Sunday, March 29, 2015

MLM Basics: Critical Thinking for MLMers -- Errors in Perspective

Previously MLMSkeptic have pointed out various reasoning problems of many participants in MLM, but someone pointed out why don't I have a guide on what *should* be done instead?

So here's the effort, called it "How not to argue for MLM" series. You can also think of it as "Critical Thinking for MLMers".

Many of these have been covered previously as "Bad Arguments".

There are many kinds of errors in your thinking process. As the old saying goes, "To err is human." However, one must learn from the errors to improve oneself. Today, we will discuss "Errors In Perspective".

What is Errors in Perspective?

Errors in perspective basically means you have a biased perspective of the world; you don't see the world as it really is, but only as you saw it. It's as if you've been wearing a bad set of tinted glasses all your life that you didn't even know it was there. And that's why they are very dangerous for you to think critically... You may *think* you are doing so, but you're doing it from the wrong perspective / viewpoint.

If you are not in MLM, keep in mind that many MLMers will accuse you of having the wrong perspective, with bad argument such as "unless you're in it you don't have the right perspective" (i.e. "you have to try it to know it / criticize it")

There are many different types of errors in perspectives.

Unwarranted Assumptions

One of the hardest errors in perspective to detect are unwarranted assumptions, because they are usually implied, rather than stated outright, and thus, you almost have to read between the lines to see them. A lot of "folks wisdom" or "commonly held facts" are actually unwarranted assumptions.

Not all assumptions are unwarranted, as you can't live a life without some assumptions, like the guy you pass on the sidewalk is not going to jump up and stab you, or your car will start in the morning, and so on. You may be wrong sometimes, but most assumptions you made every day are based on your knowledge or experiences. It is when you assume too much, more than justifiable by the circumstances or experiences, that you get unwarranted assumptions.

One of the most frequent unwarranted assumption held by victims of scams is "because Scheme X paid someone, therefore Scheme X will pay me (in the future)." When you think about it, this is basically "the sun will come up tomorrow" assumption. It makes sense for the sun, but it makes no sense for Scheme X, no matter how good / honest / rich Scheme X appears to be.  Furthermore, pyramid schemes and Ponzi schemes always pay a few people and make them "judas goats" to draw other people in. Some people (even you) getting paid does not prove everybody will continue to get paid indefinitely.

So how do you stop making unwarranted assumptions? First you have to FIND the unstated assumptions, THEN you have to logic check them to determine if they are warranted or not.