MetaCognitions: 2014.11.04


I think that our views of reality are more like a photographic camera than they are the things we photograph. You can use the different lenses and built-in functions or accessories the camera has to take whatever sort of image you wish, in any wavelength permitted by the equipment.

But if the camera is poorly designed, or damaged, or you are unfamiliar with its use, your pictures will come out with artifacts, otherwise flawed, or perhaps not at all. The photograph is not the thing photographed, and a flawed image does not accurately represent what it is meant to despite the photographer’s intent.

I think that we should all have the freedom to hold whatever opinions we wish, but that it’s also important to ensure that the claims we accept are actually true.

I do not think that criticism necessarily implies a narrowminded or heavyhanded approach, and while I’m all for the freedom of each of us to hold our own views (I’m aware that not all share that sentiment), I think that we should also be open to valid criticism and rigorous self-questioning of those same views.

To best succeed in our efforts, we must accommodate an implacable reality outside as well as inside of ourselves. Like models and makes of cameras, there are many ways to view that reality, but there is only one reality, and not all views of it are equally valid, though many are certainly useful.

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