Reflections on Aphorisms #99

Short aphorisms tonight because it’s been a busy day. Just one and I’m going to make it relatively short (the last time I said this I wound up with a couple illustrations and well over a thousand words, and I had to delete it on revision, but I mean it this time).

But hey, I’m almost to 100. That’s a milestone!

Aphorism 139

The intention of never deceiving often exposes us to deception. (Maxim 118)

François de La Rochefoucauld

Interpretation

I wish I was able to read Rochefoucauld in the native tongue and catch some of the nuance here, but I heard something interesting recently that made this maxim pop out to me.

One of the forms of deception is the “honest lie” that people tell by following the truth when it suits them.

I don’t mean that they ever tell a lie; this isn’t the same as selective honesty.

It’s a form of over-honesty.

It’s kind of like making excuses. As a teacher I used to get all sorts of reasons why students couldn’t turn work in on time or had other problems with their assignments, and the really important thing was always whether or not they’d actually tried their best and made an earnest effort.

Many students were able to come up with a compelling list of reasons, but they were also self-deceptive in their honesty.

The best way to think of the “honest lie” is to think of it as something akin to PR or spin. It’s not about telling a lie, it’s about giving information that other people don’t need because it paints you in a positive light. Of course you couldn’t do the assignment when relatives came to visit (last night), but you could have done it on any of the previous weeks going back to the date the assignment was given and posted online (last month).

Now, some of this is outside students’ control, and some of the time students were deliberately lying to me. They knew I’d check with parents, though, and I think they caught on to the fact that if they had an excuse to make it at least had to satisfy their family (and most had strict families; lying is bad enough, lying to a teacher is an atrocity!).

But the real important thing here is that we wind up deceiving ourselves with lesser truths when we should be looking at greater ones.

Jordan Peterson once spoke about oppression, and he pointed out that at a certain point the problem with people making claims of victimhood is that they’re all true. On some level everyone has experienced injustice, oppression, or setbacks that they don’t deserve to face.

However, the problem is that the view of the little truth (of being oppressed) is that it eclipses the big truth of the power that we have, in the same way that the little truth of last minute barriers in my students’ workflow eclipses the big truth of having the time and resources to complete the assignment and not allocating them correctly (in most cases).

You can avoid deception and still be lying to yourself.

Resolution

Look for the big truth, not the little truth.

Aim to live truthfully, not just without lying.

Don’t manipulate people with lies, but don’t manipulate them with truth either.

Reflections on Aphorisms #66

I had already picked out an aphorism for today when I realized that I had chosen one by Nietzsche yesterday.

So it’s Nietzsche all the way down then.

On a serious note, however, I think it’s worth noting that Nietzsche speaks to our times at least as much as any other philosopher. He’s all about what to do when the collapse of value structures comes rolling around, and you don’t have to look far to see examples of that in the modern day.

Aphorism 104

The lie is a condition of life.

Nietzsche

Interpretation

Now, I think it’s worth noting here that I wonder if there’s a translation issue here. I’m not a tremendous scholar of Nietzsche, but I would appreciate seeing the original German (assuming that Nietzsche said this originally in German) because I figure that the intent may have been more along the lines of “Falsehood is a condition of life.”

Of course, that’s an academic point.

One of the things that Nietzsche is very open about is his cynicism about the nature of people. He has strong contempt for the weak, but the contempt he has is often understood in the wrong way.

Nietzsche views weakness as a predominantly moral phenomena. Of course, there’s a little bit of cross-over here; if you had moral virtue you would be strong, so if you’re not strong then you must lack moral virtue. It is the case in general that all people lack moral virtue, even the saints have their shortcomings.

However, I think that Nietzsche doesn’t want to condemn those who are weak due to circumstances beyond their control.

Rather, what he’s talking about is those who let themselves wallow in weakness.

To talk about this particular statement, I think it’s worth paraphrasing in terms of original sin.

The lie can be understood not only in a literal sense, namely that people lie all the time and lying is often easier than truth-telling from a psychological perspective. It is much easier to avoid pressure than accept it.

The other side of this is a figurative archetypal sense. The unknown isn’t a lie in and of itself, but our perceptions of the world are riddled with falsehood and profligacy.

Any deliberate act to do anything other than fight against the slide toward falsehood, which is itself a parallel for the grand process of entropy, is to embrace both the nature and the doom (fate) of the world. Of course, that seems like it’s totally natural, but it’s also at odds with human purpose.

Nihilism, which Nietzsche decries (despite occasionally being viewed as a nihilist himself due to his statements about the death of God–he was mourning God, not attempting blasphemy), sees nothing wrong with entropy and death. In many ways, it’s the most natural philosophy, in the sense that someone who looks at the world in a strictly rational sense will be struck by meaninglessness.

Values coming from something concrete are worth having. Nietzsche argues that we must create our own, but also presents this as a feat impossible for humans. Jung argues that we’re approaching an age of the individual in which we will need to rethink our senses of value in the same way that major social changes have always required change.

As someone who is traditionally religious, I don’t have this same struggle in my life, though I will admit to have given it a lot of thought because my strength in my religious convictions is nearly matched by the strength of my doubt and weakness.

However, this much is true: Life is full of entropy, and the lie is one of many forms of decay that this can take.

Resolution

Fight entropy where I can.

Always tell the truth.

Never lose sight of what is valuable.

Reflection on Aphorisms #63

Today we hit 100 aphorisms. It’s been a bit of a journey, taking a little over two months with no breaks, but it’s been worth it.

One of the things that I love best about doing this is that it gives me a challenge to engage with the thoughts of some of the greatest people to ever live. It’s been a tremendously enriching experience, and I hope to continue it for as long as I live.

Aphorism 100

The basis of optimism is sheer terror.

Wilde

Oscar Wilde’s best statements are intended to provoke a response, and this is no exception.

Of course, at its surface this seems like it would be self-contradictory. In the traditional dichotomy, terror and optimism are at opposite ends (or nearly opposite ends) of the spectrum of outlooks.

However, there’s perhaps a sliver of truth to this.

One of the things that I’ve noticed ever since I became “enlightened” to it (the top experience I had in college, by a decent margin) is the nature and prevalence of self-deception.

I think this was probably because I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and put my soul into reading classic texts, finding like-minded companions along the way. I had a professor who stressed the concept of self-deception in works like Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich. There were other books, including The Sorrows of Young Werther and Things Fall Apart that I experienced in the same class that added some nuance to this.

One of the things about self-deception is that almost all faulty outlooks are based out of it. Optimism is faulty in the sense that it is not capable of accurately perceiving the world, though I think it may also be fair to say that it has tangible benefits.

The motives for self-deception vary, but one of the most potent ones is terror.

There are a few reasons for this.

First, there’s something to be said for the fact that the world is absolutely incomprehensibly fear-inducing.

It’s a giant primordial ball of chaos.

And we’re just standing on it, basically hoping that things work out all-right.

The fact is that somehow, miraculously, they do. However, that is a result of so much sacrifice (both in the present and in the entirety of the past), that it’s a difficult thing to contemplate. We’re adapted for our world, molded to it and molding it to us. All the same it’s contained within a system so incredibly complex that any number of horrible things could plague our minds.

So we excise them all, aiming to protect ourselves from the dark.

I consider the fear of the dark to be an entirely rational fear. Not just because I myself am afraid of the dark, but because the dark is the fulfillment and physical embodiment of the chaotic unknown.

During the hardest part of my life, the time that probably pushed me to and perhaps a little past my breaking point, I remember being so terrified of the dark that I slept in front of the television with a standing lamp on next to me.

Later, during my first year teaching, I found it intolerable to drive home under a starless sky. There was a stretch of the route home that took me along a frontage road, and at parts of it the only lights would be from my own headlights. Normally have satisfied me but in this case the darkness was just too much to bar.

I started taking a different route home to avoid the dark. Once the stress diminished and I felt more confident, I didn’t mind the route.

The self-deception of optimism can be a similar form of aversion to darkness. By avoiding the contemplation of a terrible outcome, it becomes less real and less threatening.

Of course, I do not wish to merely tear down optimism. As I said earlier, it has value, and I think that Wilde is oversimplifying for the point of getting a response. If you want to see if someone is being optimistic to shield themselves from danger, see what happens when they are confronted with reality.

A healthy person responds to reality. One who is sick ignores it.

Resolution

Respond to reality as it presents itself.

Be open about fears.

Consider the worst in the future, but the best in the past.

Aphorism 101

Never show a risk number, even if it is right.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Because we’re talking about optimism and self-deception, I think that this is a case that logically follows its predecessor.

There are a few reasons you don’t want to consider risk when making decisions, at least not a mathematically derived question of risk.

First, one’s response to risk should always be found in the balance of fragility, resilience, and anti-fragility.

For instance, I do not take any excessive risks with money right now because I do not have the money to take risks with. I’m comfortable, but I can’t afford risk.

When I have extra money, I will often take risks with it. There’s less of a reason to hold back in this case because I can afford to hunt for a risk.

The problem with presenting a risk number is that it ignores this part of the equation.

The second problem is more in line with Wilde’s ideas. You don’t know what the future holds. We live in a world in which the vast majority of everything is beyond us. I struggle to find words to describe how far we are removed from knowledge of the future.

It’s like lying: when you lie you pit your wits against the entirety of the universe. If it at least seems to end well, you got lucky, but the truth is that most of the time there will be a problem later down the road that you can trace back to a lie.

In this case, you try to tell the truth, and it’s no less difficult.

One of the things that we have said as a culture is that lying is hard. It’s something that people used to back up polygraph tests (which don’t generally work), because a liar needs to actually try to lie.

The truth is a little more complicated, as truth tends to be.

Both lying and telling the truth are difficult. You can often speak easily, but the speech is fundamentally meaningless or so contextualized that it doesn’t matter.

Consider this writing itself. The act of putting words on a page is trivially easy for me. Spaghetti. Isotope. Fluorescence (which I originally messed up the vowels in, so I’m not even fully correct in my assertion!). The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plains. She sells sea shells by the sea shore. I think, therefore I am.

The act of speaking truthfully, the act of finding Truth, is not an easy one.

And you can mess it up really easily.

Resolution

Be sure that what I claim is true is really true.

Don’t think I know more than I do.

Don’t mistake the apparent simplicity of an act for a facile nature.

Reflections on Aphorisms #59

Cut back on caffeine today. Feeling a lot better (at least until the headaches start), but also really kinda drowsy and tired. Please forgive any silly spelling mistakes, because I’m typing with my eyes falling closed.

Upside: I’m not tempted to stay up late watching videos on YouTube.

I should just delete my YouTube account.

Aphorism 93

It is useless to close the gates against ideas; they overleap them.

Klemens von Metternich

Interpretation

One of the ideas of history is that there are times when certain ideas and expressions will be heard regardless of the individuals; a collective guides humanity in a certain direction and nobody can really claim to have enough control to stop changes or force things along a certain path.

I don’t know that I agree with it wholesale, because it’s a little too teleological for me to accept as a historical method, but it’s also true in a sense.

There’s a prevailing spirit of the times (not in the spiritual sense, but in the zeitgeist sense), and eventually it gets going along a certain path.

I was recently thinking about the movie V for Vendetta, and the notion that there’s something very archetypal about a rogue rising readily repelling regression (or, that is, people rebelling against tyrants).

If we buy into Jung’s notion of a collective unconscious, or the more traditional notion of a fundamental nature of humanity, it goes to follow that there are times when the conditions that people are exposed to will lead them to act in certain ways.

These expressions of human volition are not necessarily predictable, but they’re nonetheless reproducible (in a scientific sense, though it is practically impossible to set up the same events twice).

This is one of the functions of the historian: they look into the past and see how people act in certain conditions.

Ideas are the most powerful expression of the zeitgeist. Actions may speak louder than words, but both flow from ideas. Without an idea, there is no action and no speech.

The great problem of ideas is that they’re contagious. We are social animals, and we spend our time trying to figure out other peoples’ ideas. At best, this is just a primal instinct, and at worst this can be deliberate sabotage or usurpation. In either case, it’s a necessary process. If we don’t look into the other, we will never fully know the self. The eye sees not its own reflection.

If you have an idea, a great idea, it cannot remain silent. There’s a Christian children’s song, familiar to me from my youth, that has the following song:

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”

I’ll spare the repetitive verses that have now come echoing back into my head, but the actual meaning here is quite sublime.

The way that cultures live and die is by ideas. The song I just mentioned carries a meme that encourages the spreading and sharing of ideas. Technically, it actually has a few separate memes in just the sentence above, but we won’t worry about that.

Von Metternich’s point is this:

An idea can penetrate anything when it’s given the chance to do so.

Resolution

Give ideas the space to grow.

Look for the idea that is common and the one that is not.

Don’t think you can control the hearts of others. That’s hubris.

Aphorism 94

All rumors about a public figure are to be deemed untrue until he threatens to sue.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, from The Bed of Procrustes

Interpretation

I would like to think that even if I didn’t understand anything Taleb has to say I could still appreciate his pithy style.

I probably understand very little of what Taleb is saying. That’s never stopped me before and I won’t let it stop me now.

One of the best things that any good thinker keeps at their disposal is Occam’s Razor. It’s a very simple rhetorical device, and it’s been simplified to the following:

The simplest solution tends to be right.

Typically, when I look at anything said by or about public figures, the rule is: “They’re saying it to get something.”

The veracity is not significant. The truth of the matter, especially in politics, is that people say things specifically for the point of what the saying gets them.

Whether or not words have any bearing on truth is insignificant.

There’s something that Jordan Peterson once said, and I’m too tired to look it up so I’m gonna just paraphrase it and butcher it:

If you say something that you know to be true, you’re pitting your wit against the reality of a complex universe.

One of the outcomes of this is that a mature person won’t give statements which are motivated lies (or at the very least motivated stretchings of the truth) more than a moment’s notice.

So I almost fell asleep in front of the TV not too long ago, and I had the news on. I can guarantee that 80%, maybe 90% of what I heard was basically just bloviation, and about 1% of it will have any impact on my life. Not even my daily life, mind you, but my life in general.

One of the nice things about reality being so complex is that a lot of the moving pieces aren’t really moving all that much in the grand scheme of things. This is untrue in the individual’s life, but very true in the sphere of politics.

To get back to the point, look for the things you can’t say, because those are the things people don’t want you to say.

If those things are true, run.

Resolution

Say the uncomfortable truth.

The tongue is the weakest muscle. This isn’t because of a lack of physical power. It’s due to a lack of character.

Never open the mouth if the tongue tastes untruth.

Reflections on Aphorisms #42

After a day of dubious productivity, sometimes the best you can do is resolve to be better the next day. Today was one of those days.

I’m hoping to get some good sleep and make sure to get a walk in first thing in the morning so that I can really energize and prepare to get some stuff done tomorrow.

Aphorism 66

Truths turn into dogmas the instant they are disputed.

Chesterton

Interpretation

Truth is a funny thing. Everyone thinks they’ve got it, even if they say they don’t, and usually they don’t actually have it.

The problem is that a lot of our truths are wrong.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

I see three great threats to truth (there are other ones, but they’re not immediately significant).

The first is our own human limitation. We form concepts based on what we think we know, but these are actually quite shaky and fluid. They reconfigure themselves to fit the situation, and they’re not nearly as detailed as we think they are.

Put frankly, we don’t know as much as we think we know, and even though we’re very good at faking it on a practical day-to-day basis, we’re not so good at faking it in the big picture. This is why the characteristics that lead to success are universal attributes (e.g. determination) and not usually a particular bit of knowledge or fluke of circumstance.

There’s a lot going on around us that we can’t even perceive, and the best we can do is hope that we’ve got it right.

Second is the society in which we live. We’ve got a limitation in terms of information that is available to us, and we generally rely on others.

This is wise. Everyone gathers information, and bringing lots of independent sources together is valuable. However, information propagates both ways, and it’s almost certain that one will wind up in a bubble, or an echo chamber, or any other sort of social structure that leads to misinformation growing stronger.

It’s not a question of whether one is in a bubble, but how they are. Just today, undercover reporting showed that Google is politically manipulating search results (not that this is much of a surprise).

Last but not least is the sum limit of human information. Carl Jung has interesting theories about this, but I’m not sure that I necessarily agree with him in substance regarding the evolution of human knowledge over the years. I think it likely that people have more or less the same level of knowledge as they have had historically, but where that knowledge lies is very different.

Because we’re social creatures, it looks like society has learned, when we really have more specialized individuals who all have more or less the same amount of information. Actually, better nutrition and childhood medicine may actually have improved modern peoples’ intelligence versus historical people, just as it has increased height, but this isn’t a radical shift as opposed to something that could have happened at any point.

However, even with so many people, there’s still a finite amount of knowledge in the world, and infinite (or effectively infinite) things to know. We’re always going to be playing catch-up.

Resolution

Respice post te. Hominem te memento.

Avoid relying too much on those I trust without considering whether they come from every sphere.

Never assume that everyone collectively knows everything.

Aphorism 67

Money is human happiness in the abstract: he, then, who is no longer capable of enjoying human happiness in the concrete devotes himself utterly to money.

Schopenhauer

Interpretation

The image that springs to mind (metaphorically speaking; thanks aphantasia!) is of a miserly dragon looking over a hoard of gold.

Hayek talks about the role that individuals play in creating value, and Jeffrey Tucker also talks about this quite a bit (sadly, his book A Beautiful Anarchy, which I recommend, no longer seems to be in print).

One of the things about money is that it’s an intangible holder of value. If there’s an exchange of money, it’s a way of saying that one appreciates the work that someone has done.

This is the idea that fuels capitalism. One person makes something and receives something in exchange. That system can’t govern literally everything (since, after all, you will have people who don’t want to follow the rules and no single system can provide for the totality of human existence), but it’s a great way of exchanging goods and services.

The idea that one hoards money comes from two possible desires: fear and greed.

Fear is, I think, more common than others point out. I’ve got experiences with fear (thanks to a couple phobias and an entirely reasonable fear of heights), and I think that it satisfies Schopenhauer’s points in a way that might not be immediately apparent.

When you’re close to a source of your phobia, your number one response is aversion. Even if you exist right at the edge of your comfort zone, you can’t contemplate the source of your distress. I find myself averting my focus from such things when I encounter them, and no amount of logical reason can make me do anything more than philosophical contemplation at an existence. Actually physically engaging with a source of a phobia requires pressing need, and is accompanied by the same stress that a much more dangerous situation would induce.

If you fear not having money, you’ve lost the plot. You’re not able to use it for its intended purpose because the transfer of money away from yourself becomes something to be feared and reviled. The happiness it should buy (within its limited capacity to do so) is eclipsed by a desire that does not bear fruit.

Likewise, greed is a focus on money, rather than its utility.

The importance of all things is their utility, though utility need not be merely materialistic.

Resolution

Never forget the purpose of things.

Fear and greed both kill value, and not only of their object.

Cultivate humble pleasures.

Reflections on Aphorisms 26

Shorter reflections today on just one aphorism because I procrastinated and I generally didn’t get a whole lot done. It was a good day of rest, though.

Aphorism 44

Your duty is to scream those truths that one should shout but that are merely whispered.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, from The Bed of Procrustes

Interpretation

Truth is the best antidote to corruption. It is not just corruption in the sense of governance but also moral corruption which is undone by truth. If one decides to be honest in all things, it creates a need to bring one’s life in tune with honesty.

Truth is associated with a fearless encounter of reality. Philosophers and religions have agreed since they came into being that truth is a virtue.

It is also possible to deduce what is right from the fruit it bears. Kant’s categorical imperative applies here at least in a corollary: The world is never harmed by truth.

Of course, this doesn’t mean truth is necessarily going to have great short-term outcomes, and it may at times be necessary to use deception to forestall evil. Of course, Kant’s response to this would be if you need to use deception to pursue merit you may actually simply lack the perspective you need, and I think that’s probably better than deceiving others, though in the event that one is incapable of doing so a deception for virtue may be a better solution than artlessness, with the acceptance that one should improve to the point that deception becomes unnecessary.

There’s a thought experiment where he is asked what one would do if one encounters a murderer searching for someone, they ask you where their victim can be found. If you have this information, according to the categorical imperative, you cannot lie.

The correct response, according to Kant, would be to say that you are not going to tell the murderer where their victim is. He may even express in a more extreme version of his regular argument that you are supposed to tell them that you know where the victim is before refusing to disclose the location, but this seems like a forerunner to unpleasant things.

Much like the shouted truths of Taleb’s aphorism, this shifts the cost for honesty onto the individual who is being honest. It’s a sacrifice, but, I think that radical honesty is a virtue to be desired. It pushes us towards moral perfection, and I have heard multiple people involved in psychoanalytical practice (such as Carl Jung and Jordan Peterson) say that one of the best thing someone can do for their mental health is to avoid doing things that they cannot tell people about. That is, at least, to avoid shameful things.

Keeping a secret for confidentiality’s sake, or of some altruism that might otherwise be rewarded, does not seem to have any negative side effects. This might depend on the severity of the secret. If one witnesses a great horror, it might be hard to remain quiet. Let us assume that the confidential material that one handles is not subject to any moral responsibility for disclosure. The correct course of action in these cases would likely vary from case to case.

One of the things that scares me about the 20th century is that people died with the praise of dictators on their lips. Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, or any respectable history of the Soviet era, can provide countless examples of this taking place.

Even in death, people returned to a great lie. They may have done this for reasons of personal benefit, seeking to protect their families from charges of disloyalty, but that does not mean that it was not a dereliction of their Duty.

I am convinced that if everyone told the truth, especially if they tell painful truths, the world would be a better place. It is not sufficient to do this quietly, in private. It must be done in such a way that others are required to confront the truth.

Mario Savio gave a great speech on standing for a cause during the Free Speech Movement, which I will include part of below in text along with the YouTube link:

There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels … upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

Mario Savio, “On the Operation of the Machine”

The sort of honesty which transforms the world comes at the cost. If it didn’t, then everyone would participate in the virtuous endeavor. I feel that every moral person has a duty to be willing to sacrifice. Truth is a reflection of cosmic existence, to risk of sounding New Age-y. What we perceive as truth is really our subconscious and conscious understanding of being coming together.

Savio wound up on an FBI watch list for his troubles. I am sure that there are many great and valiant people who will wind up on watch lists for the things that they say these days. Those whose words are so powerful that they can shake the world need to use them carefully, but it is also a moral dereliction to not use them.

My Life

I have a problem with telling the truth. Does not for a lack of desire to do so, and in fact, I strive for honesty in all things. However, my central issue is that I am a coward.

I think one example of this is shown in the way that I write about China. I followed news sources like Foreign Policy (which I have grown less fond of as their coverage seems to be drifting more political and less factual) and China Uncensored, to try and get an honest look at what’s going on in China, and while I am not the greatest mind at international policy, I have to say that what I see in China resembles the 20th Century’s greatest horrors to a frightening extent.

I understand that my public stance on this matter will have at most minor consequences in my life, and I have in the past actually had some minor friction with a co-worker who objected to some of what I said. However, I think that I have a duty to speak up when I see something that I feel is dangerous.

I try not to say anything simply because it is in vogue. For this reason, I don’t talk about things like the surveillance state, race relations, add some other political hot button issues. People generally know more about this then I can communicate anyway, which is a great excuse to stand back and avoid it. Me talking about it would just be trying to look like an expert, but there is also an element to which I have to admit cowardice here.

I have not discussed politics openly in a long time.

This is not because of the absence of beliefs, though I like to think of myself as a moderate in the vein of Cicero, but rather because I’ve grown tired of politics. I always took a more philosophical approach to political issues. I believe that what is right should take the highest value over any other consideration, but I’m not often willing to go to the lengths it takes to discuss such things. It results in wasted air, but it also could mean danger for me. We live in an era of political extremism, whether we want to admit it or not, and it is not one-sided. A cool head is the first one in line for the guillotine.

I also sometimes worry that I simply do not have the pursuit and striving in my daily life that is required to be able to shout truths to those who have not heard them. I consider this every bit as much a moral failing as being too afraid to speak up when the time comes. The difference between failing to prepare to do something and failing to do it when the time comes is morally insignificant. There is no absolution based on negligence.

Resolution

Never seek expiation by claiming unpreparedness. The duty is not to do the best at the time, but to do the best before and after.

Remember that truth is one of the most important things, if not the most important thing. After all, in a mystical sense God may be truth.

Use every word you speak to cultivate virtue, never diminishes.

Principles: An Antidote to Deception

I was reading an article on Vox this morning about the  advent of realistic and easily accessible “fake” tools, which allow for the creation of altered video and images with relatively high rates of accuracy, relatively low resources required, and the vast expanse of the internet with which to spread them.

This is a very real concern as we head into the 21st century. Our lives have become controlled by society (whether we like it or not), and if society is controlled by deception, what chance do we have to really have to live our own lives in a good way?

Continue reading “Principles: An Antidote to Deception”