Outsourced Thinking

Having to think about everything all the time would be impractical so people rely on other people to think certain thoughts for them. This happens all the time without us noticing or caring most of the time. For example, reading what an expert has to say about something is more efficient than deriving your own opinion from source materials.

The problem with that is people can be wrong, misinformation can mislead you, disinformation is purposely trying to mislead you, and experts are just people too. You have to be mindful when you are outsourcing your thinking otherwise you won’t be thinking clearly when it matters most.

See also:

  • Make Contact With Reality

    One of the keys to building great products is to regularly make contact with reality. Ideas rarely survive first contact with users—what we think is good might be completely useless to an actual potential customer. Regular contact with reality insulates you from the illusion of explanatory depth.

  • The Downside of First-Principles Thinking

    The problem with first-principles thinking is that you don’t know what you don’t know. You might end up deriving the same thing you could have read in a 101-level textbook. You might think you have a novel idea of a blockchain-powered utopia but it turns out it’s Georgism with extra steps.