After four years, scads of lays, and many great girlfriends (plus plenty of failures along the way), he launched this website.
But when I read Parable, there’s…nothing really wrong with it. But I can’t help noticing that eight years ago, New Atheism was really popular, and now it’s really unpopular.
Or that eight years ago I was in a place where having Richard Dawkins style hyperrationalism was a useful brand, and now I’m (for some reason) in a place where having James C.
I’m going to use science-y sounding terms just as an example, but I don’t actually think it’s this in particular – we know that the genes for liberal-conservative differences are mostly NMDA receptors in the brain.
And we know that NMDA receptor function changes with aging.
It would be pretty awkward if everything we thought was “gaining wisdom with age” was just “brain receptors consistently functioning differently with age”.
If we were to find that were true – and furthermore, that the young version was intact and the older version was just the result of some kind of decay or oxidation or something – could I trust those results? Scott style intellectual conservativism is a useful brand.A lot of the “wisdom” I’ve “gained” with age is the kind of wisdom that helps me channel James C. Then I realize it’s considered low-status and cringeworthy.Wisdom seems like the accumulation of those, or changes in higher-level heuristics you get once you’ve had enough of those. ten years ago and notice I’ve become more cynical, more mellow, and more prone to believing things are complicated. Less excitement about radical utopian plans to fix everything in society at once 2. More concern that I’m wrong about everything, even the things I’m right about, on the grounds that I’m missing important other paradigms that think about things completely differently. Less hope that everyone would just get along if they understood each other a little better. Less hope that anybody cares about truth (even though ten years ago I would have admitted that nobody cares about truth). But most of them are in the direction of elite opinion.Less belief that I’m special and can change the world 3. There’s an innocent explanation for this: intellectual elites are pretty wise, so as I grow wiser I converge to their position.And if I accept my intellectual changes as “gaining wisdom”, shouldn’t I also believe that old people are wiser than I am?