Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The only known antidote to error

"Not even those of us who are scientifically trained actually do objective science consistently well. Like all other humans, we are predisposed, with biased, emotionally prejudiced human minds, to first see what we want or expect to see.
The one tool that has ever allowed humans to penetrate the veil of their own talented called Reciprocal Accountability. Or criticism, the only known antidote to error. We may not be able to spot our own mistakes and delusions, but others will gladly point them out for us! Moreover, this favor is one that your foes will happily do for you! (How nice of them.) And, in return, you will eagerly return the favor. In our enlightenment - and especially in science - this process is tuned to maximize truth-output and minimize blood-on-the-floor. But it requires some maturity. Some willingness to let the process play out. Willingness to negotiate. Calmness and even humor.

It doesn't work amid rage or "culture war." Which is precisely why culture war is being pushed on us. By those who want the enlightenment to fail."
- David Brin

No comments: