One of the main characteristics behind Evolution is the building principle of “Good Enough”.
It’s an everchanging world with lots of environmental pressure, scarce resources and survival competition. Building a perfect product once and then be done with it and that product is good to go for all time does not work. One changing environmental variable is enough to turn a perfect product into something close to extinction.
So it’s rather getting the product out quickly and course correct along the way. An adaptive structure is the only way to survive in a changing world.
You might observe this pattern in the tech world. Google’s Chrome Browser and Android OS first appeared in a merely “Good Enough” version to get shipped and since then got course corrected a lot. It’s an adaptive structure. Microsoft on the other hand grew up in a different world and learned to run on perfection paradigms. Windows OS is designed to perfection as close as they can get, takes way longer and then gets shipped into a world with the hope of being done with it, only to realize the environment changed already. Microsoft recently evolved into the “Good Enough” model with their unorthodox release of Windows 8.1.
Humans as well are a result of “Good Enough”, although we perceive ourselves a result of perfection or intelligent design, because our “Good Enough” is far ahead of all other species’ “Good Enough”.
Such wrongful self-perception usually results in massive harm, because if I’m perfect (finite, complete) my interpretations of the world are perfect and thereby correct. If I’m correct, someone else is wrong. Boom. Conflict. Destruction. Game over. I understand this is to a degree evolutionarily desired intra- and inter-species competition, but a lot of deaths by accident are based in the misunderstanding that our experience of the world is perfect.
A very essential mind shift as a progretarian therefore is the understanding that we operate with “Good Enough” minds, not with perfect ones.
There are many excellent books written on cognition flaws, thinking biases, wrong interpretation tendencies and failure patterns.
I really enjoyed:
– “You Are Not So Smart” and “You Are Now Less Dumb” by David McRaney
– “The Invisible Gorilla” by Christopher Chabris & Daniel Simons
– “Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)” by Caroll Tavris & Elliot Aronson
– “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely
– “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
– “Influence” by Robert B. Cialdini
– “The Drunkard’s Walk” by Leonard Mlodinov
– “Nudge” by Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein
– “Happy Money” by Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton
There are way more books on the topic, but I found these to be easy digestible, pop-science nonfiction books with a lot of helpful advice in them.
The main bottom line takeaway is this: The human experience of the world is not absolute, but relative.
Chances are, we are wrong a lot of times in many different scenarios, on our own or within groups, without noticing. Read the books mentioned above for plenty examples.
Obviously, those mechanisms are still existent in us, because they serve a purpose called survival.
So, what do we do with permanently installed tools “Good Enough” for survival, but not quite good enough for thriving?
It’s simple. We condition ourselves to deeply acknowledge the relative correctness of those tools and disconnect “being right”, “me over you”, “win-lose”, “scarce resources” from our identities.
And how do you condition oneself?
With Self-Beneficial Thinking.
“We all deal much with others whom we correctly diagnose as imprisoned in poor conclusions that are maintained by mental habits they formed early and will carry to their graves.” — Charles T. Munger