How I Search For Understanding: An Apology


My favorite thing to do is try and understand how the world works. This is what gives me go, and it’s the purpose of this website. Whenever I have something shown to me, or I “discover” something I add it to my ever increasing body of knowledge that I use to analyze the rest of the world. Ultimately, the goal is to find the unified theory of everything (trite, but true).

I am sometimes rather lumbering when attempting to express myself, and it bothers me greatly. I’ll think I’ve assembled something worthwhile only to find that it collapses under the scrutiny of “many eyes”. This is embarrassing, and it hurts my ego when it happens. The common-sense approach is to simply not overextend — to be very careful with every word, research extensively, and don’t post anything if you aren’t 101% sure. That’s safe. That’s professional. That’s mature.

Meh…I can’t do it. My obsession with learning is so compelling that I simply must share what I “think” I know about the world. I do this for selfish reasons that may seem counter-intuitive, i.e. I do it to learn just as much as to teach. In other words, I am actually sort of gaming the system by putting forth my ideas framed as “lessons”, while simultaneously hoping someone will come along and show me why I’m wrong.

This is no attempt at manipulation or gesture of false humility. I truly want to be shown the flaws in my viewpoints. Here’s what I wrote on the matter back when I first started this *log:

The unfortunate consequence of the fervor with which I put forth my ideas and viewpoints is that I occasionally often overextend and come off looking dumb. As I said, this irks me immensely, and because of search engines my bouts with stupidity will haunt me forever.

But you know what? I say fuck it. I’d honestly rather overextend and fall over than never make the attempt. I think the debate is worth it. I think what we all learn from the discussion is worth it. If I have to look stupid sometimes just so I can put a thought onto paper, so be it.

So to you who are reading this, I ask that you forgive me when I stumble. Please don’t confuse my strong assertions with arrogance or the belief that I really do have all the answers. I don’t. I’m looking for them, I want them badly, and I’m willing to occasionally look like a fool to get them.

The difference between me and a typical evangelist is that I have no loyalty to my opinions. I just want to be right. I truly don’t care if I’m right when we start the debate or if I’m right after it’s over. Either way, I’ve either learned something or helped someone else do the same.:

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