Friday, July 5, 2013


wild guesses vs best guesses

we're just guessing. nothing we think up is better than a guess.

now i'm not saying that we act on wild guesses. instead we act on our best guesses.

our best guesses started out as wild guesses.

i make 1000 wild guesses for every best guess. [btw 1000 is a wild guess.]


why does this matter?

the wild guesses that did not pass the test are wrong/false. If they were moral ideas, we'd say the actions described in the ideas are *immoral* or *evil*. these are what we call mistakes.

so I make 999 mistakes for every best guess.

its important to notice that these mistakes are being filtered out before the person commits any of the rival ideas to action. this is what we call 'thought experiments'.

a guess starts out as a 'wild guess' and what we do is submit the guess (or theory) to rigorous thought experiments. its a selection process. it selects the 'best guess' from the set of wild guesses.. the needle in the haystack -- the one theory that refutes all of its rivals.

the wild guessing part and the selection process [this part has critical ideas that start out as wild guesses too] works best with more than one person. each person has gaps in their knowledge, and everybody has different gaps.. different blind spots. so by running our ideas by each other (asking for and receiving quality criticism), we are able to leverage each other's expertise.. by covering each other's blind spots.

the guess that survives the thought experiments is the best guess that will be submitted to further testing, e.g. computer model simulation testing, and in real life testing, for example rolling out a product line in one small market which comprises less than 0.1% of a company's customer base.

now our best guesses that survived our thought experiments, and all of the other testing, those are the ones that are put to market. if the product doesn't sell, then the best guess was wrong.. not completely wrong though. its possible there was only a small error and that if it is fixed, then the improved version of the product or initiative would be successful and profitable.


side note:

i was talking to a young guy about being embarrassed to sell the school newspaper to parents at a school function. and i asked some questions and i started to talk about something similar to the problem above. he's concerned with being turned down. so i explained that if u sell one newspaper, is that good? did somebody learn something? be happy that you got 1 'yes' instead of feeling bad about the 39 'no's u got. take the 'no's and figure out what went wrong with them, and then try to use what you learn in future attempts, so you can improve your yes/no ratio.

and the fact that you're improving means that thinking critically about the 'no's is what led to all your improvement (actually improvement happened during the thought experiments too) -- so what is there to feel bad about the 'no's? the 'no's led to making progress. in other words, progress is impossible without them. -- i also talked to him about stuff like 'why do u care what they think of u? why don't you use those people for your own benefit, to learn, to test out your ideas in real life experiments?'


someone said: "makes sense, so basically: learn from your mistakes?"

yes. but its more than that. create opportunities that will let you apply your problem solving skills. in doing so, you will make mistakes. then learn from your mistakes -- thus improving your problem solving skills. then repeat.

keep going. keep getting better. there is no limit to your improvement. there is no ceiling.


someone asked me: "how do i create opportunities?"

get a job -- instead of school. at your job, express your ideas. your boss might like them. and if he doesn't, and if you get fired for it, then great because he's the wrong boss to work for.


why improve? because this.

what sort of problems does this apply to? ALL!  Even psychological/emotional problems -- find out more here and here.


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