Over the past week or so, deflating from TAM, reading my usual blogs, and spending time with my family, I’ve been thinking a lot about the value of this little environment we’ve created here, and that generally exists within the skeptical community. I love that we have this space in which to share our opinions openly and expect respectful and thoughtful discussion. I love that most everyone here is willing to be wrong about everything.
It’s very refreshing in a world where people are increasingly able to exist in tailor-made bubbles, only allowing in information that will not challenge their way of thinking. Most people seem to live as though being wrong is the worst possible thing that could happen to them. I think most of us around here (after getting over a minor ego bruise) view being wrong as a learning tool. I like that. I think it makes for much more civil discourse.
If we don’t allow ourselves to be wrong, we become stuck, and we don’t grow. Through disagreements, we are able to see our views reflected back at us and change them if necessary. Or, even if they don’t change, we may gain insight into just why we hold a particular view. Last week, I wrote about my distaste for Las Vegas. In her TAM wrap-up, Stacey talked about her fondness for Vegas. Reading about the reasons she likes it made me think about the reasons that I don’t in a way I hadn’t really thought about before, and realized something new about how I relate to the world.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is thanks for arguing with me. It might get uncomfortable at times, but that is ultimately how I realize that maybe I need to re-examine something I had previously taken for granted. I see how certain people in my life have sheltered themselves from any kind of existential discomfort (as I once did), and how it has stunted their growth as people, and I don’t ever want to be in that place again.