Tell Me Your Sources, I Know Your Beliefs

Yesterday I had another conversation with my sainted mother, the usual political discussion/argument.

Again and again, I am struck at how the same news events mean completely opposite things to her than they do to me.  The big point yesterday was “The nuclear deal with Iran gave them $100B”.  When I challenged her, saying that we merely released Iran’s assets which had been seized way back when, she said she had read several times ‘gave’.

The details are unimportant.  What is important is that nobody can have a clear picture of anything without cross-checking, that all sources of information have biases.  Even me.

You have to be skeptical, you have to dig.  You have to evaluate everything from the pov of your life, the interests of you and your family and community.

If you don’t have time to do that, don’t have opinions, because those opinions will be working for someone else’s interests, not yours.

You know that is true because you see how dumb other people’s opinions are when you are the expert and they are not.  Generalize that bit of enlightenment, please.

The standard intellectual fallacy of our times is to assume that your mind has the capacity to make judgments in areas outside of your personal expertise.  People who are deep experts are especially prone to that bit of hubris.

We have trusted experts to do that, to guide the many aspects of our society, economy and governments.  That very misplaced trust is the failure that produced our current state of a failing civilization.

Do not trust experts to give you your opinions.

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