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Thursday, June 12, 2014

I Am Going To Tell You How To Think


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Thinking is important. Not just the occasional burst of thought that we encounter in very dangerous or just boring situations. Organized and systematic thinking is how we reach conclusions that are not immediately evident to us.

For example, trees grow upwards, towards the sun, sure, but without that extra thought, we would never realize that trees also grow according to their root mass! What an intriguing idea!

We use thoughts to understand our emotions. Emotions, our feelings, such as dislike, anger, love, happiness, and sadness are how we define our priorities. Being hungry makes us feel bad, so it's very important! Some random video on the web might be amusing, but it is hardly as important, in our personal scale of priorities, right?

This fact, that thinking is important, is how we can start to choose the tools that work best for us, when it comes to figuring out ideas. Which idea is good and which is bad? Our tools can help us figure that out, without having to try every single idea that comes across us.

I hold two philosophical tools, and they both fall under the category of Logic; which dislikes anything random in the thinking process.

One method is to attempt to find a practical solution to a very specific problem. Do I want something changed? Do I dislike something in my life? Do I want to add something into my life? To use this tool most efficiently, I define the question in the most practical way, so that the answer can be very precise.

So, if I want to learn, say, Japanese, then I would define it: "How can I know Japanese, to the extent where I can understand most parts of the online series that I watch, and understand the general meaning of most Japanese conversations?" And then I put some effort into defining an answer that is within those boundaries, such as: "I will use a nice website that teaches basic and intermediate Japanese, and I will do this for about one-hour, every day or two, for about three-months, mixing both reading and listen-and-repeat exercises." Simple, eh?

The second method is to raise my own general curiosity, and then aim it at a topic, gradually becoming more concise and specific. We do this most often with games - with puzzles. So, let's say that I take an interest in gardening, which I do. I would begin by generally educating myself about it, through the more popular channels: Google, popular websites for gardening, and people near me, who take interest in this.

Slowly and surely, this quest of curiosity will lead me to narrower sub-topics, under the same category of gardening. This means that I would connect to those people who find those specific sub-topics as interesting, and that I would dedicate more time only studying these sub-topics. And so, I will have obtained a new intellectual hobby, which is bound to turn into me planting tomatoes in a pot on my window sill; which I am.

As I enjoy life & beauty, so do I enjoy truth & wisdom.

I have not read her books,
but she does make for great quotes,
so she gets some free advertising from me!

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