What’s a Thought Laboratory?

A search for “Thought Laboratory” (quotes included) on Google yields about 5,290 results. Compared to the 3 billion hits on the word “thought” and the 764 million hits on the word “laboratory”, it seems apparent that these two words are rarely used together.

Which for me is a good thing, because it means I don’t have to worry too much that my usage of the phrase will be at odds with any generally-accepted definitions.

For me, a Thought Laboratory is a place where I can experiment with my thinking on various issues of personal interest, and to hopefully unearth any unintended consequences of that thinking.

It’s a place where I can try to challenge the often superficial analysis that goes into the hasty formation of attitudes, opinions, and mental models which ultimately lead to uninformed decisions made in the absence of critical thinking.

Most importantly, it’s a place where I hope to be able to grow beyond linear thinking into systems thinking, from deterministic solutions to probable solutions, and from insular viewpoints to comprehensive viewpoints.

So in a very real sense this blog will be an ongoing research laboratory notebook of my discoveries. Admittedly most of the content will receive about as much attention as a sermon by Father McKenzie. But if it produces even one nugget of insight that others can put to productive use, the effort will have been worthwhile.

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