Monday 1 October 2018

The value of hard-line extremism

Looking-back over my (non-)career, one striking aspect is that I have always been a hard-line extremist. And still am.

Whatever ideas I adopted, I pretty quickly took them to an extreme such that I could never find anybody else (in 'real life' or on paper) that took them quite as far as I did. (Still true.)

Of course, this meant that I was nearly-always wrong about things; but after all, wrongness is nearly universal - so that doesn't distinguish me from the norm.

However, the fact that I followed-through the wrongness and did not back-off to being 'moderate' and fuzzy when things started getting absurd, was exactly what brought me to abandon one wrong idea after another.

And once I had lived-through this experince of knowing the wrongness from-the-inside, it meant that I really knew why these things were wrong; and could then move-on.

Insofar as I have made any contributions, this is exactly why. I kept-on thinking and inferring until eventually the exact nature of my error/s became crystal clear.

So, while I am a bit ashamed, I mostly don't regret being so wrong about so many things; I don't see how else I personally would (in the end) have discovered something of truth and reality. 


Michael Dyer said...

It's like stress testing an idea. Pushing it to the limits to see if it's true.

On a heart level, I think most of us know, deep in our souls, that if something isn't true, it won't really work. Not really, not the way you want. The deeper we know this in practice, the more we will trend to conclusions at odds with the spirit of the age.

Chiu ChunLing said...

Not all ideas that would lead to absurd results on the assumption that they were the only truth are invalid if they can be considered as only an aspect of a greater whole.

Of course, many false ideas proclaim themselves the only truth, and thus attempting to consider them as part of a greater whole would already be a contradiction. This is a particular danger of hedonism and other theories which do not properly contexturalize the instinctive strength of sensory claims.