Which strategies do you use for dealing with conflicting ideas?


The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. — F. Scott Fitzgerald (1930’s)

That was then.

Today, as we are exposed to different cultures, different politics, different customs, different philosophies….and the pace of information and change acceleratesthe challenge has been grown and multiplied.

Being able to function while holding two conflicting ideas is a good start — but it’s no longer enough.

We need to be able to be able to function while we hold thousands of conflicting and co-evolving ideas.

Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think. -- Albert Einstein

Why is this important?

Whenever we run into opposing ideas we tend to think of them as roadblocks. We tend to give up thinking beyond the conflict.

We stop thinking.

We stop learning. 

It’s an artificial, self-imposed limit in human potential.

Our ability to move beyond these thinking roadblocks is one of the things that makes people better than computers.

We need to prepare to leave the relatively easy problems of logic and math to computers and graduate to harder problem-solving — the kind of problems humans are equipped to solve.

We just need to learn how.

(Is your school teaching you this? If not – demand it.)

Strategies for dealing with conflicting and opposable ideas

Here are some of the strategies that come to mind.

Please add your strategies in the comments for this blog post.

Which strategy do you use?

  • Context classification — (how do you detect context? and how do you classify?)
  • Time distribution — (how do you decide when and how to distribute?)
  • Change distribution — (how do you classify change and decide to distribute?)
  • Integration — (using “and” rather than “or”)
  • Analyzing contrasts and similarities between opposing ideas
  • Prioritizing — (based on what? How?)
  • Logical deconstruction – analyzing the logic behind the ideas
  • Other strategies?

What about you?

How do you manage conflicting ideas?

How do you navigate between them?

We are learning here. Prototyping ideas to deal with new challenges.

Add your comments  on this blog post

or feel free to email me: info@DanMontano.com


I want to make sure you have realistic expectations. It’s likely I won’t be able to answer your questions until much later. Proceed with an assumption that you’ll be thinking along with anyone else who participates in the comments section.