No. 514 – March 5, 2023
Timeless ideas and insights for life.
The Line Between Science and Pseudoscience:
“It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory-if we look for confirmations.”
“The liberal democracy is an artificial environment, carefully crafted to both contain human nature and convert it into an engine of progress. When we grow up within an artificial habitat that values human inventions like reason and fairness and humanity, it can be easy to forget just how tenuous that environment is. It’s easy to forget that we’re living in a rare anomaly within human history—an anomaly held up only by trust, cultural norms, and shared assumptions. It’s easy to become overconfident in the stability and permanence of that environment and forget that the worst of human nature is always lurking just beneath the surface. But the reality is that a liberal democracy is a human construct, held in place not only by laws but by the “support beam” of liberal norms—shared notions of what is and isn’t tolerable or harmful and by shared determination to uphold those standards. When that support beam weakens, the environment can quickly collapse.”
— Tim Urban in What’s Our Problem
Good thinking is expensive. Bad thinking costs a fortune.
One way to force yourself to think is to write. Good writing requires good thinking.
Forcing yourself to make your thinking visible gives poor thinking nowhere to hide. You can’t simply take a few minutes here and there, get the gist of the problem, and expect to have clear writing. It doesn’t work that way.
Good writing, like good thinking, takes time.
The miracle of ibuprofen:
“I was the first to take the single dose (of ibuprofen) and later on I took a few doses. I always felt that if you were going to ask volunteers to take a drug and later patients, you really ought to be prepared to take it yourself”
I re-read this article once a year:
“The show was successful because I micromanaged it — every word, every line, every take, every edit, every casting. That’s my way of life.”
P.S. This was unexpected.
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