In this audio blog, I discuss the advice (featured in the excellent book How Not To Be Wrong), that you should try to prove your theorems right during the day and try to prove them wrong by night. I liken this to the very nature of scientific epistemology and the notions of free expressions championed by John Stuart Mill. I decry the tendency of true believers to try to shut down dissent as failing themselves and their own arguments…among other problems.
I don’t know how often most of you notice the occasional noises of Flat-Earthers online, and particularly on social media, but I notice. Encountering such absurdities can at times lead a reasonably educated person to feel that the world is going mad, that society is collapsing, and that—despite the cornucopia of information available to us—humans are breathtakingly stupid.
However, I’ve recently been reading John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty,” and it gave me a new insight: The fact the we encounter such vociferous and seemingly ridiculous expressions of contra-factual ideas is a sign of the health and strength of our discourse, rather than its deterioration. Continue reading “Flat-Earthers and “hate speech” are good for us”
Given the brouhaha over the President’s denigration of football players who kneel during the national anthem, and the players’ and owners’ (generally) mature and measured responses, I thought I would try my hand at reading my own article about a related subject.
The audio is here: