Awareness 102: How To Analyze

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How To Be Self-Aware

Logic has two parts that build on themselves: the premise and the conclusion

The premise is a statement of fact

  • This “fact” isn’t necessarily true; it only serves as the basis for the conclusion
  • The premise will always be another conclusion from a previous logical statement
    • There are only a few specific premises that form into every other premise
      1. “It is God’s design/God’s nature/God’s words/God’s essence” or something else related to God
      2. “It’s society’s standards/my standards”
      3. “I was raised to believe it/it feels right to me/it’s what everyone or authority thinks/it’s common sense/I don’t know why I believe it”
        • Any of these in this group are fundamentally logical fallacies from the premise

The Scientific Method can be used to remove the worst premises

  1. Ask a question – it can be any question that can be tested and observed
    • This question will uncover undeniable facts
  2. Do background research – investigate what others have discovered
    • Publications, past data, wikis, anecdotes, and personal experiences must have a scientific rigor to be worth considering
  3. Construct a hypothesis – it can be a real stretch if you want, it just has to be a logical and educated guess
  4. Test the hypothesis with an experiment – it will need to be measured either quantitatively or qualitatively
  5. Analyze the data and draw a conclusion – this should be something that any other random person could replicate given the conditions
  6. Communicate the results and receive feedback
    • Though communicating it can be tricky depending on politics or bias, it’s necessary to answer further questions
    • Encourage active debate and discussion of the ideas

A conclusion always needs at least one premise

  • The conclusion has to adhere to the boundaries of the premise, irrespective of the truths of the premise or conclusion
    • The most frequent logical failure is to have both a true premise and true conclusion that are unrelated outside of using other implied premises
      • e.g., “That dog is wet; therefore it took a bath” is false logic because it also implies the premise “dogs only get wet from taking a bath”

Conclusions are direct correlations

  • Good logic includes everything that is presumed
    • In practice, most people use a dozen premises to create a conclusion pulled from experiences, data, and feelings
    • Many people mistake pre-existing beliefs (which are inherently conclusions themselves) as being sound premises, which is why it’s so important to be self-aware

Logic is either inductive or deductive

  • Deductive logic creates conclusions that are 100% true
    • e.g., “All camels have hair; therefore that camel has hair.”
  • Inductive logic creates conclusions that are likely, but require other premises to be 100% certain
    • e.g., “Healthy camels have hair, and that camel has hair; therefore it’s probably healthy.”

Generally, the simpler the correlation between premise and conclusion the simpler it is to discern whether it’s true

Analysis is the art of turning logic into a framework

Analysis requires looking at information critically to make a decision

  • Critical thinking looks rationally and logically at everything
    • Anyone with patience and self-awareness can become an analysis expert

Analysis is necessary for every part of life

  • Philosophy can only happen with self-awareness and analysis
  • Personal understanding comes from looking at the logical connections the mind makes
  • Understanding others involves analyzing their thoughts and actions to make logical probabilities of what they might do
  • Making major life decisions is the application of other previously understood truths
  • Minor life decisions may not need much analysis, but it’s usually because of previous analyzing

Most analysis is about finding answers to problems, and that answer comes from dividing up that problem in various ways

  • SWOT analysis (internal strengths, internal weaknesses, external opportunities and external threats)
  • PEST analysis (political, economic, socio-cultural and technological factors)
  • STAR bullet points (situation, task, action, result)
  • Use the 5 Why’s by asking “why” 5 times to each of the answers and this will get close enough to find the root of the problem

Analysis of people and their thoughts requires understanding a few rules

  • Everyone creates thoughts through a specific process
    • Everyone starts with philosophies and instincts that enter a situation
    • Philosophies combine with experiences and generate a response/reaction, which creates values
    • More philosophies and experiences combine with values to create convictions
    • Once convictions are strong enough, they develop motivations
    • Motivations guide desires to approve/deny their importance in a situation
    • Desires govern actions, which are then augmented by feelings
    • Feelings augment the permanent recording of future experiences
  • Of all of this, people can only see or prove others’ actions, feelings, desires, and motivations

Since nobody is purely analytical, we all suffer the same stages of accepting new ideas

  1. Hears a new idea that conflicts with an old one
  2. Accepts that the idea is potentially possible but unlikely
  3. Agrees that it’s likely but not necessarily true
    • Some people fail here and assume more certainty or likelihood than what reality demonstrates
  4. Recognizes that it’s true or nearly certain, but finds a way to make the ideas coexist irrationally
  5. Holds that it’s true and the old idea is false, but hesitant to act on it
  6. Decides that it’s best to act on the new information
  • The amount of time that people stay in a stage can range from a few seconds all the way to where they never accept it

Following the acceptance of an idea, people transition through stages of action

  • Integrating the idea into prior thinking brings up new contrasting ideas
    • They start realizing other related truths in themselves that contradict the new way of thinking
    • Any discoveries will be new ideas in themselves, creating a chain reaction
    • Due to this chain reaction, every person is technically a hypocrite in some way as they uncover further inconsistencies
  • There are usually social consequences of accepting a new idea, including lifestyle changes and conflicts with others about the idea
    • If the idea is big enough, they will try to influence others, and they will often face resistance
      1. Will believe others will change as soon as they know about the idea
      2. Most will resist the new idea, though a few will accept it
      3. After running out of willpower, the person starts stepping out of influence with the group
      4. The person will find a new group that more accurately conforms to the new ideas
    • This situation means that believing truth while maintaining healthy relationships requires consistently making new friendships

Many questions, however, can’t be answered by science and need both analysis and faith

Physics

  • Where did everything come from that makes up the universe?
  • What is the universe made from? Dark matter? Dark energy?
  • What’s at the bottom of a black hole?
  • Do a creator of the universe exist?
  • Is time travel possible?
  • Is light a wave or a particle?
  • What causes gravity?
  • Why is ice slippery as a jagged crystal?
  • How does a bicycle stay up when being ridden?
  • Why does time move only forward?
  • How long has the universe been around?

Earth Sciences

  • How can we put carbon back into the earth?
  • What’s at the very bottom of the ocean?
  • Why do rocks sail across the desert floor?
  • How long are any of the coastlines?

Psychology

  • Why do we dream?
  • Why do we even sleep?
  • What is the point of living?
  • Why do we yawn?
  • Why does the placebo effect work?
  • Why are 9 out of 10 people right-handed?
  • How did consciousness come into existence?
  • What is the survival benefit of existential questions?

Mathematics

  • Why does the Riemann hypothesis exist? (pattern for prime numbers)
  • What are the odds of beating a game of Solitaire?
  • How probable is it for life to exist?

Technology

  • Can a computer ever be made into a living being?
  • When can an AI make a good conversation?

Health

  • How can we beat bacteria?
  • Will cancer ever be fully cured?
  • Why do we have fingerprints?
  • Why do we have blood types?
  • How long can we possibly live?
  • How do we solve our overpopulation problem?

Biology

  • How did life begin?
  • What do probiotics do?
  • How do mitochondria work?
  • How do birds migrate to the same area every year?
  • How do monarch butterflies even know how to migrate?
  • Why do giraffes have such long necks?
  • Why do cats purr?
  • Approximately how many species of animals exist?
  • Is there a purpose to us being here, given the improbability of our existence?

The scope of our analysis and where it takes us is based mostly on our religious faith

Next: Every Significant Religion Out There