“If any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility.” —John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
Anything not tended, cared for, built or maintained will perish; most living things do this without thinking, but in relationships we need a system.
Hypothesis: low-integrity people have few qualms about expressing their views; high-integrity people are more cautious. Recommendation: high-integrity people should consider it their duty to publish, and their friends should consider it their duty to encourage them.
If you hold a position, you must name at least one piece of evidence that would cause you to change your mind or adjust your level of certainty; if you can’t or won’t, how can we tell if your views are tethered to reality?
Writing and meditation are two shadows cast by the same faculty: the ability to direct one’s own thoughts.
Dear Rowan, It was lovely to speak with you yesterday on the subject of writing and publishing, and how these things affect us.
In John Carpenter’s “They Live,” the main character dons a pair of shades that reveal reality, undistorted: billboards read “CONSUME,” “OBEY,” etc. I need a pair that filters out speech (especially mine) arising through herding and imitation, and not conviction and thought.
The phrase “tu quoque” means roughly, “also you” in Latin—it is the fallacy of saying, “Well you’re angry that I did X, you do Y all the time!” Tu quoques carry no more ethical meaning than a schoolchild’s comfort at not being the only one in trouble.
Anger is loud weakness.
Assume that people on the other side feel as maligned by how you think of them as you do by how they think of you; your standard arguments likely work as well on them as theirs on you; you can be right when your ideas come from only one side, but you’re likely right by accident.