In some conversations, I lose myself. I do not know what to do. I try to keep my perspectives together. To be true to my values. Do you know this when you talk to someone who has a completely different world view? You ask yourself how he could have come up with such thoughts and you start to distance yourself from each other. You don´t want that to happen, but you can not change it. After my time in universities and the world of StartUps, corporates, and more; I realized years ago that most of the institutions we have created are not built to be of use to people in this age. I have developed a healthy skepticism and learned to look at the world from many different angles in order to understand it better in the end.
Before we go into more detail about what it means to be a good skeptic, we should make sure that one important point is very clear. The kind of skepticism I am promoting in my thoughts are positive, constructive, and optimistic. In my opinion, good skeptics gain far more than they lose. It is one of the beginnings to create anti-fragile systems. I hope Nassim will agree with me on this point here, let’s see.
I had great parents, teachers, and role models in my life and they quickly lectured me on the importance of hard work, education, good manners, not breaking the law, avoiding drug and alcohol abuse, driving safely, being honest, and so on. I think you feel very much the same way. But I also think there are many things we never really learned, some of which I will write about here. For example; how many take the time to explain the importance of skepticism? What if everything was wrong they have thought me? How many fathers sit with their daughters and teach them how to intellectually burn down the hollow claims of the media, medical quacks, and astrologers? How many mothers take the time to explain to their sons that the normal, everyday functioning of the human brain can mislead us when we try to separate reality from illusion and delusion? How many people are telling us truly what Love means? Or what does it really mean to be free? What if Institutions are doing everything wrong to serve humanity? Unfortunately, most of us grew up and enter adulthood unprepared, which will encounter in the form of pseudo-science (false science), unproven claims that are not worthy of acceptance, and simple lies. I am not scolding my parents or teachers. These are difficult and important tasks. I am still young but I know how hard it is to be free and true to yourself. I fall into the same traps again and again. Also, in most cases it is not the parents' fault alone, because they probably never had anyone to explain anything to them when they grew up, so they don't see the need or even know how to teach good thinking skills. Teachers can be prevented from encouraging skeptical thinking because they are often not allowed to deviate from any master plan that requires students to memorize and ruminate exclusively.
The bottom line is that if you are a young person, it is so important to think like a “scientist” every day to increase your chances of living a safe, productive, and fun life that you cannot afford to sit back and rely on a parent, teacher, or other adults to eventually educate you about skepticism. This lesson may never be taught. You may never receive encouragement. So mind your own business. It is your life; live it wisely. Be skeptical and try your best not to waste a single precious moment with lies and irrational dead ends. Sure, you will make mistakes. Along the way, you will believe a few stupid things - it is inevitable, and even the best skeptics have them. But try your best to keep these mistakes to a minimum. Reducing it to a minimum is something I find very interesting as a thought concept, it is also about trying things out, taking risks but not doing anything stupid. How can we rethink our systems without doing something stupid?
We all have a choice to make about how we want to live our lives and how we want to think about all the things we will encounter over the years.
PS: And thinking like a scientist does not mean forgetting old knowledge and relying only on new technologies. Loic writes this very well on his blog and website. Pawa´s mission is to explore uncharted territories, rediscovering ancient and unveiling new technologies that offer a broader and richer perception of reality.