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When it comes to what we believe, humans see what they want to see. In other words, we have what Julia Galef calls a "soldier" mindset. From tribalism and wishful thinking, to rationalizing in our personal lives and everything in between, we are driven to defend the ideas we most want to believe--and shoot down those we don't.
But if we want to get things right more often, argues Galef, we should train ourselves to have a "scout" mindset. Unlike the soldier, a scout's goal isn't to defend one side over the other. It's to go out, survey the territory, and come back with as accurate a map as possible. Regardless of what they hope to be the case, above all, the scout wants to know what's actually true.
In The Scout Mindset, Galef shows that what makes scouts better at getting things right isn't that they're smarter or more knowledgeable than everyone else. It's a handful of emotional skills, habits, and ways of looking at the world--which anyone can learn. With fascinating examples ranging from how to survive being stranded in the middle of the ocean, to how Jeff Bezos avoids overconfidence, to how superforecasters outperform CIA operatives, to Reddit threads and modern partisan politics, Galef explores why our brains deceive us and what we can do to change the way we think.
POPULAR PODCAST: Since 2010, Julia has hosted the biweekly Rationally Speaking podcast, with over 40k listeners, which features in-depth conversations with philosophers such as Peter Singer, physicists such as Neil deGrasse Tyson and Sean Carroll, and social scientists such as Philip Tetlock and Paul Bloom. In addition, Julia has appeared as a guest on many other popular podcasts, including "You Are Not So Smart," WIRED's "Geek's Guide to the Galaxy," and the "Skeptics' Guide to the Universe."
SPEAKING: Galef is a frequent speaker at conferences such as Singularity Summit, Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, the Amazing Meeting, Effective Altruism Global, the Nantucket Project, Learning Solutions, TEDxPSU, Center for Inquiry, SkeptiCal, Skepticon, Secular Alliance, Skeptics in the Pub, Thiel Summit, Carnegie Mellon, and more.