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Vaclav Kosar
Software And Machine Learning Blog

Scout Mindset Book Summary

Short summary of a book from Julia Galef on clear thinking.

The Scout Mindset is book from Julia Galef on topic of rationality and decision-making.

The Case for Scout Mindset

  • Soldier mindset reasoning is a combat. Soldier Mindset is adopted for emotional benefits, social benefits, but it achives that only in a short term due to ripple effects of deception.
  • Scout Mindset (Scm) reasoning is like a map making. Scount Mindset is used for good judgments. Scount mindset is a long term better strategy most of the time. World is also becoming more Scout mindset oriented.

Developing Self-Awareness

  • ScM is not about intelligence. On certain questions, higher the IQ leads to higher divergence in opinions between groups on the same topic.
  • ScM is about updating probability of believes, understanding counter hypotheses, and valueing new information.

Thriving Without Illusions

  • Avoid desperation by doing the best.
  • Motivate by expected value. (warning: ergodicity problem)
  • Social confidence (self-assurance) is separate from epistemic confidence (certainty about what’s true). Social confidence is feeling.
  • Making eye contact, speaking evenly, and using decisive hand gestures. It made comparatively little difference whether she spoke with high certainty (“I’m positive that . . .”) or low certainty (“I think maybe . . .”).
  • Projecting competence doesn’t require self-deception. Practice speaking up in groups, hiring a speech coach, dressing better, improving your posture.

Changing Your Mind

  • Make confusion a puzzle and not a dismissal.
  • Seek people that disagree, but have more ScM (non-tribal and can share common ground).

Rethinking Identity

  • Beliefs should not become identities.
  • Hold identity lightly by not making identity central. Not taunting other sides.
  • Build Scout identity. I listen to other arguments. I don’t take cheap shots. I don’t make excuses.

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01 Jul 2021