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.
Julia Galef is a New York-based writer and public speaker specializing in science, rationality, and design. She serves on the board of directors of the New York City Skeptics, co-hosts their official podcast, Rationally Speaking, and co-writes the blog Rationally Speaking along with philosopher of science Massimo Pigliucci. She has moderated panel discussions at The Amazing Meeting and the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, and gives frequent public lectures to organizations including the Center for Inquiry and the Secular Student Alliance. Julia received her B.A. in statistics from Columbia in 2005.
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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