Notes From the Desk: No. 24 - 2024.02.11
Notes From the Desk are periodic posts that summarize recent topics of interest or other brief notable commentary that might otherwise be a tweet or note.
The pure quest for knowledge sits on a precipice from which the edge gives way to the pit of madness and bedlam. The precarious edge is often obscure and easily entices many to unknowingly cross the line past truth and reason into suspicion, paranoia and fear-induced delusion.
The edge of the chasm does not reveal itself. It appears as a mirage of deeper undiscovered truths that are alluring in both their chilling consequences and the significance of adventuring into the unknown. Each of these heightens our emotions of excitement and fear.
However, the heightened emotional state obscures reason. It incentivizes other goals that are not directed at the pure understanding of the world. Additionally, social media offers high rewards for pursuing goals that lead to the capture of attention.
The end result is that unfortunately many fail to walk the ledge without falling into the abyss as they begin to manifest theory from imagination versus sound reason.
Anchoring to the foundation of reason
Some principles that can hold us within sanity’s grip are:
Unfounded theory is not necessary for influence:
Many will grasp at the extremes to convince others of some outcome. Almost always there are better provable references. This can often come from feeling frustrated that nobody is listening to an important problem, but manufacturing worse problems is self-sabotage.
Willingness to discard theory that has no evidence or has been broken:
Often theories are held onto even when it has become clear they no longer have merit simply because they lead to the desired outcome. They must be discarded as to not do so only damages claims for anything else.
Occam’s razor can never be discounted:
The simplest answer should always be evaluated against whatever theory you have at hand.
Simply be transparent:
Thought experiments are useful as they help to explore potential uncovered paths that need examination. However, they should be clear as to the context as to not infer a validated premise versus one being explored. Being transparent allows us to be properly critiqued which often provides the feedback needed to keep us on the path of reason.
No compass through the dark exists without hope of reaching the other side and the belief that it matters …