Moving The Nihilism Gauge

Spotted linked numerous times around the interwebs in the last 24 hours: How Facts Backfire. Not news to me. Moves the needle on my old nihilism gauge, though. I increasingly find myself wondering how is the proper way to live in a world where knowledge is strongly devalued. I’d be inclined to grow a beard and become a poet, but I’m not good at poetry.

Seriously, I don’t know which are the symptoms and which are the causes of depression – but I’m feeling down about it all. Maybe it’s time to stop thinking for a while.

10 comments to Moving The Nihilism Gauge

  • Yeah. Saw that.

    I’ve been trying to develop a post for months that, I think, touches on some of the issues there.

    But then I wonder, why even bother to post it…

  • Good point. Maybe I shouldn’t have.

  • I’m going to put on my naive optimism hat for a moment. This study measures how people change their minds with new data in the short term, but it does not address how basic belief can be chipped away or shaped over time. I didn’t go from a Reaganite to a bleeding heart liberal, or from an evangelical to a UU overnight, but gradually information and perspective reshaped my beliefs. If I don’t believe that can happen for other people, too, then I might as well give up hope and stop reading the news.

  • Thanks for the optimistic reminder, SA. I’ll try to set my mood accordingly for a while.

  • The man I was when I first stumbled across your blog and the man I am now are two entirely different people. So yeah. People can change and people do change or at least those who are not afraid of changing can and do change.

    But I did have a guy once tell me without reservation or hesitation that he did not care what the facts were he had his world view and he was sticking with it. So there is an element of what you are talking about that does exist. About all you can do is smile at those folks and keep walking.

    It is possible to over think it. Just try to go with the flow. God grant me the serenity… know the rest.

    Never stop correcting error where you see it and always be open to correction yourself.

    You have no idea the influence you have had on me.

  • Funny… I was reading about the mystery of why AA works the other day, and kept thinking, “nah… this is all BS.. It’s really the Serenity prayer that gives ‘em the edge”.

    The pity of the Serenity Prayer is that it is too familiar & you know what that breeds.

    Thanks for the kind words, by the way.

  • I have been over 4 months now without a cigarette. Damned old drunks ain’t got nothin’ on me.

    The pity of the Serenity Prayer is that it is too familiar & you know what that breeds.

    Then you’re saying the wrong one. Try this one.

    “God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.”

  • LMAO… I hadn’t heard that version before… that’s slick.

  • smijer — I hope your response to my response was simply lighthearted — I’d feel awful if you took my comment to mean “shut up” or anything close to that!

    and Buck — that Serenity Prayer is new to me, too! And the best one I’ve come across…

  • No… I don’t think I took it wrong…

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