Cute headline, but it really describes my vision for a large category of web publishing work I’m planning, initiated by the article you are reading now. I call the category “errors in thought” in part because I own that domain and once had a website up there containing a previous version of this project. That version was taken offline when I could not devote enough time to creating content for it. So I’m doing what Hollywood calls a “reboot” here, and the errorsinthought.com website will be back online fairly quickly.
So what is this “thought repair workshop and cognition cleansing service?”
It’s a long term project to create a web resource devoted to studying and promoting good, rational thinking and decision making. Building this resource begins with writing informative articles rich with information on this topic, and creating a database of research papers, informal articles, raw data, feeds, links, media such as videos, podcasts, documentaries, and anything else I think belongs in the collection. As time goes on I plan to identify ways that creating new software can help people repair their poor thinking and cleanse their cognition of bias, fallacy and flaw to the maximum extent possible. Flawed thinking cannot be eliminated, but it can be greatly reduced, which would be a huge benefit to individuals who improve their thinking and to society at large.
By “poor thinking” you must mean holding political or philosophical positions you don’t like – right, Chris?
NO, absolutely not and I will make every effort I can to ensure that teaching people ways to think better and make better decisions here only speaks to that which is common to all human beings and is free of ideological, religious, or other content that is divisive and exclusionary. It’s my true desire to provide a place where improving one’s thinking can be done in peace, away from the typical internet site tribal warfare, trolling, flaming and all the rest.
What makes you qualified to help people understand and improve their thinking and decision making?
Nothing. I am not qualified by any credentials or employment experience to do to such a thing. I am going to do it anyway, and looking inside myself for doubt, I find none. I’m supremely confident I can create this resource and help a lot of people, and that what I create will be as accurate and consistent with the research record as any similar resource created by universities and PhD’s in psychology. I would not do this if I thought there was any danger that my lack of qualifications would result in a low-quality site giving out inaccurate information, that could hurt our website visitors. No, every sentence I publish here will be fact checked and references put in the database before I allow it on this section of the site. I don’t need to be qualified in psychology for that.
The way I envision it, creating the site, doing all the research, accumulating the database, engaging in discussions in the site’s forums and chatrooms and writing all the articles will make me very highly qualified in this topic in a very short time. That is my primary reason for building this project – to improve my own thinking and decisions.
Aren’t there plenty of sites and/or blogs that cover this same material already? Why is yours needed, Chris? Why waste your time doing what others have already done?
Indeed there ARE plenty of sites, blogs, and pages covering this same subject matter. Some are devoted to it, others cover it as part of covering a broader topic like psychology or philosophy. But I did not build those sites, or write those articles or publish those blogs – and thus I did not get the thorough, in-depth education in this topic that this project will give me, which I am hoping will considerably improve my own thinking and decision making. I want to study this subject rigorously and in detail and completely master the knowledge, and I cannot think of a better way to do that than to fill entire websites with articles I have written about it, create a database of relevant material, and design software that helps people with it. That is why doing this project makes sense even though the needs of this market are already met.