You Can Be Your Own Team of Rivals
Don’t stop at the first explanation that occurs to you, ask your inner rivals what competing explanations they can come up with.
Abraham Lincoln was one of the presidents who best understood the fact that you need to surround yourself with advisors who aren’t just Yes Men, who aren’t just going to agree with everything you say.
And when Lincoln assembled his cabinet he filled it with people who didn’t necessarily like him, many of whom had competed against him and many of whom had very different opinions than he did about how the country should be run.
Doris Kearns Goodwin called this Lincoln’s “team of rivals” and if you want to achieve good results like this for yourself you can be your own team of rivals. Don’t stop at the first explanation that occurs to you, ask your inner rivals what competing explanations they can come up with.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
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- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
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- Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
- Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
- Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
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- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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