Mental liquidity

This is a 300 word summary of Mental Liquidity · Collab Fund. It’s part of my 300 word posts, tagged #laconiczeus.

Mental liquidity” refers to the ability to swiftly abandon previous beliefs when the world evolves. This is rare as it is often easier to deceive oneself with falsehoods than to acknowledge a mistake.

The blog post uses Albert Einstein as an example. Despite his initial resistance to quantum physics, which contradicted his classical Newtonian perspective, Einstein eventually accepted the validity of quantum theory and even nominated a group of quantum physicists for the Nobel Prize. This shows that even firmly held convictions can change when faced with compelling evidence.

Many people’s “convictions” often reflect a willful disregard for facts that might challenge their beliefs. The psychology term “end of history illusion” describes this tendency: people acknowledge how much they have changed in the past but presume their future selves will remain consistent with their present beliefs. People don’t like admitting they are wrong.

A revealing question to ask is, “What have you changed your mind about in the last decade?” Those who answer “nothing” are often perceived as ignorant and stubborn. A belief becomes dangerous when it turns absolute, and the strongest convictions are often the most likely to be incorrect or incomplete, as they are the hardest to change.

It’s crucial to be mindful of the beliefs that become part of one’s identity. Religion and politics are contentious because they involve not just ideologies, but also tribal affiliations. The danger arises when people treat their economic and investment beliefs similarly. People are prone to believe in things that benefit them even if they are false. Furthermore, many try to treat theories and ideas as unchangeable laws, but true laws are rare, and everything else is a “theory of maybes”.

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