Sample
  • The Scout Mindset

  • Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't
  • By: Julia Galef
  • Narrated by: Julia Galef
  • Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,033 ratings)

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The Scout Mindset

By: Julia Galef
Narrated by: Julia Galef
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Publisher's summary

"...an engaging and enlightening account from which we all can benefit." (The Wall Street Journal)

A better way to combat knee-jerk biases and make smarter decisions, from Julia Galef, the acclaimed expert on rational decision-making.

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.

©2020 Julia Galef (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"...an engaging and enlightening account from which we all can benefit." (The Wall Street Journal)

"Most books tell you what to think. This is something rarer, and more valuable: a book about how to think, and how to learn, without the fear or favor that so often holds us back from inching closer to the truth. The beauty of The Scout Mindset demonstration is it is, itself, an example of the ethos it teaches. The delight it takes in questioning its own premises, and understanding the alternative arguments, will make you want to be a scout, too."(Ezra Klein, editor-at-large and cofounder of Vox, best-selling author of Why We’re Polarized)

“I find myself quoting Julia in my writing again and again, because no one explains thinking and rationality better than she does. The ideas in The Scout Mindset have been stuck in my head ever since I watched her TED Talk. The Scout Mindset is a lens, and once you're looking through it, the world makes a lot more sense.” (Tim Urban, co-founder of “Wait But Why”)

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