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Great to hear from you Stephen B. Really, because you and I, we go way back.
You touch on something that's been big on my mind this past few weeks. I wrote this to try to get at it:
So can one give advice without being convinced that one knows better? "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone," says one shouldn't. But I don't buy that. I think it's totally unworkable. You could never have judges in courts of law.
I'm interested in three necessary decouplings:
Insisting on your opinion while knowing you could be wrong.
Letting yourself get totally absorbed in fiction (religion, porn, novels, movies) knowing that they're not reality.
Empathizing completely with someone without it causing you to sympathize or surrender to what they want.
I don't see a sane way to avoid the need for these decouplings.
So yes, I think it's a problem when we're convinced by our own rhetoric of insistence. That's what that linked article is about, and yet I don't think it's right that we should then be diluted in our conviction. My watchwords are no matter how firmly I believe in a bet, I still believe more firmly that it is a bet.
Stay in touch brother.
The biggest moral question: What defines and stops total jerks?
Having language, humans have so much more to wall out.
The Engineering Method is great for modeling, but terrible for explaining.
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