Isaac Asimov on why YOUR Ignorance doesn't equal MY Ignorance...

In every century people have thought they understood the Universe at last, and in every century they were proven to be wrong. It follows that the one thing we can say about out modern "knowledge" is that it is wrong.
Socrates had said on learning that the Delphic oracle had proclaimed him the wisest man in Greece. "If I am the wisest man," said Socrates, "it is because I alone know that I know nothing." 
The basic trouble, you see, is that people think that "right" and "wrong" are absolute; that everything that isn't perfectly and completely right is totally and equally wrong.
Let me dispose of Socrates because I am sick and tired of this pretense that knowing you know nothing is a mark of wisdom. No one knows nothing. In a matter of days, babies learn to recognize their mothers. Socrates would agree, of course, and explain that knowledge of trivia is not what he means. He means that in the great abstractions over which human beings debate, one should start without preconceived, unexamined notions. Now where do we get the notion that "right" and "wrong" are absolutes?  Young children learn spelling, for instance, and here we tumble into apparent absolutes. How do you spell "sugar?" Suppose Alice spells it p-q-z-z-f and Genevieve spells it s-h-u-g-e-r. Both are wrong, but is there any doubt that Alice is more wrong than Genevieve? When people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is more wrong than both of them put together.


Source: Relativity of Wrong: Essays on Science by Isaac Asimov


A Brief Thought Experiment ~ Who are You?

When you look at your arms and legs, clearly they are yours, or at least part of what makes up “you”. But you are more than just a body. You have thoughts flowing through your mind that belong exclusively to the subjective “you”.
So who exactly are you? Are you the whole package? I am going to suggest that you are not.

Ambition: 10 Reasons Why Everyone Should be Ambitious

Are you actively chasing your dreams? You should be.


Ambition is best described as a strong desire to do or to achieve something beyond the everyday tasks of life. Who doesn’t want to accomplish something notable? Its easy to say we value ambition. Its actually doing something about it that we’re talking about here. Ambition without action is just talk. Being ambitious is all about walking the walk; actively pursuing a worthwhile goal.

The Semantics of Free Will

What do we mean when we say "Free Will"?
When people talk of individual freedom, many things come to mind. Of primary importance is the question of whether you are free to do what you want to do.
Someone locked in a room tied in a straight jacket is clearly less free than you are at this moment. You are more free because you have more options.
In a broader sense, we can say that a free society is more valuable than an oppressed society precisely because one is more able to do as they wish. Few would argue that this freedom is worth having. But is this truly what it means to be free?

5 Misconceptions of Science Everyone Should Know

We are lucky to live at a time when so many fascinating things are happening in science. Yet when I partake in any discussion, I’m often amazed at how many people carry misconceptions about what science is and how it works.
This is tolerable given that we all have varied backgrounds and have studied different things. But I feel compelled to offer clarity in five areas that seem to endlessly provide confusion.

A Brief Thought Experiment ~ The Vacation

The Following is Entirely Paraphrased from the work of Daniel Kahneman (“Thinking Fast and Slow”)...

You have been given the option to take a vacation. For the price of only two weeks of your earnings, you can go anywhere you choose for two weeks. You will not have to spend a single penny more no matter how extravagant your choice. The caveat is that when you return, all pictures and videos will be destroyed. You will take a pill that will remove the entirety of the vacation from your memory. You will have no recollection of the vacation.


Traversing the Universe ~ A New Paradigm

It is always exciting to wake up to news that NASA has advanced their knowledge with a discovery of a new distant planet, particularly when they fall within what is known as the habitable zone. The implications are huge.

A Brief Thought Experiment ~ Emergence

Of the 26 letters in the English alphabet, none imply anything complex. They represent a sound or character. Yet arrange them with other letters to form words, and meaning has emerged.
Take these words and form sentences, then form paragraphs, and ultimately you can produce content that inspires emotion, passion, and inspiration.
That writing can produce feelings in others is a profound concept.


Why You’re Richer than a King

There exists a trend in the Western World to focus on the negative. The more we have, it seems, the more we have to take for granted. Yet much of this pessimism is grossly unwarranted.
Perhaps no one expresses this better than Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist. With a keen sense of perspective, he provides the following anecdote that will leave even the most cynical of mindsets second guessing themselves.

The Value of Viewing Humanity with a Scientific Mindset

My seven year old son recently asked me what it means that all known life forms share a common ancestor.
It occurred to me how fascinating this revelation is, especially for those who have not read up on biology. So I decided to blow his mind.
”You know how our family tree works? Well if you were to go back far enough, you would find we are related to just about everyone.”
”But if you kept following the tree back,, say about 200 million years, you would find that you are actually related to the dog!”

Why you’re not Embracing SCIENCE Enough


…and I bet you don’t appreciate it nearly as much as you should. In fact, I will go as far as saying Science is so important and beneficial that its near scandalous if you give it anything less than giant praise.
How do I get away with saying that? Well, the facts overwhelming and clearly illustrate that the benefits of science are enormous – facts that you likely take for granted. Lets consider just a couple areas of benefit and see how much you agree.

A Positivley Mind Blowing Thought Experiment

The Following is Entirely Paraphrased from the work of Daniel Dennett...

You wake up one morning and find yourself in a closed room without windows. You have a bathroom, and a food supply, everything you need to survive. You look around the room and see what seems to be thousands of tiny lights and buttons. Too many to count. Perhaps millions.

A Brief Thought Experiment ~ The Paradox of Control

How much do you value being in control?
It seems sensible that we want to retain as much control as possible. From an evolutionary standpoint, being in control of our environment is likely the best way to increase our chances of survival.
Yet based on many of the things we do to not be in control, it stands to reason that we may not value it as much as we think.

3D Printers ~ The Next Singularity?

The continued advancement of 3D printers offers some compelling possibilities.  If they even come close to what some have in mind, they may provide a technological singularity that would change the way we look at society.

Imagine having a printer in your home capable of printing any of the physical items you need. For some, this may seem far fetched, but 3D printers are already capable of printing more than you may think.

Transhumanism ~ Why We've Already Begun

/ NOUN / 
It sounds like science fiction, but many believe there is a real chance we will evolve with technology – giving ourselves cybernetic implants and supersonic body parts allowing us to become bionic versions of ourselves. With the help of technology, we’d overcome many of our physical limitations.
Some people love this idea, but many find it horrifying and unnatural. Putting aside what may be possible, is the idea of improving ourselves significantly with technology really so bad?

25 New Thought Experiments

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