Why Understanding the way Your Enemies Think Makes you More Powerful
My perception of the world is shaped by my likes,dislikes and preferences.
Algorithms control the content I consume in order to ensure I am served a steady stream of information, products or services I am generally amorous towards.
This makes sense
Companies like Google and Facebook, and to a lesser extent Amazon and Apple, depend on the amount of time we spend on their platforms to make money. To elongate the time I interact with their services they want to entice me with things that appeal to a sense of who I am. They want to show me news that ranks favourably alongside stories I have read previously, they want to show me products similar to those I have purchased in the past.
The effect this has is monumental
We are stuck on a roundabout of confirmation bias
Everything we love is constantly reaffirmed offering no hope or opportunity for recourse. We are never exposed to the antithesis of our thinking or challenged to think more critically about he information we are provided.
Creativity = unique insight x understanding of current technological application x implementation
Innovation is the manifestation of our knowledge, our ability to understand how to can be used and our ability to dream of a better future and our willingness to impart that change on the world.
The more each of those parts of the equation are fed, the more diversity we have to recall upon as a basis for understand utility, the more creative we are able to become.
Technology not only detrimentally affects this, it actively ensures you don’t encounter views that challenge you
To know your enemy you must become your enemy
The world is more divided now then ever. The us against them mentality has been championed by media relentlessly that our empathy for understanding the antithesis of our views and beliefs has evaporated.
We see ‘the other’ as a subject to be ignored, argued against and forgotten instead of striving for understanding.
That’s why there is massive opportunity
To see the world through your own eyes, while simultaneously being able to process the world through the eyes of other people enables you to spot opportunities which are either ubiquitous or unqiue to specific niche’s of the population.
By opening your mind to the possibility that your views are wrong, you enable yourself to take a broader overview of the world, the people in it and the opportunities available to be exploited.
To create revolutionary products you need to solve large problems. Transcendent companies don’t arise from solving issues that are trivial, they grow rapidly and take over because a lot of people place value in the product or service they offer.
Empathy is the key to a new view point
If you can appreciate why other people feel the way they do, you can begin to understand why they act in a certain way. Causation can be explained by circumstances, and if we are incapable of appreciating them we can never project how things will evolve in the future.
It’s easy to sit in an ivory tower projecting that VR will take over the world, but that fails to aknowlege the millions of people who can’t participate in traditional society because they lack the means to acquire a bank account.
How do you acquire a different view point?
I’ve read a lot about communism. Honestly it fascinates me. It has obviously been responsible for some of the world more brutal attrocities, because that fails to take into account that the initial theory was an ideology about how the entire spectrum of society could achieve a better standard of living.
It would be so easy to write it off due to the above
All that would do is fail to learn the lessons about why the ideology grew in prominence.
The reason it failed wasn’t because it was a bad idea — it failed due to human corruption and greed
That is the key to understanding why playing devils advocate and understanding that you can be wrong about certain things is so powerful. Ideea’s in themselves are not evil, it’s the implementation and action of humans that follow through that colours them as such.
To be more creative you need more ideas. Being prolific enables you to test and iterate on more ideas giving you more chance to find something successful
To find new ideas you need to experience different thinking. You need to diversify the depth and breadth of knowledge you possess and look at things from the opposite of how you would yourself.
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer
Your friends can only confirm your existing view of the world