Only Fools Rush In: Pitfalls of Hasty Problem-Solving

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Despite the apparent advantages of diving headfirst into problem-solving, this tactic may lead to misunderstanding and arriving at the wrong solution. This is demonstrated in a study on ‘mindless maths’, which showed that people are more likely to perform maths operations – even when no maths is needed – when the maths is more difficult. This runs counter to the idea that people are cognitive misers and prefer taking the easy route. In order to prevent this unconscious action, organisations need to incentivise people to take their time to frame problems, and help them become more comfortable with the state of unknowing. Read full article here

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The Priest in the Arena

The phrase “man in the arena” has been popularized in recent years, but a lesser known, more dangerous archetype is the “priest in the arena”. This figure is responsible for a process called theocratic capture, where an institution surrenders to a cult demanding unaccountable authority, fueled by claims to privileged knowledge. These cults often target powerful institutions and attempt to monopolize conversations with scaremongering tactics and hostile treatment of allies. It is important to identify and stop theocratic capture before it can gain control. Read full article here


Maps Distort How We See the World

Maps have a major impact on how we perceive the world, as they often distort reality. One example is the Mercator projection, which can make countries closer to the equator appear smaller than they actually are. Africa is an especially stark example, as it’s much larger than it appears on a map. This distortion can lead to a poor intuition for comparative region sizes, with Brazil being the most short-changed. It’s even big enough that its northernmost point is closer to Canada than its southernmost point! While international maps are chosen for good reasons, they can be deceitful. Read full article here

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