September 8, 2017

"He who says, "Better go without belief forever than believe a lie!" merely shows his own preponderant private horror of becoming a dupe. He may be critical of many of his desires and fears, but this fear he slavishly obeys. He cannot imagine any one questioning its binding force. For my own part, I have also a horror of being duped; but I can believe that worse things than being duped may happen to a man in this world [...] It is like a general informing his soldiers that it is better to keep out of battle forever than to risk a single wound. Not so are victories either over enemies or over nature gained. Our errors are surely not such awfully solemn things. In a world where we are so certain to incur them in spite of all our caution, a certain lightness of heart seems healthier than this excessive nervousness on their behalf. At any rate, it seems the fittest thing for the empiricist philosopher."
--William James, "The Will to Believe". I have such a difficult time really absorbing this. My best model of my person epistemology and morality says there are two levels: the first of simple objective facts, the second of interpretation, goals, and "shoulds"... and that the second layer is vaporously thin, and I feel ill-suited to judge anything - except to that which seems to interfere with a clear view of the underlying objective layer. There I judge like a mo-fo. At least that's why I think I am like I am; sometimes I wonder if it's just me needing to be a perfect little beacon of truth for my ego's sake. But no... I think it's more accurate to say that accuracy about the basics is a hugely important thing for me. I am a proud member of the "reality-based community" Karl Rove mocks, and when Scott Adams says no, all that's important is persuasion, I'll try to persuade anyone I can that that attitude sucks.
Man, Florida's looking to get Chinese Hoaxed to pieces.