June 1, 2020sometimes the quickest path between two points is a curve
I went on a fanciful bike ride through Colorado. Every time I came to a mountain crest, my mind envisioned it to be the top but it only was once. Singularity is religion. Every other time brought pangs of anxiety as in the clearing I realized the climb only continued. Then came the anger; you won't beat me mountain, I've come to befriend.
In planning, I had not well accounted for this. I fell behind schedule. Then when I finally passed that one true peak, the schedule shifted; I had to slow down and thank the forces of nature for joining my side. Reduction is the addition of electrons; electrons underlie energy. I had not accounted for gravity.
Gravity always wins.
I stopped at a large dam just off the roadway and took possibly the only selfie I've ever taken. This was 1993 Anno Domini; they were just called pictures at this point in the trajectory of the human experiment.
There was so much potential energy sitting silent behind me.
I can imagine my maternal Grandmother encapsulating this trip with the common quip, "Work is its own reward". I coasted into town intending to have a meal, stay one night in a bed somewhere cheap then continue on.
In the morning, it was difficult to walk so I rested another night before accepting I had blown out my knees. Then I ate two medium Pepperoni lover's pizzas and took a train back home that next morning.
June 23, 2020Is Truth Malleable?
Entering a new environment, there are two basic choices, adapt or disrupt. It's what defines whether you are the protagonist or antagonist. That and the outcome.
The thing is, over time, lines get blurred. New knowledge is found that doesn't always directly contradict earlier knowledge but in the refutation of said earlier knowledge, builds an opposition. Culture becomes counter-cultural becomes counter-counter-cultural and so on. Eventually everything just gets blurry.
This notion wouldn't work in engineering. Planes would crash more than they flew. Most of the modern economy relies on precision.
If the environment is just, it's sensible to adapt. If it's unjust, it's superior to disrupt. Just disruptors of an unjust system have always been considered heroes in human narratives across all cultures. But who arbitrates what is just?
Debate is the arbitration of opinion. The conclusion of a debate is some sort of verdict and viably, in policy-making, a just compromise between competing narratives. It is the mechanism by which two conflicting beliefs are able to merge into one conclusion.
The most central mechanism of debate is evidence. Evidence is generally thought of as proof of fact between that which is true or false. There are no nulls in the concept of evidence.
The opinion more supported by fact is generally the superior one. Behavior is ideally influenced by fact. Such is what should drive public policy and ought be the goal of governance.
In science, facts are immutable. Truth exists. Absent this maxim, science would fail; there would be no phones, radio, planes nor spaceships. Truth matters.
Mud is malleable. Those that treat truth like mud are malleable.
When the truth of character precludes adaptation, the unjust disrupt. Truth may not be rigid but it is firm; truth is substantial.
Sociopaths are limited by their lack of empathy.
Criminals crave chaos.