What it means to think with logic


The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.

Everyone thinks, but not everyone thinks correctly.

The above image is from a fun experiment. The artist Miles drew his self-portrait at age 13, and again at age 23 to compare how far his skills had developed. You might notice a difference between the two. The comparison of someone untrained in logic vs. an expert can be just as drastic.

It’s not that there’s no logic in how the artist produced the first picture. You can see the picture is of a person, with appropriately placed facial features. There’s even a little shadowing to draw distinction in the face. No question, it’s a human face all right. All the basics are there.

And yet, you’d never for a second be fooled that it is anything more than a poor facsimile of a person. No offense, Miles, but that pic is about as skillfully put together as the average YouTube comment.


The Talent Cat™️ is not responsible for brain cells that commit suicide upon reading this YouTube comment.

But that second picture though.


My man.

It’s downright photo-realistic! We could slap that on the side of a milk carton and find you in a hot minute!


Missing: Maverick “Miles” McDewd. Artist extraordinaire, cool guy, and dedicated lover.

As you master logic, the grammar of decision making becomes known to you, just like Miles mastered the artistry of the self-portrait. In a drawing of this caliber, there are all kinds of techniques applied that teenage Miles never even knew to use. Hatching. Cross-hatching. Stippling. Fixatives. Blending. Texturing. Light source placement. Negative space management. I’m sure adult Miles could list more.

In the same way, logic has its own techniques. Just like Miles’ teenage skills produced a picture that can pass for a person, untrained logic can get you by in life. But you will endeavor with a lot of trial and error as you “reinvent wheels” others already discovered long ago. Wouldn’t it be great to know what those logic techniques are by name, how they work, and when they are appropriate to use? If you do, you’ll honestly be able to say you know what you’re doing, and why.

You won’t just feel like you are logical, you’ll be able to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. And if you can prove it, you can live it with excellence.

So what is logic?

Logic is the process of placing thoughts in order. There are many ways to see logic in action.

The one who stacks their desk with papers vs. The one who files their completed work.

The one who tackles tasks at random vs. The one who executes a step by step plan.

The one who speaks in word salads vs. The one who speaks with clarity, flow, and purpose.

The irony of our human condition is that humans are NOT logical creatures by default. People largely make their choices on emotion, not logic.

This does not mean that logic is impossible. It does mean that being logical requires intentional choices that will sometimes go against the grain of your natural inclinations. You don’t get to the caliber of the adult picture easily if you’re just making it up as you go on instinct.

That sounds like a lot of work. What’s the payoff anyway? What value will I get out of studying logic?

There’s loads of benefits, but I’ll start with three.

  1. Logic is a foundational discipline. Every craft and trade, from pottery to programming, uses logic extensively.

  2. Logic protects you from being misled. Logic cuts through cons, scams, and lies.

  3. Logic enables new levels of discovery and learning. You will see what others cannot, and gain new levels of confidence.

When you learn how to properly put your thoughts in order, you’ll more likely foresee consequences.

Of course, if you’d rather do what comes naturally, like this chimp, don’t let me stop you.


On the other, less smelly hand, maybe you’re ready to learn a higher way than what comes natural.

A byproduct of studying logic is that you might sometimes look back in hindsight at past mistakes, and facepalm. You’ll start to recognize and regret those times where you thought you were DESTROYING YOUR ENEMIES WITH LOGIC when really you were just the pigeon all along.

Self-discovery is inevitable when you grow your thinking.

Let it run its course.

Don’t panic.

We’ve all screwed up from time to time.

Learn from it.

Move on.

You will come out better, but you will not be the same.

And that’s a good thing.

© 2018. The Talent Cat. All rights reserved.

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