Forming opinions without knowledge

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 11:07 PM | comments: 0

I've spent a lot of time lately wondering why it is that I don't write as much as I used to. Prior to 2013, it wasn't uncommon that I would write a blog post almost every day. I love writing. I've always loved it. I think part of it was the change in circumstance that came that year, with the move to Orange County, along with generally higher job engagement that has continued ever since that time. The last three years and change have been the most productive professionally of my life. I also find myself being more engaged with my boy, as he's old enough now that you can have conversations and do more stuff together. So collectively, I don't think I have the mental bandwidth for as much writing.

While these are contributing factors to writing less, I'm also become more aware of the fact that I'm not in as much of a hurry to publish my opinions. I've written before that this might be because I don't find them valuable, or because there is enough noise on the Internet without me contributing to it, but it's something else. In the general sense, I don't feel like my opinions are formed enough to share because I don't have enough knowledge to support them. This is a big deal, because I've generally been indiscriminate about saying what I think. OK, so I still am that way, but a drive-by social media post isn't the same as the way I write here.

This self-awareness has been augmented in the last year in part by a renewed appreciation for science, and a new interest in history. I'm the guy who has been saying for years that the availability of all the world's knowledge on the Internet is largely squandered by people who have no interest in it, but I've probably been hypocritical about that to a degree.

Politically, I still find myself being more centrist than perhaps it appears, but really, I may not entirely agree with a guy who wants to give away free college and healthcare to everyone, but it's easier to get in that corner than one that advocates discrimination. While I'm not as quick to form opinions, and wish to generally consider more data, I can still consider a very short list of moral absolutes. Killing people is bad, for example, and I see no logical reason to ever tolerate discrimination of people based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual or gender identity, etc. But beyond that, it's hard to adopt any particular broad ideology.

There are still a lot of things I want to write about, but I haven't thought them through. So many parenting topics, comedy and politics, technology, energy, career, code... I have to get it out. For now, stuff isn't well-formed enough.


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