On the need to be comfortable with uncertainty

Legendary physicist Richard Feynman encapsulated this way that scientists communicate uncertainty and how they strive to avoid the extremes of rights and wrong when he said, “Statements of science are not of what is true and what is not true, but statements of what is known to different degrees of certainty… Every one of the concepts of science is on a scale graduated somewhere between, but at neither end of, absolute falsity or absolute truth.” (This appears in a collection of his short works, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.)

Excerpt from: Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts by Annie Duke

On the importance of exposing our ideas to people who disagree with them

John Stuart Mill is one of the heroes of thinking in bets. More than one hundred and fifty years after writing On Liberty, his thinking on social and political philosophy remains startlingly current. One of the frequent themes in On Liberty is the importance of diversity of opinion. Diversity and dissent are not only checks on fallibility, but the only means of testing the ultimate truth of an opinion: “The only way in which a human being can make some approach to knowing the whole of a subject is by hearing what can be said about it by persons of every variety of opinion, and studying all modes in which it can be looked at by every character of mind. No wise man ever acquired his wisdom in any mode but this; nor is it in the nature of human intellect to become wise in any other manner.”

Excerpt from: Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts by Annie Duke