Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘circle of competence

Are you wielding a hammer? Are you seeing anything but nails? Mark Twain

For each incident of failure, every “professional” assign a main cause to the deleterious effects, and looks the matter from his own perspective: the banker, marketing strategist, financial expert, writer, journalist… view the incident from his own “circle of competence

If the bankrupt company owner commits suicide, a religious bigot will bring God into the picture for just punishment, the communist will blame the capitalist system, the psychiatrist will recognize a serotonin imbalance at the onset of the acute depressive mood of the suicide person…

If you take your problem to an expert, don’t be surprised if he offers a solution based on his own competence in his own specific field of knowledge. The solution is far from being the best overall resolution.

How to build multiple models inspired from multiple disciplines and methods in order to circumvent this deformation in the “man with the hammer tendency“?

It might take a year to internalize the most important idea of a new field of discipline, and it is worth it.

For example, trying to view the world from a biological model perspective, in addition to your specialized model of your current profession.

From my own experience studying different disciples, what differ are”

1. Adopting different terms (terminology) that you have to find out the corresponding same meaning terms in the other field, just to sound a professional in the discipline.

2. Using a set of paradigms specific for the field, a sort of a mind fix for certain thought processes

3. Applying a few preferred methods and statistical models (statistical packages) to resolve every conceivable problem, even if the package is not appropriate to the purpose.

Basically, the main difficulty is to be flexible and malleable to accommodate the tribe ideosyncratic tendencies.


The Cold rational concept of Irrational behaviors

Why most of our decisions and reactions seem to be pretty much irrational?

A Cold attempt was undertaken to remind ourselves of a few facts and realities to be taken into consideration:

1. Thinking is not a “pure process”.

2. Thinking is prone to error and this realization affects everyone

3. Highly intelligent people fall prey to the same cognitive traps as common people

4. And errors are Not randomly distributed.

5. Mankind systematically err in the same direction

6. Our mistakes are mostly predictable and be repaired and avoided in slight degrees

7. Most of our organs function predictably, but our brain keep experiencing lapse after lapse

8. Thinking is a biological phenomenon: It does not follow an abstract mathematical logic.

9. We are still a hunter-gatherer species, but living in a totally different environment

10. Our new environment is getting increasingly complex, interdependent, and man-made functions and facilities are exacerbating the frequency of faulty behaviors

11. Evolution has stopped optimizing the behavior of this hunter-gatherer species in this new environment.

12. Our brain is designed to reproduce (persuade) rather than search for the “truth”

13. We tend to construct a reason for our compulsive decisions (intuitive reaction). a justification for a predetermined conclusion.

What is to be done?

1. When in your “circle of competence” let your intuition lead your decisions and reactions. You had invested more than 10,000 hours on your talents and skills and you can now rely of your bodily reactions.

2. Otherwise, do your due diligence to apply the hard, slow and high energy consuming process of the rational thinking on your projects and serious decisions.

Think clear and go through the long list of behavioral biases, fallacies, illusions, myths.. and start eliminating one error after another from the list of prone error tendencies.

Rational thinking might not give you a correct resolution, but again, you have been vaunting the superiority of mankind brain over other species who have far better abilities and capabilities than us in many domains.

Repeat the rational thinking process as you invested in acquiring your talents.

Note 1: Read “The Art of Thinking Clear”

Note 2: I have realized that I prefer to extend only one opinion on an issue, the best of my opinions and never give choices. Why?

1. If the opinion is found correct by the reader, the better off he is. And the reader was not disturbed and confused by contradicting alternatives and could assimilate the single opinion.

2. If the opinion is “proved” flawed, it is a marvelous opportunity for the reader to reflect deeper on the topic, reach a proper alternative and incorporate it in his unique worldview model




January 2023

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