Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 3/13/2023
There are rants and rages today about “science” and accepting or rejecting it. Of course, one person’s “science” is often about personal beliefs and opinions, supported by the confirmation bias of the internet. I remember when Mensa had a Loch Ness Monster special interest group and, when the most profound photo of “Nessie” was proved to be a hoax, the chair of the group claimed that the media were simply undermining the true story!
Does that sound silly? Well, here we are today semi-obsessed with UFOs.
I respect scientists and the scientific method. I also respect informed dissent and opposing views. When these combine in an annealing process, truth can emerge from that crucible. My personal opinion is that the Covid crisis taught us all that intelligent, well-meaning, learned people can differ. We should be raising our heads in response to the disagreements and errors, not raising our weapons.
Does that sound silly? Well, consider the latest announcements on the origins of the Covid “leak.”
We are, supposedly, separated from other life forms through the gift of sentience—self-awareness. We have the ability, though not always applied, to consider ourselves in terms of our impact on others, the environment in which we reside, and planning for our futures. However, software and machines may be able to duplicate those abilities and even improve on them.
Does that sound silly? Well, read a bit about artificial intelligence and ChatGPT.
Humility is not self-degradation. Humility is understanding the worth in others. It may just be a good idea not to assume the other people—the ones disagreeing with our views and our “science”—are somehow damaged, but rather to hear them out.
We often don’t know what we don’t know.
Nobody is so blind or so stupid that they think they can reach perfect understanding: Indeed, the deeper their understanding, the more they are conscious of their ignorance. —Basil the Great
Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the people, the surer they are that they know precisely what is right and wrong. —H.L. Mencken
There is none so corrupt as the morally certain. —Anon.
I’m constantly surprised by how stupid I was two weeks ago. —Alan Weiss