The Objective Lens

The Objective Lens is a device to objectively assess an idea or belief you want to internalize, or have previously internalized. It’s a framework for applying a facet of critical thinking.

There are four levels:

1. Individual Why do I believe in what I believe? Where did my beliefs come from? Was I given them? Did I accept them without questioning? Do I really believe in them? Why?

2. Peer What values, ideas and prejudices do my peers hold? How were they established? Do I believe them only through the weight of peer pressure? Or blind faith? Do I really agree with them? Why?

3. Societal Why does society embrace, support and value this set of social norms? What is their history? When were they formed? How did they achieve a critical mass of acceptance? Do they have merit? Should I follow them? Why?

4. Universal Why is the universe the way it is? Do I truly know this for a fact? Is it possible I could be wrong? What is my reality? How am I so sure? Why?

There are four goals:

1. Acknowledge Bias We can never be completely objective. No argument can be truly neutral.

2. Acknowledge Temporality Even our most ardent beliefs will fade in time.

3. Acknowldge Uncertainty Nothing contains complete certainty. There is always room for a counterpoint.

4. Acknowledge the Unknown What we know is surrounded by a sea of the unknown. Get comfortable.

This is the first time I’ve endeavored to articulate the concept. Criticisms are encouraged.


Now read this

Notes & Observations on Online Communities

This is a distillation of my experience in community building for Domino, a startup I co-founded that operated for nearly three years. It was a referral-driven job marketplace that let freelancers find work through their friends. As... Continue →