The Power of Vigilant Doubt
By occupying or inspecting or exploring other views of the world you can potentially identify some of the blind spots in our own views.
Some people will tell you to base your life on the assumption that the future will be like the past, not in the sense that it will really be like the past, that’s to say full of abrupt discontinuities and sudden shifts, but a kind of linear extension of certain trends of growth or improvement in the past. Your best weapon against that is skeptical doubt. It’s really vigilant doubt.
You’ve have the question "how can I hone my capacities for that kind of doubt?" You do have the Internet at your disposal which means you have a much wider range of media to read and movies to watch and so on. Let’s just focus on reading news outlets. You don’t have to read only two or three papers produced in America or England. Even if you can’t’ read any of the languages other than English, you can read English language papers in Moscow, Beijing, New Delhi, all over the world and you can read those usually for free. And if you do that you’ll find that many of the events that are represented by the mainstream media in the US or in Britain as a single common narrative.
You find there are radically different narratives and interpretations that can be found in newspapers and commentaries produced in other countries because not everyone views the world the way we do. And often the way we view the world has blind spots in it and one way to detect them is to start looking at the world. It doesn’t mean you have to accept wholly any other single view of the world, but by occupying or inspecting or exploring other views of the world you can potentially identify some of the blind spots in our own views.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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We take fewer mental pictures per second.
- Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
- In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
- The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
It's not just a case of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
- A new study suggests children who endure trauma grow up to be adults with more empathy than others.
- The effect is not universal, however. Only one kind of empathy was greatly effected.
- The study may lead to further investigations into how people cope with trauma and lead to new ways to help victims bounce back.
It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
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