The Testing Grounds:

You might have noticed lately that no one is ever allowed to be wrong.  Holding a contrary, ignorant, or outdated opinion is no longer a matter for discussion or an impetus for change; it is a moral stain.  For the Right, such failings often fall under the term political correctness, while the Left generally prefers to call it intolerance, bigotry, etc.  These are moral terms, providing no judgement on the truth or wisdom of the content but rather casting judgement on the person proclaiming them, and while they do have meaning in some contexts, they are most often used today to signal the boundaries of acceptable discussion, the thoughts which can and cannot be held, in a battle where the objective is to move the lines so as to exclude your opponents from society.  And God help any politician, candidate, news anchor, public figure, or facebook user who has ever expressed such a contemptible view in a past post, tweet, article, interview, or recording at a party, in a bedroom, a blog or diary.  It is not a sin you will ever be allowed to forget.  Bow down and pray to Twitter that the mob will not consume you, your career, and your family.

How can thinking flourish in such an environment?  Are people not allowed to change?  To grow?  To develop?  Most of us would be embarrassed at what we thought, said, and wrote when we were in high school or college.  But we don’t condemn our teenage selves as hopeless reprobates and idiots, we recognize that thinking, maturing, gaining wisdom is a process which takes time and is the result of many trials and errors, carefully tested and refined by our own experience and through discussion with others.  If we are honest, we admit it is a process which never finishes.

So that is what I offer with this blog: thoughts which are not finished, some of which are in their infancy, some of which are the product of my years.  Some of them are certainly wrong, some of them might even be contemptible, but if they are, then I do not yet know it.  I hope this will be a place to test them, and where you can test your own in response without fear of judgement.  For if we cannot safely express new, even dangerous, ideas, how will we ever grow?  How will we make any progress?


About the Author:

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I started writing in High School.  While my mom was not-so-subtly suggesting I get out of the house, maybe go to a party, I was down in the basement punching out Star Wars fan fiction.  Now I have a day job in software, a wife, two kids, and a house of my own (no basement), but I still love science and technology, still love to read, and I’m still writing.