fully aware of your beliefs when you express them, so periodically write them down. Laying your thoughts out on paper will reveal your reasoning and expose its errors, deepening your understanding.

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