Category thinking

Problem-solving, mindset

You're engaging in category thinking when, instead of trying to solve one problem, you try to solve a whole category of problems.

For example, in computer security, you can look at risks within individual systems, or you can look at risks within an entire category of systems, for example, every system that uses Log4j. You can consider what happens if one autonomous vehicle got hacked, or you can consider what happens if all of them were hacked simultaneously because of a security issue affecting every autonomous vehicle.

In your personal life, you could tackle all of your health problems individually, maybe buying medicine for one problem and changing your diet to tackle another problem. Or you could address the entire category by minimizing evolutionary mismatch, to live more like humans have evolved to live.

Category thinking requires a mindset shift, to abstract one level upwards. You need a different set of solutions for an individual problem vs the whole category; it's a different beast altogether to help one homeless person than to help all of them.

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