Table of contents

Twelve thoughts in mind

You don’t need any more than that.

This is what this chapter is all about – thinking, rationality, and how to get a better understanding of our daily lives. It is about thoughts, and thoughts are important, because if everyone don’t think, we will live in a dumb world.

Sometimes I get hate notes from people who don’t like me. Usually it is indeed because I have done something stupid, and that really bothered them. However, for a few times, I get hate notes saying that “you think too much”, or “when I stay with you, I feel tired because you make me think too much”.

Well, is it ever possible that somebody could “think too much”?

I know people who run into thinking obstacles. Some of them invent new theories of physics, or math, and are frustrated that nobody believe them. Some of them thinks the world is too dumb, not worth working for, so they are disappointed, and give up. Are those people “thinking too much”?

Probably not. In fact, maybe they are not thinking enough. If they think more, they would realize their biases of the thoughts, realize that they forget to examine their theories, or they should follow the scientific method. They are not thinking enough.

Then can we simply ask people to think more?

Probably not, because some people don’t like thinking for a reason. If we draw a graph of the territory of how much people can optimize their lives according to their goals, it would look like mountains, plains and mountains. There will be one mountain that is the highest, which we call the “global maximum”, and there will also be other mountains, that is higher than things around, but not that high, which we call the “local maximum”. Thinking helps you to see and climb higher global maximum, and helps you to locate the global maximum.

Some people, by their luckiness, may find themselves in one of the local maximum. They live better lives than all people around them, so they are happy. And if you ask them to think more – to help them find higher local maximum and ultimately the global maximum – it would require them to first go downward and climb again. Not everybody can do that. And sometimes, they may meet long distance of plains – it feels that you make no progress. That’s also the reason why some people claim that scientists, rationalists and philosophers don’t do better in real life than others.

But that’s not true, because we know that if we go further, we will find a higher mountain, and if we go further, ultimately we will reach the highest mountain in the world, where we will be able to feel the wind, and get closer to the sun.

And this is what this chapter is all about – thinking, rationality, and how to get a better understanding of our daily lives. It is about thoughts, and thoughts are important, because if everyone don’t think, we will live in a dumb world.

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