Kottke shared a link to this blog post the other day:

My willingness to judge something should be proportional to how much I know about it.

My Seatbelt Rule for Judgment

I was just thinking about this concept the other day when judging other people, and the linked post also talks about applying this to people:

It reminds me to be hesitant to judge someone that I don’t know personally, a person’s actions when I don’t know the context (see the fundamental attribution error), or a system that seems pointless at first glance (see Chesterton’s Fence).

My Seatbelt Rule for Judgment

I find it really easy to pass judgement and be critical of something or someone before gathering much information. It is easier to decide against something I am familiar with than give them the benefit of the doubt.

There is no doubt that this is part of an evolutionary survival instinct that helped us survive in the wild for thousands of years. In the modern world it can be less helpful as our ability to connect with people we do not know is much more probable.

Working to delay the first judgement of a situation or at least see it for being a first judgement it a constant battle for me.


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