Most of What I'm Writing Is Probably Wrong

The world is really complicated.  So when I, or anyone else comes across with a point, we’re doing so with a very limited set of information.  Even the experts typically get things wrong.  That makes it pretty hopeless for anyone else.

That said, we need to pretend we know things.  Why?  Because everyone else does, and if you admit that you don’t know things people will believe you.  But they will continue believing those who pretend to know things, so you’ll look worse in comparison.  It’s like a bizarre athletic contest where everyone is cheating with hacks and steroids and those who don’t quickly get kicked out for not doing well in comparison.  

I’m quite sure that one can only read the intelligence of less intelligent people.  It’s kind of like Jazz; to an untrained ear Charlie Parker could sound as good as some amateur enthusiast.  I realized this quickly when I played jazz; no matter how good I actually was, if I played loud and confident during my solos people would assume I knew more than them and was actually quite impressive if only they understood jazz a bit better.  

So when I talk I’ll continue to state things like they are true, even though I completely realize that most of them are highly uncertain.  I’ve been considering making a new language for this similar to E-prime, but it probably wouldn’t help much for normal conversation.

This is important to accept because otherwise I would never say things.  I realize that much of what I talk about has been discussed before.  I could theoretically research every subject to its academic end and argue the points for those who know where the subject elite stand.  But the only people who typically do this, are the PHDs who spend a few years doing nothing but researching the literature to find this end.  Which means I would be constrained to one very specific field, and spend several years of life achieving that.  

What I’m saying is that the ends don’t matter too much because they are likely to be wrong.  And there’s probably some very interesting optimization process in deciding how much information you have to know about an argument to be able to contribute to it.  But the most important information is buried within the individual arguments and ideas to back them up.  The outcomes and weighing of those arguments is less important because there are probably many that I’m unaware of given my limited expertise.  

So I’ll continue to talk and listen to things that interest me, no matter how much I know about them.  And even if my general mentality is wrong (it likely will be much of the time), I hope that I have things to say within them that may be useful to the greater information.

 

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