Using Quick and Dirty Thinking

A half-truth is more dangerous than a lie -- Benjamin Franklin

This is the introduction to our posts on Quick and Dirty Thinking, one of the Seven Deadly Stupidities.

We all use quick and dirty thinking because it is easy and satisfying. A quick solution appeals to our sense of immediate gratification. But, with few exceptions, quick and dirty thinking creates a false sense of truth and can be outright dangerous, especially when a Tectonic Decision is at hand.

Think about the following the next time somebody suggests a quick and dirty solution:  A few synonyms for “quick and dirty” from PowerThesarus.org:

  • Makeshift

  • Off-the-Cuff

  • Cludge

  • Band-aid

You get the idea.

I had a friend who told me about his experience in law school.  For a three-hour final exam essay, he was taught to spend at least two hours outlining and putting together the facts. Then, with 30 to 60 minutes left on the exam clock, he would write the essay.

This “think first, then act” model has far greater applicability than we realize and, if you can do it, will lead you on the path away from quick and dirty thinking.

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