Explaining things like I’m five helps avoid the Einstellung Effect

And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared points out that you can fall into “word traps” that lock you into the mindset of a specific discipline. The words you use can make the Einstellung Effect more severe because jargon can encode assumptions that may not be true in a new situations. Jargon is a mechanism for compressing information.

A partial solution to word-traps is to Explain it like I’m Five, which effectively decompresses information. When you break a problem statement open to look at each of its parts, you might realize an assumption that can be shifted.

The first assertion of The Heilmeier Catechism is a bit like independent verification that this is a good idea.


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