I’ve always found my personal opinions on most matters to be uncertain, even matters that most people have an opinion on. People: “I think [argument 1] because of reasons [X, Y, Z]. What do you think?” Me: “That seems like a hard question, I don’t really know, I’ll have to consider both sides of the argument, there’s probably no easy answer, let me get back to you on that.” Then I never get back to them on that, because even if I have reasons A–Z, I don’t feel comfortable putting my foot down and saying, “I agree/disagree with you on [argument 1].” Probably because I am afraid of somebody else coming in and saying, “Aha, but you didn’t consider reasons [𝛂, 𝛃, 𝛄]!” I’m not afraid of being wrong per se, but I have a constant fear of not having enough information to hold an informed opinion. I continue saying “The jury’s still out!” even after the jury has deliberated, made its decision, publicly declared its verdict, and everybody’s gone home.
Now, there are lots of reasons to be epistemically modest, of course. It would be wrong to have a firm opinion when there is no empirical evidence or logical argument to back it up, or worse, in the face of opposing evidence. But epistemic modesty to the degree I have described above is problematic. Since I always defer my opinion until more evidence comes in, I never articulate my reasoning for what I believe given the information I do have. This means I never end up discussing important issues with anyone, and perhaps I’ve forgotten how to do that.
This blog is an attempt to change that. If my articulation muscles have atrophied, this blog is meant to be a workout program.
I don’t know exactly what I’ll be blogging about – probably just whatever thoughts I have that I think are interesting and worth writing a blog post on. Maybe this blog will evolve into something more coherent in the future. Maybe it’ll eventually become a science blog, or a philosophy blog, or a social commentary blog. But for now it’s just going wherever my mind takes me. I hope you’ll stay along for the ride.