Friday

On truth

20070613
(answer to the question "how can we be sure of what is "true"?")

Our digital world relies on series of 0 and 1, and for every single digit you can truly tell whether you have a 1 or a 0. Beyond that, there is no guarantee whatsoever regarding what you make of these series. You may not speak the same language nor share the same culture, you can at least use some common tools.

Our world basically works on compromises, truthes that any logician could destroy in a blink. Truth is a subjective label. It wholly depends on the referential and the context. This car is blue ? True, but wrong to the eyes of a color blind people or to a vast number of animal species. The plant you see green reflects the only color it doesn't need.

Truth is about certainty, psychological comfort. People need certainties, some landmarks. You are a farmer, feeling comfortable when standing with your feet down on the ground, but do you realize this earth is cruising space at an amazing speed ?

The quest for truth is universal, but if you are looking for truth, you are bound to end up either disapointed or manipulated. Truth is the ultimate Weapon of Mass Disinformation for propagandists, who offer comfort and certainties for free. No one can claim a belief to be true.

To me, truth is boring. I don't enjoy contemplating series of 0 and 1 for long. I need to feel the sting of doubt, the beauty of life blooming beyond the tracks. Which doesn't mean I enjoy staying in the dark, in the cave described by Plato. I don't believe progress will bring answers to all questions but I enjoy research all the same. It is just that I don't expect to find truthes.

A scientist who always talks about truth is likely to be a fake scientist, generally acting in the name of a caricature of religion (see Intelligent Design, the Discovery Institute, almost every sect...).”

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