Shall I guess?

In the last years, I’ve refrained from giving my opinion about many issues I don’t know enough or whenever I can not do much about it. Not only didn’t I share my views with others, but I avoided to spend any time on my own to know my opinion. This could start to change.

Julia Galef encourages us to give our best guess so others might give us additional information which could lead us to have a more educated opinion or even change your mind. Therefore, with this strategy, we should end up right more times.

I really like the idea. However, years ago Stephen Covey wrote about the importance of focusing on our “circle of influence” vs on our “circle of concern”. He meant to focus on issues we can influence. Otherwise, we’d be wasting energy on things we’re concerned but that we can not change.

This reminds me of the concept of “decision fatigue” which, according to Wikipedia, “refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making… For example, judges in court have been shown to make poorer quality decisions later in the day than they do earlier in the day”. This is why Barack Obama didn’t choose what to wear or eat when he was in the White House.

This leads me to the question of whether thinking and guessing about something I can not currently influence, distract me today and whenever I hear something about it and I try to update my opinion.

Therefore, to sum up, following Julia Galef’s advice makes sense for issues that you can influence and that you really care regardless of whether you’re an expert or whether how sure you can be. However, on topics which you can not influence or that are not important enough, I guess all depends on whether it’s something you’re interested and want to learn more about it.

Categories: Inspiring ideas

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