Category: Polemic


Posted by in Polemic

Do you have standards of acceptable behavior in life? Good. Most people do. Most people have boundaries that they believe shouldn’t be crossed and recognize behaviors that aren’t tolerable. But what most people don’t do is equally enforce these standards, boundaries, and behaviors. Do your family and friends get held to a different standard than…


Posted by in Pensées, Polemic

Fads prey on the human bias that new equals better. This idea is fueled by the belief that each generation is smarter than the last. People firmly believe in progress. “We have finally figured it out!” exclaims each generation after thousands of years of human struggle. But new doesn’t always equal better. Think about this:…


Posted by in Polemic

Most research is meaningless and should be neither published nor celebrated. It’s conducted to learn how to do research and to practice doing “science,” but mostly to pad CVs. The process is a bit like students writing papers for their high school or college English classes  – it has to be done in order to…


Posted by in Polemic

The problem with progress is it assumes that the current state is inadequate or incorrect. Worse, it assumes that the state being advanced toward is better. Progress or change for the sake of progress or change should never be a goal. Evolution is an example of progressive process but it tends towards a functional homeostasis….


Posted by in Polemic

Can you make your opponent’s argument for him? If you can’t see your opponents’ viewpoint, understand it, and repeat it, then you cannot be firm in your own conviction (or at least you have no right to be firm in your own conviction). Get out of the echo chamber. Echo chambers breed bigotry. Try this:…


Posted by in Polemic

It’s amazing how many ideas/beliefs/books/theories/dogmas/opinions are based upon facts that are out-of-date or that have been replaced or disproven. There is far too much permanence of ideas. Most ideas are so firmly established that even when an important building block is removed, the idea still stands. This happens in every aspect of life. As a…


Posted by in Polemic

Imagine a president like this: He is the richest man ever to serve as US President. He didn’t earn this wealth; he was born into privilege and inherited his wealth from his father, who earned his wealth by breaking the law. After a last minute nomination in his own party’s convention, he was elected president…


Posted by in Polemic

Just because the other guy is wrong doesn’t mean that you are right. Being wrong is not a unique trait. Don’t worry about proving others wrong, worry about trying to prove yourself wrong. That’s real intellectualism. Assume that you’re the idiot – and try to to prove it! That’s the scientific method. Most people today…


Posted by in Polemic

Are you a bigot? Probably. If you’re like most people, your beliefs are unshakable, unquestionable, and probably wrong. You talk about being open-minded (a lot), but only when it comes to exploring new music or maybe new food. When it comes to religion, politics, economics, science, brand of bottled water – or most other beliefs…


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