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Many people move chaotically from thought to thought without explicit structure. Inappropriate structuring may leave blind spots or cause the gears of thought to grind to a halt, but the advantages of appropriate structuring are immense:
Correct thought structuring ensures that you examine all relevant facets of an issue, idea, or fact.
- It ensures you know what to do next at every stage and are not frustrated or crippled by akrasia between moments of choice; the next action is always obvious.
- It minimizes the overhead of task switching: you are in control and do not dither between possibilities.
- It may be used in a social context so that potentially challenging issues and thoughts may be brought up in a non-threatening manner (let's look at the positive aspects, now let's focus purely on the negative...).
To illustrate thought structuring, I use the example of Edward de Bono's "six thinking hats" mnemonic. With Edward de Bono's "six thinking hats" method you metaphorically put on various colored "hats" (perspectives) and switch "hats" depending on the task. I will use the somewhat controversial issue of cryonics as my running example.1
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