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The Scout Mindset

A brisk account of mental models and cognitive techniques to get you out of idea-defending and into idea-falsifying mode, or from solider to scout mindset, to use the author’s terminology. Soldiers care about status and will use evidence and rhetoric to shore up their established position; scouts care about reality, and will use evidence and rhetoric to seek out and build a better and more trustworthy map.

Yes, we could all do with some more of the scout mindset in our lives — the easiest person to fool being ourselves and all that. It is too bad, then, that people most likely to read and internalize the book are already the most scout-like among their friends. Back in early 2020 many a scout asked for more evidence and even went looking while others were digging ditches and building barricades; they are still pariahs.

Being a scout is a lonely endeavor. No surprise, then, that most humans actively avoid becoming one.

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