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20 Axioms For Pursuing Truth

Great analysis is as much about our perspective when we consume information as it is the content of that information to begin with. Thus, in order to use an interpretation that aims towards truth over falsity, we must be in a sound state of mind. The following axioms can be something to ponder throughout your day, and to apply when presented with information to analyze:

1. If you believe you can grow, you will.

2. The transition from potential to actualization is gradual and non-linear. Tidy causal chains are an illusion.

3. One’s life can consistently be improved by removing things, rarely by adding them.

4. The human mind has a tendency to overestimate the relevance of any evidence that seems coherent with what's already known. Beware your preference for what rhymes with past experience.

5. Scarcity begets value.

6. Absence of evidence does not equal evidence of absence. "There's no proof smoking is unhealthy," a smart person might say in the 1920s.

7. Overly agreeable people will shock you.

8. Knowledge of what’s possible is impossible. We know backward, we live forward.

9. “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

10. The individual is sacred.

11. Happiness is only real when shared.

12. Binaries are false.

13. Extinction is most often caused by overspecialization.

14. To understand someone, study their incentives.

15. Outside of laboratory science, knowledge that is accurate tends not to be precise and knowledge that is precise tends not to be accurate.

16. The mind buys whatever the body is selling. Beware uninterrogated nutritional and environmental factors.

17. Groups are dangerous.

18. Opponents need each other. Competition is overrated.

19. The truth is a matter of life and death.

20. The most powerful beliefs are those that remain unsaid.


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