How should I be trying to find truth?
Truth is a difficult thing. Just a few centuries ago, the smartest humans alive were dead wrong about damn near everything.
They were wrong about gods. Wrong about astronomy. Wrong about disease. Wrong about heredity. Wrong about physics. Wrong about racism, sexism, nationalism, governance, and many other moral issues. Wrong about geology. Wrong about cosmology. Wrong about chemistry. Wrong about evolution. Wrong about nearly every subject imaginable.
Or so we believe. We think we are better informed than they were. Are we? Is our truth more reliable than their truth?
If we want to know the truth, we’d better have a good method for finding it. What’s the best method for finding truth? How should we be trying to find truth?1
At the very least, free will is a useful illusion, leading us to be more prosocial and ethical. Because even if we are just “a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules,” we’re a vast assembly that feels like so much more. William James, as usual, said it best: “My first act of free will shall be to believe in free will.”
The quoted blog post links to three studies on free will that is very interesting and you would do well to read (at least the original blog post and if that wasn’t enough for you the linked studies.) I generally believe in living rationally and the importance of truth in everything, but if for some people the truth is a little too hard, maybe for some delusion would be okay!!!!
Hope you can read the whole thing! I was choking up while reading this!. To be a good man, a dream , probably just a dream!
Truth Is Usually A Dangerous Concept, But For Tex It Was Natural
Jack Nicholson’s character in “A Few Good Men” was right. Most people can’t handle the truth. Most people are so fearful of the truth, they need to get drunk just to slur a few words of it. If they dare speak the truth, they feel they have to get up on the pulpit and preach it. That’s about the only way they can manage to deliver it. They definitely don’t want to look people in the eye and say what they think.
I was, of course, only saying something that critics of conventional theory had been saying for decades. Yet my point was not part of the mainstream of international economics. Why? Because it had never been expressed in nice models. The new monopolistic competition models gave me a tool to open cleanly what had previously been regarded as a can of worms. More important, however, I suddenly realized the remarkable extent to which the methodology of economics creates blind spots. We just don’t see what we can’t formalize. And the biggest blind spot of all has involved increasing returns. So there, right at hand, was my mission: to look at things from a slightly different angle, and in so doing to reveal the obvious, things that had been right under our noses all the time.