When I make an argument about something, I start with some specific axioms or facts and then follow along a consequent branch of axiomatic or factual ideas to come up with a conclusion. I call this process Logistical Thinking. It is like a network of thoughts that you follow along to formulate intellectually robust arguments.
Every next elemental idea is related to the previous one. The natural leaning of biased human thinking is to treat LT as a straight chain of elemental axioms. However, the most polished arguments are formulated when LT is treated as a branch of inter-connected ideas.
To get a better understanding of all these concepts let's consider a stupid conclusion I came up with while brainstorming for this essay.
I make an argument that an increased sales of regular-use footwear is a bad sign for for the pharma industry. At first it sounds like an absurd statement devoid of logic. Pause for a moment and try to come up with your explanation.
Here’s how I used LT to come up with that conclusion:
Increased sales of regular wear footwear indicates that people are frequently changing their footwear that they use daily.
This means that their footwear are wearing out at a faster rate.
Which is probably due to the fact that they are using it more often i.e. they are walking or running more often.
Taking regular walks keeps your brain, bones, and heart healthy.
If people are more healthy they’d need less drugs.
The decreased demand of medicinal drugs will lead to less profits for the pharma industry, hence increased sales of regular use footwear is a bad news for pharma.
I am not an expert of either the footwear or the pharma industry, so there might be some loopholes in my argument, which are totally irrelevant to the context of this essay.
The validity of my statements is not the main highlight of the last few statements—even if I’m factually incorrect, I don’t care, and neither should you.
The important thing here is the sequence of these statements, how one follows the other in a logical sequence.
The statements—individually—make absolute sense. What's doubtful is whether they make sense in this system of ideas.
What if there are more reason for why people are buying more footwear? What if it's not that people are taking longer walks but rather something else that is beyond the horizons of our comprehension?
Branched logistical thinking allows us to consider all the alternate reasons that caused a particular event to occur.
Individual thoughts lose their identity in a dense network of connected thoughts. It is not important whether these ideas make sense individually, what matters is whether they make sense as a part of a particular system.
Weightlifting techniques are of no use in a chess tournament. It doesn't means that the former is factually incorrect, it is just contextually irrelevant.
To sum it up, these are the two things that you have to keep in mind while playing with LT:
Individual thoughts should be kept close to truth.
Secondly, the first one is not sufficient in itself, all the ideas should also make sense in their respective positions as a part of the system.
Even though there is no space for subjective opinions in logistical thinking, you can use it to explain, understand and test your opinions.
You might have your reasons to believe in something, with the help of LT you can create a network of those reasons on the framework of truth. The first and last statements may not make sense together, but the network of thoughts between them should.
Logistical thinking is a living and breathing mental tool analogous to a child’s puzzle of connecting the dots. The entire picture being your theory, while the dots are the underlying ideas that connect with each other to make your theory look convincing.
Just make sure that your dots are where you see them, and not where you want them to see, or else you will mess up the final image. 😉
I appreciate your patience and dedication to read this essay. I am glad that you made it to the end. I hope you learned something new that will equip you with time-tested mental tools for making better decisions in your life.
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