There are two kinds of people in the world.
Awake or asleep.
Truth-seeking or truth-ignoring.
I read this article called "crony beliefs."
Crony beliefs are beliefs that provide a social value for believing.
Do you think your beliefs should be based on truth or based on gaining status in a group? Which do you think is going to be closer to the truth?
I try my best only to think about things I've considered carefully.
You find crony beliefs in politics, activism, nutrition, business, relationships, pretty much everywhere.
These social-benefit-driven beliefs explain why so many people make so many dumb decisions and are generally unable to think critically for themselves. There is just too much social pressure for most to overcome.
Unfortunately, you don't find truth through conformity. The more you confirm, the farther from truth you get.
If you look at scientific history, you see hundreds of years of scientists being wrong most of the time.
This is why every generation looks back on previous generations with the hubris that comes from living in a more advanced time. This will go on forever.
Humans that default to crony beliefs are asleep.
I define being awake as dedicated to the truth no matter how painful or inconvenient it is while remaining open as much as possible, so you stay awake.
This brings me to the other bias people fall victim to, which I'm going to call "convenient beliefs."
A convenient belief allows you to take the path of least resistance.
There is a cross-over between crony beliefs and convenient beliefs, but the way I think about them as different is best explained by what I've seen often in individuals struggling with weight loss.
I have personally seen many people lose weight following a diet based on whole real foods. More than I wish were the case gained it back.
That's not surprising itself since most people yo-yo with their habits and routines. What's interesting about these convenient beliefs is how they trick the mind. Paradoxically, the very thing that got them the results in the first place becomes the thing they attack... because it's no longer convenient to believe in it. So they flip-flop and make excuses as to why this diet isn't "sustainable" or some other nonsense justification.
The diet was too hard.
I can't give up X.
I wasn't feeling good.
Sunk costs are living in the past. That's the simplest way to think about it.
When you fall victim to the sunk cost fallacy, you let past experiences, investments, or efforts determine what you keep doing even if what you're doing isn't working.
Sunk costs blind you to the best decision now.
So when the situation is screaming at you to change course or quit, most struggle to reconcile their past investments with new information coming in. So they doggedly pursue losing strategies and throw good money after bad.
Examples include people staying in abusive relationships, dead-end careers, and failed businesses.
Their convenient narrative is meant to keep them from accepting reality because reality is too painful. This is a convenient belief.
In a world that is constantly changing, your inability to change is your greatest liability.
It's not a good strategy.
No one is perfect at being an infallible thinker. That said, I believe you can get damn close to objective reality if you adopt the correct mindset (if you wake up).
Humanity is being dragged along, often unwillingly, by the growth-minded open-minded, critical, and independent thinkers.
The iconoclasts, rebels, and independent thinkers are the ones that always compel humanity forward, and they deserve every ounce of reward they get.
If you want to be a more effective, happy, safe human, you should want to wake up and stay awake.
The process will be painful, but the result is so worth it, and the benefits will keep accruing.
The closer to the truth you get, the better your life.