What is the Limit of Knowledge?

In my London childhood, a horse-drawn wagon delivered milk each day in glass bottles with the cream risen to the top in a visible layer. Sparrows had learned to peck through the foil caps and gorge on the prize. My first computer used magnets the shape of a doughnut and smaller than an apple pip […]

Why Do We Believe What We Believe?

Why do we believe what we believe, and how is it possible that we differ so much? Our beliefs comes from our senses, culture, in-group, experts, feelings and thinking. Of these, only thinking and expertise can make a defensible case. (This is a major rewrite of the original 5/19/19 post.)

The Four Forces Driving Political Conflict

Years ago, I thought I was going to die. The streets were dark and slick with rain. I was getting a ride back from a weekend encounter group where all our emotions had been laid bare, and the driver and the other passenger entered into such a screaming match over politics I thought a car […]

Why There is a Crisis of Fake News

Call it the law of unintended consequences. The internet is a disruptive technology comparable to the Gutenberg press. Initially it was seen as a global encyclopedia, making all human knowledge available to everyone. Then social media arose, and I saw this as revolutionary for two reasons: It allows people around the world to see each […]

You Only Have Six Original Thoughts in Your Life

By an original thought, I mean putting together existing ideas and observations and coming up with a new thought or product or process that you’ve never met before. All developments are constructed from the raw materials of our present knowledge, and new discoveries are often made independently by a number of people. There are many […]

Identity

The entire canon of Western thought, from Aristotelian logic to George Boole (he of boolean arithmetic) to the divide-and-conquer approach of science, invites us to view and categorize the world according to its differences, not its similarities. A table is a table and a chair is a chair. Language is the tool we use for […]