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Published by DENNIS N BERG

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: DENNIS N BERG on Apr 04, 2012
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Barry Krusch
© 1998
, 2010
by Barry Krusch
All Rights Reserved.
NOTE TO USER: The purpose of retaining copyright is to insure the textual integrity of the following document.The latest version of this document may be obtained at
2The Thinker's Handbook
1.Ascend the hierarchy, stage by stage.
Thinking does not occur in a vacuum. Thinking occurs when wecategorize reality in a particular way, and then make inferences andpredictions from our observations. We think “All men are mortal,“Socrates is a man,” therefore “Socrates must be mortal” onlybecause we have the concepts “Socrates,” “Men,” “Mortal,” and “Is.”Without concepts, deductive and inductive thought would beimpossible.Obviously, we must have facts and concepts in our headsbefore we can begin to think: consequently, good thinking relates tothe following pyramid:
Thought occurs in the preceding stages:
This is the first stage of thought. Here is where you gather theconcepts and facts you need, without which thinking would beimpossible. There are two ways to read a catalog: one, to look forwhat you need, and two, to just browse it. As the pyramid shows,
most of your time should be spent in this stage
.: it is the
3The Thinker's Handbook
future thought. When an Explorer goes into a library, s/he browsesthe shelves for interesting material. S/he goes into hardware storeslooking for devices, even though there is no immediate need. Hereinformation is gathered. The Explorer is
; typified by theLiberal Arts education. A generalist.These stages do not get equal time: rather, they are dependenton each other, and some should get more time than the others.Person should be an explorer 25% of the time, and the other modesare
on the person being an explorer 25% of the time. Bad:always looking for stock market information, because one wants toinvest in stocks. Good: devoting X percentage of time to looking forinformation, while devoting X percentage to learning about reality ingeneral.
The most important time is spent at the BASE of the pyramid 
.Unfortunately, we are discouraged from the Explorer mode.The typical way we are asked to write essays in school is “State yourconclusion, then justify it.” This puts our frame of mind into the nextstage, Detective. However, without the first stage, our judgments arelikely to be flawed.
It is only after one has gone horizontal that one can go vertical. Afteryou have explored the many avenues open to you, you may wish toburrow into a particular area. You may want to specialize inanthropology, playing a musical instrument, write a book on topic X.As a detective, you actively search for the pieces of a puzzle.
After you have explored, and then burrowed, you then have a vastset of concepts with which to work. It may involve applying olddevices to new tasks. From these concepts you begin to come up withnew concepts; you are what we term “creative”: you “brainstorm,”

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