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Three Filters Needed to Think Through Problems
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He who introduces the words “infinity” or any of its derivatives (“forever” or “never” for instance) is also trying to escape discussion. Unfortunately he does not honestly admit the operational meaning of the high-flown language used to close off discussion. “Non-negotiable” is a dated term, no lon
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Summary

The article discusses the importance of using three filters to think through problems: simplicity, quantification, and evidence. The author argues that many people use language to manipulate others and avoid discussion, and that it is important to be aware of this. The article also touches on issues such as the distribution of food aid, the dangers of certain chemicals, and the fallacy of the slippery slope argument. The author emphasizes that no single filter is enough to make a reliable decision, and that a well-educated person should use all three.

Top Highlights

  • He who introduces the words “infinity” or any of its derivatives (“forever” or “never” for instance) is also trying to escape discussion. Unfortunately he does not honestly admit the operational meaning of the high-flown language used to close off discussion. “Non-negotiable” is a dated term, no longer in common use, but “infinity” endures forever.
  • Most geniuses—especially those who lead others—prosper not by deconstructing intricate complexities but by exploiting unrecognized simplicities.
  • handling words is called “eloquence.”
  • all proposed solutions and interventions will have a multitude of effects, and we must try our best to consider them in their totality. Most unintended consequences are just unanticipated consequences.
  • In the end, the filters must be used wisely together. They are ways to understand reality, and cannot be divorced from one another.

Tags

Reaching Decisions
Three Filters
Garret Hardin
Personal Dev
Apprentissage
Thinking

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