I believe a lot of other stuff stuff too that I won’t list here. Because people listing things they like on the internet is overdone and because the list would be longer than <insert humorously long thing here>. The interesting thing is that I’m probably wrong about some of these things. Now this doesn’t apply to things like my liking Pepsi over Coke because that’s just personal preference. But ‘NASA being good for humanity’ or’ Self Driving Cars will one day be common’, stuff like that I might be wrong about. I am almost certainly wrong about several things that I believe right now. And what’s infuriating is … I can’t tell what they are!
Is NASA good for humanity? I think so. I think the technological progress we make when exploring space is a very tangible benefit to the world. And learning is a good thing in general, it advances humanity. But am I wrong about NASA? Are there better things we could spend our money on? It seems like NASA’s budget is usually around one percent of the US budget, that’s a terribly small percentage but it would still be a lot of money for many other programs. Would another government program be more beneficial to humanity? I think NASA is a good thing to spend our money on but how can I be certain?
Will Self Driving Cars be common place in the future? Well this is a prediction, it’s a guess about the future, and predicting the future is always hard. It seems to me that once people can Tweet, read FaceBook, eat breakfast and take a nap safely while the car drives them to work people will jump all over that. It’s scary though, people are nervous about Self Driving Cars, it’s entirely possible that fear will prevent the technology from catching on. Or even being legal, people afraid of self driving cars might lobby for laws against them. So it’s hard to be certain about this. Plus there’s the possibility that they won’t work very well, I believe we have the technology and will continue to improve the technology to build very safe self driving cars but it’s at least possible that I’m wrong about that. I think Self Driving Cars will be awesome, but how can I be certain?
We as a people need to learn how to disagree and discuss our different points of view without hating each other. That sounds like a great idea to me. But it presupposes that currently people are hating each other when holding different points of view. I feel like everything we see in the news media and social media is people hatefully shouting at each other for believing differently. But what if that perception is faulty? What if most people can sit down and discuss different points of view with civility and respect for each other? What if it just seems worse than it is because shouting is entertaining enough to be shown on our various media’s while calm discussion is not? I’m confident that we should discuss differences politely, but how can I be certain that we aren’t already doing that most of the time and I just don’t see it?
Those are three things I believe that aren’t just personal preferences. And when I look at each of those three things I think I’m right about each of them. But I know that I can’t be right about everything, no human is right about all the things all the time, so I might be wrong about one of these things and not even realize it. I might be staring at something I wrote that is wrong right now and I don’t even see it!
Usually when you change your mind about something it’s because you’ve learned something new. Or you’ve learned that some fact that you had based your old belief on is wrong. Or you’ve had an experience that causes you to look at things a new way. It’s hard to think about things you believe and reevaluate them without any new data. So the best thing to do is keep learning. Keep seeking out new information. Keep listening to people who believe differently and find out why they do. Then, as you learn and grow, go back and reevaluate things you used to believe to see if they still make sense with what you know now.
Every once in a while I drink a Coke, just to see if I still like Pepsi better. Go out today and drink a Coke. Or if you already like Coke best then drink a Pepsi, you know what I mean.
*Is it only statistically improbable or is it close enough to impossible that we can just round it off?