Saturday, February 4, 2012


I try to categorize my thoughts - partly so that other people can have some idea of what I'm thinking but mostly so that *I* can have some idea of what the heck I'm thinking. When I label one of these posts with "Sandbox," I do so to show that it is a creative endeavor - something little Alex made while playing in a sandbox (except the box contains words, not sand).

So when I got it in my head to spout pseudo-philosophical drivel, I came up with a tag so that people would know that I was about to do just that. Soapbox-ception: for topics into which we need to go deeper.

I do not like to be misunderstood. This is why my manner of speech is disclamatory (with almost audible parentheses). I will begin a statement (I will attempt to clarify exactly what I mean if I think I might be misunderstood) and then I will finish the thought. The problem with nesting ideas like that is that sometimes the tangents get daisy chained to such an extent that I never make it back to finish the original idea. Also, in the instances when I do remember the original thought, the transition from whatever tangent I last explored back to my point can be rather abrupt.

    "Let me ramble about the tag"
  } // close Intro
    "I will be ranting"
      "I make lots of disclaimers"
        "Here's an illustrative example"
          "Here's where it all starts to fall apart"
            "Here's some pseudo-java! Because ponies!"
          } // close What?
        } // close SubTangent
      } // close Tangent
    } // close Sidenote
  } // close Thought
  "Which brings us back to fallibility. Hopefully."
  // Even though it's fake java, I feel the need to state
  // that the rest of the post would go here before I
} // close (the) Topic

So, yeah...
All that to say "If someone is going to be offended at a position I hold, I want to make sure that I actually hold that position."
Which brings me to the first and most important topic I need to address before giving my opinion:

The only thing that I find to be infallible is my own fallibility. No, it's not paradoxically self-contradicting like "No generalism is true 100% of the time" (Russell's paradox). I am not perfect. I can be certain that I might make mistakes in the future because I have done so in the past. This is part of why I play a very good devil's advocate. I try to obtain as much information as I can from as many perspectives as I can before rendering judgment.

I am currently reading Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert. "Doubt is necessary to a philosopher," one character says. It reminded me of Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. "The only thing we require to be good philosophers is the faculty of wonder." Earlier today, I told a friend that all it takes to be a philosopher is to have the will to ask "why?"

There are times that I fancy myself a philosopher. In ramblings that I tag with soapbox-ception, I might raise questions that I can't answer. Like why don't I always know what to say? Why do I frequently find myself unable to give a strong conclusion? And why do I insist on tangent after tang-


Up next, thoughts on abortion!

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