Thinking In The Real World (The Long Version)

Available from Amazon as a paperback [UK Link] [US Link], albeit on limited distribution due to its unique format. Look up Thinking In The Real World (The Long Version) by David G Croucher. In the format of 1 page sheets provides information, observations, and guidance on a large number of topics, as listed below. A collation of wisdom and reflections from across the ages and as applicable to our day-to-day lives.

A shortened version is also available, titled, wait for it: ‘Thinking in the Real World (The Short Version)‘.

INTRODUCTION

PART A: COGNITIVE BIASES

Introduction

Fundamental Attribution Bias

Confirmation Bias

Selective Reporting Bias

Blind Spot Bias

Availability Bias

Hindsight Bias

Anchoring Bias

Pattern Recognition Bias

In-Group Bias

Unconscious Bias

Optimism/Pessimism Bias

Restraint Bias

Bandwagon Effect and Groupthink

Status Quo Bias, Loss Aversion, and Endowment Affect

Other Cognitive Biases

Countering our Cognitive Biases

PART B: FALLACIES

Introduction

Ad Hominem

False Balance Fallacy

Appeal to Authority Fallacy

False/Weak Analogy Fallacy

Hasty Generalization

Fallacy of Single Cause

Post hoc ergo propter hoc

Mistaking Cause and Effect

Strawman Fallacy

False Dilemma Fallacy

Appeal to Common Belief

Fallacies of Ambiguity

Appeal to Emotion

Circular Reasoning

Fallacies of Composition and Division

(Texas) Sharpshooter Fallacy

Appeal to Perfection

Other Fallacies

Observations about fallacies

Making yourself less susceptible to fallacies

PART C: PROBABILITIES, STATISTICS, AND LUCK

Introduction

Gambler’s Fallacy

Expected Value

Expect the Unexpected

Account for Base Rate

Bayesian Probabilities

Regression to the Mean

Not everything is ‘Normal’

The Many Abuses of Statistics

Misuse of Statistical Significance

Simpson’s Paradox

Type 1 and Type 2 errors / false-positives and false-negatives

Making estimates / Guesstimating

Miscellaneous Probability/Statistics misconceptions

General good thinking guidelines with respect to statistics and probabilities

PART D: INFLUENCING

Introduction

Authority

Social Proof and affinity

Scarcity

Reciprocity

Framing

Likeability

Repetition

Appeal to Ego

Use of (financial) incentives

Other Influencing techniques and tendencies

Scamming

How to avoid being unduly influenced

PART E: THE WORLD WE LIVE IN

Introduction

The Universe

Planet Earth

Life on Earth

A Little Bit of Geography

Our history

The nature of scientific understanding and advancement

Scientific Rules and Laws

Some general observations about the world we live in

PART F: THE NATURE OF US

Introduction

The human brain

Subconscious and conscious processes and the imperfections of memory

The interplay between brain and body

Emotions and feelings

The creation and use of concepts

The creation and use of mental models

We are social and tribal beings

The impact of our genes

We have different personalities and characters

Personality Characteristics

Personality disorders

We have different motivations

There are different types of intelligence

We come from different cultural backgrounds

We have different perspectives

We see the world in a distorted way

We are highly prone to wishful thinking and self-deception

We have very fixed beliefs and opinions, and don’t realize it

We are all hypocrites, albeit some more extremely so than others

Things that piss us off

List of common shortfalls in our thinking

Some further general observations about us and others

The nature of free will

In the end, we die

PART G: ATTITUDE OF MIND

Introduction

Accept that your beliefs and loyalties are choices, not absolutes

Be curious

Seek to expand your range of concepts and mental models

Adopt a growth rather than a fixed mindset

Life isn’t fair, but so what?

We can change the way we think, and learn to become a better person

Accept that life is complex and uncertain

Accept that times and circumstances change

Think positively, up to a point

Be grateful for what you have rather than bitter about what you don’t

Defining your self-worth

Life is what you make of it

See the funny side

Put your humanity above all (primo hominis)

Attitude towards death

Making mistakes and learning the lessons of the past

Response to failure

Mindfulness and being in the present

Dwelling

Worrying about the future

Shifting your mood

The pursuit of pleasure

The handling of (physical) pain

General character strengths to encourage

The influence of mindset and habits of thought

Unhelpful attitudes, mindsets, and habits of thought

A healthy mindset

PART H: MANAGING OUR LIVES

Introduction

Find meaning in your life

Have and seek to keep your values

Examples of values

Have some things you really care about

Things to care about beyond yourself and those close to you

Goals

Engage with life

Increasing your energy levels

Make an effort (accept that life is difficult and work hard)

Deal with difficulties and rise to challenges

Recognize your own shortcomings and work with them

Take or accept responsibility (but not necessarily blame)

Accept that you have emotions and feelings

When you are feeling strong negative emotions in the moment

Learn to recognize and counter longer term negative feelings

Improve your emotional awareness / Better describe your emotions and feelings

Improve your emotional vocabulary

Don’t deny your instincts and intuitions: learn when to trust and when to question

In the face of danger

Change when necessary but not just for the sake of it

Try to find a balance in your life

Prioritize but don’t over prioritize

Do what needs to be done when it needs to be done

Good enough is good enough

Managing your time and personal planning

Making a project plan

Look after your health and well-being

Look after your finances, as best you can

Manage your personal risks

Examples of personal risks to consider managing

Recognize and manage your stress

Changing your habits a bit at a time

Consider simplifying your life

Focus and learn to better focus

Focus and attention whilst engaged in physical activity and games

Focus and attention whilst engaged in mental activity

Continually adapt and improve and prepare

Lifelong learning

How to learn

Becoming expert

What to learn

Using the internet and social media to get information

Decision Making

Effective Problem Solving

Assessing whether a risk is worth taking

Effective Communicating

Be aware of body language, but also its limitations

Improving your memory

Increasing your creativity

Learn to better do the right thing right now

Some tips regarding the hassles of daily living

Relating to bringing up children

Getting old

PART I: RATIONAL THINKING

Introduction

A rational approach to assessing beliefs

Engaging in arguments

Question the reliability of information

Think about what is not there but maybe could or should be

Always accept that you might be and sometimes are wrong

Put into perspective and focus on the why

Substance over appearance/form/style

Understand and take account of Opportunity Cost

Optimization and instability and seeking to retain some flexibility

Success = intent (objectives and plans) + application + chance

Correlation does not imply Causation

Unintended consequences and solving one problem whilst causing another

Tragedy of the commons

When we should blame

PART J: INTERACTING WITH OTHERS

Introduction

Understanding other people

Hold back from being too ready to judge or assume

Hold back from being too ready to take offense

When you disagree with someone

Responding to people in a heightened emotional state

Everyday conflicts

Negotiating and seeking compromise

Getting on with other people and developing good relationships

Developing and maintaining close relationships

Think positively about others and be generous

Seeking help and advice from others

Trying to change someone’s mind

Counselling and giving advice

Working with other people

Managing and leading other people

Trust, up to a point

How to respond to abuse of power

Tactics when in competition

PART K: INTERACTING WITH HUMANITY

Introduction

The very real dangers the world faces

The dangers of believing in simple solutions to complex problems

The behaviour of authoritarian regimes and the dangers they pose

The importance of supporting democracy and pluralism

There is such a thing as truth, and it matters

Fake News

Conspiracy Beliefs

The limits of ‘rights’

In response to strong religious or political beliefs

Accept politics, reject the abuse of politics

Moving towards better societies and a better world

Do the right things whenever you can

PART L: PROVERBS, PHRASES, AND QUOTES

Introduction

English Proverbs

Latin Phrases

Chinese Proverbs

Ancient Greek Quotes

AFTERWORD