The Scout Mindset

by Julia Galef

Book Reviews

  • Book 9 We're naturally inclined to violently identify with and defend our beliefs, though we can become more effective by learning to hold them loosely and becoming comfortable with incrementally updating how we see the world over time to Tweet
  • The difference between an exploitation and an exploration mindset. to Tweet
  • Wonderful to see @juliagalef's book coming out! I just pre-ordered it: Julia's good-faith and open-minded-but-rigorous approach to conversation is an ongoing inspiration to me. I'm excited to see this out! to Tweet
  • This book by @juliagalef is awesome. I was lucky enough to read an advance copy. Pre-order. You won’t be sad. to Tweet

About Book

"When it comes to what we believe, humans see what they want to see. In other words, we have what Julia Galef calls a "soldier" mindset. From tribalism and wishful thinking, to rationalizing in our personal lives and everything in between, we are driven to defend the ideas we most want to believe--and shoot down those we don't. But if we want to get things right more often, argues Galef, we should train ourselves to have a "scout" mindset. Unlike the soldier, a scout's goal isn't to defend one side over the other. It's to go out, survey the territory, and come back with as accurate a map as possible. Regardless of what they hope to be the case, above all, the scout wants to know what's actually true. In The Scout Mindset, Galef shows that what makes scouts better at getting things right isn't that they're smarter or more knowledgeable than everyone else. It's a handful of emotional skills, habits, and ways of looking at the world--which anyone can learn. With fascinating examples ranging from how to survive being stranded in the middle of the ocean, to how Jeff Bezos avoids overconfidence, to how superforecasters outperform CIA operatives, to Reddit threads and modern partisan politics, Galef explores why our brains deceive us and what we can do to change the way we think"