Miracle Barriers

Miracle Barriers

Life is rarely simple.  Much of the events and behavior we are concerned about in life is multi-faceted, with many contributing causes.  

For a quick example, political analyst Phil Tetlock speaks at length about how the political judgment of “foxes”, people who utilize lots of information compare to “hedgehogs”, people who apply one grand theory to multiple fields.  Foxes performed better than hedgehogs in long-term predictions.

(And algorithms tended to trump both parties).

So that brings us to today’s quick post about noticing thoughts that are suspiciously simple.  

What does that feel like?  For me, it’s about those thoughts where I say, “Okay, and after reaching X, everything will turn out fine.”  There’s an implicit assumption here that X is a panacea for my problem, or an end-state for my goals.

It’s a feeling that after X is achieved, everything after will be smooth sailing, which might not be true, especially if X is based on some other factors you aren’t accounting for.  

It might be; yet, it might also be a sign of not wanting to look further at something that’s painful to consider.  Saying that “X will solve everything” is a fairly bold claim.  Even if you had reason to believe that X would be helpful, it probably pays to look at the evidence some more.

You may be shoving all the unanswered questions, doubts, and uncertainties you have about your issue into a box and just refusing to look at it, which would be unhelpful.  

The serve as a sort of “stop sign” for thinking and they are sourced in the assumption that X will make everything better, so I’m terming them “miracle barriers”.

So as a quick heuristic, it may pay to notice that feeling of “and then I don’t need to do any more thinking after this point”, because there’s usually more thinking to be had after point X.



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