Anger and Fear

Some respond with anger, some respond with fear; the best respond with calculated optimism.

You shouldn’t be angry, it accomplishes less than reasoned thought. Spend the energy expanding your mind, instead of obscuring useful thoughts with hostility.

Fearing for the future also leads to little progress. Fortune favors the brave, not the cowardly.

Calculated optimism is the view I recommend. It is the realization that life is getting substantially better throughout time, and this trend is likely to continue if we work toward it.

Your mind is your most powerful asset against a harsh reality, so use it wisely.

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Sign of Truth

To know an argument is true requires something humans simply don’t have: infallibility.

The brain is too fragile, the universe is too random, for a reasonable mind to accept anything as Absolute Truth.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t signposts that can point us toward better and more rational thoughts. Having the ability to discern the shades of gray is part of what makes me happy to be human.

Underestimation of this power leads us down dangerous paths. Always doubt your theories, but put them to the test by implementing them. You shouldn’t be absolutely convinced of what works, but you may be convinced of what doesn’t.

“I only look at backtested results to see what didn’t work. It can’t prove anything going forward.”

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Annoying Argument

Some arguments are annoying.

One of these is the idea that because we have always done things a certain way, that must be the right way for them to be done.

The mistake is thinking history was planned out and then implemented. History is the culmination of people’s experiences, and the reason things are the way they are is mostly just an accident.

Don’t expect to hear this viewpoint from people any time soon, though. The conclusion is the trashing of the idea that some institutions aren’t fundamentally illegitimate.

Government shouldn’t be seen as a moral institution, any more than outright slavery should.

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Peace, Liberty, and Civility

Do not be mistaken by some that claim to desire peace, for often times their ‘peace’ is at the expense of liberty.

For instance, if everyone was locked in a padded cell, there would be extreme peace. The issue is not merely desiring peace but instead the balance between civility and liberty.

Civility is a defining characteristic of secure minds. Insecure minds, such as minds that do not ever bow to a more correctly reasoned argument, are rarely civil.

When one is unafraid of being shown wrong, civility is easy.

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