Thursday, September 16, 2010

Evaluation skills

Chess is also a game of judgement. Note judgement is not the same as judging. Judging is a qualitative statement. Judgement is an intermediate step in the process of decision making. So sound judgement is important in order to make decisions.

Now note this. When you selectively read, hear or observe, you are not evaluating. Actually what you are doing is defending past conclusions. And that usually comes from imagined fears. Some even go to the extent of adding something totally out of the mix and so add to the confusion.

In logic there are very strict rules as to what can be termed as proven. That is why in law you only state beyond reasonable doubt. It is hard to prove anything logically and even harder to prove anything scientifically. Logic is a series of operations given set assumptions. In science you need supporting theory that gives repeatable results.

So in everyday life we just go from opinion to opinion. Hopefully sounder and sounder ones. But in order to do that you first need to learn to "listen". That is to suspend judgement till all facts are known and weighed. Time permitting of course. This is evaluation.

I first read about the technique of bracketing in 1989 from the author M Scott Peck. I have tried to apply that knowledge since. But it is hard. Our minds rebel. It is hard not to prejudge before the evidence is out. But if we do not develop good evaluation skills you cannot be a strong chess player. Too many false conclusions. Chess is a thinking sport. It would seem reasonable to develop thinking skills to excel.

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