Probabilistic vs. Deterministic Thought

Surprisingly good advice from LinkedIn founder:

> “One of the things that philosophy is very helpful on is how to think pretty precisely about arguments, and an investment thesis is fundamentally an argument. Part of philosophical training is making you really understand how good an argument is and how to think through the alternatives. Philosophy is really good at posing the question, ‘If the universe were such that this data would be different or the universe was such that this framework would be wrong, what happens to the argument then?’ Questioning those premises really helps you figure out why someone smart might actually hold a different point of view.

> “We live in a probabilistic universe, and we tend to think in determinist ways. If A is data-driven and I think I have that data, how certain am I that I have that data? What could I discover that might actually tell me that that data is formulated wrongly? When you dig into it, most of your arguments are actually probabilistic. They’re not certain, even when you have data. You’re really trying to get a sense of whether you have a reasonable bet on the probability.” post 

These are the key critical thinking skills. Everything else is nice to have, but the key skill is “If we imagined an alternate universe where thing A was different, what else would likely change? With what probability?”


Slack CEO also got a philosophy degree. SeeSlack’s Philosopher

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