Learn to Think Using Thought Experiments by Patrick King – Audiobook Spotlight – Meta-Thinking

• A thought experiment is much more than a “what if” scenario played out to its logical or philosophical end. It’s a grand arena where you can take your brain out to learn, explore, grow, and play. It’s how you can truly learn to think and conceive of the world outside of your own perspective. Some thought experiments will force you to expand your mind in certain ways, while others will encourage you to utilize novel perspectives and lines of thought. Using thought experiments in your own life will make you a more focused, more robust thinker with a cognitive and intellectual scope far wider than if you’d never challenged yourself in this particular way. Learn to search for an answer, even when there is no true correct or wrong way of thinking. Stretch your thinking capabilities and boundaries and see how things look afterwards.

• A prime example of mulling around solutions and perspectives for which a million variables exist is the Trolley Problem. Would you rather allow one person to die or five? This is a classic thought experiment that forces you into a series of escalating moral dilemmas. It makes you consider who you are, and what you value, and why that is. In the end, nothing is solved or clarified, except your own thoughts. There is no answer except to systematically learn and explore.
• More practical applications of thought experiments come in the form of Schrodinger’s cat (molecular structure), Albert Einstein’s riding a wave (relativity and the speed of light), and Newton’s Cannon (gravity and orbits). These theories mostly concerned hard sciences, and explored them in a way that was impossible at the time (and still is currently). Today, we might have computers to map out simulations and projections, but thought experiments are still able to touch the unknown and the unquantifiable.
• Get comfortable thinking about thinking, because that’s what we’ll be doing throughout the book. The thought experiments we’ll be exploring in this book have all served a particular purpose in their historical context. However, in learning about them, we achieve the broader goal of teaching ourselves to reach outside our own habitual thoughts and beliefs.

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