Optimal thought and optimal fitness through reason, logic, science, passion, and wisdom.
Definitions
Definitions

Definitions

It is very important to learn methods: to learn how to reason out concepts, generalizations, and principles, so you can take action.

But a key to reasoning properly, to keeping your thoughts in touch with reality — to making sure you are honest in your own mind and with the world; to making sure you are not believing and acting on mistakes, cognitive errors, misinformation, or lies — is to have good definitions.

Studying geometry is good for training oneself in reasoning, and formulating and using good definitions. You need to know definitions and principles (theorems) of geometry so you can do proofs and reach conclusions. It is good training for doing the same kind of thing in college and in life. (Abraham Lincoln studied geometry to make himself a better thinker, and hence better lawyer and politician.)

If you do not know your definitions and theorems well enough, you will have trouble thinking things out, doing proofs, and taking action. The exact same thing happens in politics, economics, and morality. Too many people talk about capitalism, socialism, fascism, and communism, not knowing what they are. Too many people talk about justice and fairness, forgetting the context that make justice and fairness possible and necessary — the context necessary for a proper definition.

To avoid frustration and failure, you must define your terms and know well your principles! Honesty and cognitive clarity lead to success. We need to be more like Lincoln.

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