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Here's a note I wrote on facebook April 28, 2013:

So I think most people think there is something called being “open minded” (OM from here on) that is good. Here is what I think is good about it: We know that shutting out information, and/or jumping to conclusions quickly, can lead to bad conclusions being made.


So I think the key problems that OM is supposed to solve are:

  1. excluding/lacking information
  2. concluding without thinking

I think the purpose of OM is to assist in making good conclusions.  Together, wealth of info and thoughtful time for reasoning and counter reasoning, are vital for that purpose. (Though it helps to have rules of thumb when time is limited)


Unfortunately, some people use “OM” to imply that:

  1. you should suspend suspicion (of cognitive bias, trickery etc)
  2. conclusions themselves are the enemy of OM

No matter how much you say you welcome more info, or persuasive reasoning to help with your conclusion, to them you are “closed minded” the moment you suspect falsehood.  I think these people perform some hijack/confusion of the perceived goodness of OM while opposing it's very purpose.

For the most part, I don't care about your phrasing in conversation. I won't fault you. I only hope to improve your private thoughts, so you don't become entangled between conflicting definitions (or whatever) of OM.

Any other ideas on the subject?


[my comment, May 21 2013]:  oh ya there's also the problem with OM being used to mean something like "you are obligated to give me your time and listen to me". or even guilt tripping (instead of 'obligation') as in "if you don't give me your time and listen you are closed minded" etc.

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