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Author: Sam Kurien
•5:55 AM
From my journal entry on 09/01/2013
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The story of Henry Humidor is an interesting introduction to the world of reasoning re-written here from the "The Little Blue Thinking Book" by Brandon Royal  who adapted it from a story that appeared in New York Times.

Henry Humidor purchased a box of very rare, very expensive cigars and insured them, among other
things, against fire.  Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of cigars, he filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, Henry stated the cigars were lost "in a series of small fires". The insurance company refused to pay citing the obvious reason: He had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion.

Henry sued and won!

In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed that the claim was frivolous. He stated the man nevertheless held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure against fire, without adequately defining what is considered to be an "unacceptable fire" and was obligated to pay the claim. Rather than endure a lengthy costly appeals process the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid Henry $15,000 for the rare cigars he lost in the fires....

But....

After Henry cashed in the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of arson! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case used against him; Henry Humidor was convicted of intentionally setting fire to his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and $24,000 fine.
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Welcome to the wonderful world of reasoning :)

Classical reasoning states there are four mindsets - Realist, Idealist, Analyst and Synthesist. Practicality and emotion in varying degrees in people will categorize them into either one of them strongly. Of course this can even go back and forth in varying degrees based on circumstances. At least this is my observational
opinion. However a good thinker should use each mindset in creative ways. Holistic integrative thinking merging analysis with right brain imagination will help you be that "Good thinker". Sadly the place I grew up in (India) didn't allow for this kind of thinking in the classroom especially when there are 50 to 60 in each class. The United States seems to be following suit in process based learning in public, charter and private schools this is sad indeed. I believe as we are so prone to process oriented linear thinking we want everything to be standardized, its easy if its in a box and that is what our fast food culture demands. We however have to step back and think and re-think. Yesterday on my other blog I wrote about understanding stating the example of Lincoln who convulsed for not understanding the meaning of the word "demonstrate". I want to end by quoting Solomon in the proverbs : "In all this my son gain "understanding" and it will go well with you." (paraphrase mine).


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