Summary of Why You Think You’re Right – Even If You’re Wrong

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Defending your beliefs as vehemently as a soldier protects a territory positions new ideas or conflicting data as the enemy. Reasoning expert Julia Galef suggests adopting a scout mind-set to survey the world objectively rather than defensively. Using the Dreyfus affair as a cautionary tale, Galef shows what happens when you apply “motivated reasoning” instead of seeing what’s in front of you without bias. getAbstract embraces this talk as a welcome reminder to keep an open mind and resist demonizing those with different beliefs.

About the Speaker

Julia Galef is the co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality and hosts a podcast called Rationally Speaking.



In the heat of a battle, a soldier experiences strong feelings of self-protection and of aggression toward the enemy. Army scouts, on the other hand, don’t attack or defend but seek to comprehend. They survey the battlefield for obstacles and advantages while mapping the landscape as accurately as possible. The differing mind-sets of soldiers and scouts serve as a metaphor for how people filter and process information and ideas.

The Dreyfus affair provides a fitting case study...

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    V. M. 2 years ago
    O LEARN TO PROTECT YOUR POINT OF VIEW, without going into defense, you need experience.
    You can practice by asking your friend to check you about your idea. This will help sharpen oratory skills.
    Work to ensure that the muscles of your face are relaxed, even better - learn to smile: you want to have confidence from you.
    Concentrate on breathing: inhale deeply, exhale slowly.
    Learn to speak slowly against the excitement of others. Carefully pronounce the words, as if savoring them.
    Radiate calm, even if all around behave differently.
    You can not control other people's reactions, but they are able to control their own.
    And this is the main thing to show yourself a leader even in a problem situation.