Deeper Dive into

Closed Loop Minds

We all know someone who leaves us with that feeling where we want to say “There’s just no talking to you!”  When we try to talk about one specific thing they’ll say something like “Yeah, but what about…”

We can think of these people having a “closed loop” mind.  It’s part of their survival mechanism to believe things that aren’t true, and to feel very certain about the things they believe. They don’t want to notice that their beliefs are inconsistent with one another and with the world they live in.

So they have to keep their thoughts constantly moving, churning, like clothes in a washing machine. You can’t talk about the blue shirt and point out its flaws because it quickly disappears and suddenly we’re now talking about the red sweater, so to speak.

They will also avoid checking out this site. The name is enough to feel threatening to them. It’s worth a try though.


It’s all right here:

Ball of confusion

The Information Age has been around for a while now and it has clearly outpaced the public’s ability to keep up with it. 

It would have helped if we were all taught clear thinking skills in school and it was a required subject. We’ve only known about that stuff for about 2500 years now.

As a result of not being able to think things through, many if not most people end up with a tangled ball of ideas and beliefs that get collected over a long period of time

Their set of ideas, opinions and conclusions provide a kind of comfort and security for them, regardless of whether they’re true, accurate or reasonable. It doesn’t matter if they’re inconsistent with each other either. People also like feeling certain about the ideas and opinions they have – they’re not up for debate.

And it seems that if anyone comes along and challenges any of their ideas and beliefs then a common reaction is for them to cause a distraction and change the subject to something else. It’s just easier that way. They’re not motivated to ensure that things make sense like we are.

Why does this matter?

If we have a closed loop mind we’re probably stuck where we are.  

If we have an open mind, then we’re able to move forward, to make things happen, and make our lives and the lives of others easier to live.

It’s really quite easy to have an open mind. We had one as a kid. We already know how to do it.

What are we noticing?

We’re noticing what a closed loop mind looks like.

We’re noticing what an open mind looks like to provide contrast.


Identifying a Closed Loop Mind

People with closed loop minds love to express their beliefs so let’s start there. 

Do we hear inconsistencies between their own ideas and beliefs? Is it inconsistent with reality – what we all know to be true?

Does it seem that they’re afraid of something? Is having their ideas a defense against the things that they feel are trying to make their lives worse and harm them? Is there a sense of being a “victim”?

And when we gently ask them about it, do they change the subject? 

Often they will “cluster bomb” us with a list of things that sound related but they aren’t as a defensive move. We know from the Confusion Deeper Dive that if we try to talk about more than one thing at a time, then that only results in confusion. Are they trying to confuse us on purpose and use that as a smoke screen?

What other diversionary tactics get used to divert attention away from the inconsistencies? Will they try to get an emotional reaction out of us by saying something they know presses our buttons?  Triggering emotions is an effective diversionary tactic we learned as a child.

What An Open Mind Looks Like

Things our lives depend onMoms are a great example of people who must have an open mind because they have to be aware of all the potential dangers to their children’s lives, and they have to figure out how to make it all work when it comes to raising a family. There are an exhasuting number of details, things to think about and keep track of. The phrase “Moms know everything” is true for a reason.

I put together the image on the right which shows some of the many things our lives depend on, or where our lives are at stake when we use them such as air travel and driving a car. Such things can only be created and maintained by people with completely open minds.

Having an open mind means we must consider everything, and we have to deal with reality and it all has to work as a whole. We can’t make up any part of it, or ignore something and hope for the best.

Clear thinking skills are a set of time tested tools and techniques that we use to figure things out and grapple with things we may not know.

Here’s What Open Minds Can Do

Here’s a perfect example of using regular everyday clear thinking skills to accomplish something most people would consider absolutely insane, and then be successful on the first try.

Around 2004 when the next Mars rover was being designed (Curiosity) it was going to be nuclear powered and the size of a small car, so they had to come up with a brand new way of getting this beast on the surface of Mars. 

The design team came up with a crazy idea…

“Let’s design a supersonic parachute that will slow the large, heavy craft down enough in the thin Martian atmosphere until we can fire retro-rockets and fly around horizonally and search for the best landing site. Then we’ll gently lower the car-sized rover onto the surface. Oh, and this 7 minute maneuver has to all happen automatically because Mars is so far away it takes half an hour for a radio signal to get to Mars and back.”

What could go wrong with that idea?!! 

Please watch this five minute video called “7 minutes of terror” that’s really enjoyable.

It worked perfectly on the first try. Brought to you by open minds.

What can we do right now?

Go and search for people with closed loop minds and watch with fascination. They’re everywhere on Facebook and Twitter, and we may already know a few in our family, our group of friends and co-workers.

Are there TV and radio shows where people with closed loop minds congregate?  Does a particular political party in our country seem to have significantly more closed loop minds than another political party?

© 2022 Mark Halvorson.  All Rights Reserved.

This campaign and website imagined, created and maintained by Mark Halvorson. This is a living document. All media is properly licensed, attributed, and usage rights are respected.

Get out there and practice, practice, practice thinking clearly with your friends and family.  Help refine what people say rather than reject it.  Try to say what you want in the form of a question.  You can also send people here and not say a word.  The huge benefit from all this is that it won’t be long until people and the world won’t be able to mess with you anymore.  People will notice that about you and will want to know how you did it.  Be strong and have your own ideas, style and identity.  We’re all in this together.