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September 27, 2011



When George Orwell invented the term "doublethink" for 1984 he used it in the context of maintaining a horrible world order through living with two simultaneous conflicting beliefs. Sinister!

But that's a good word, and I think it's not an inherently evil concept. It addresses these these sorts of situations... Orwell's use of the word carried with it the idea that these two concepts were separated, like on other sides of the unconscious or split personalities - but that's unhelpful.

Maybe we need "multi-think" - where we consciously maintain two conflicting beliefs (or logic systems) while acknowledging they are conflicting. Keeping some nonsense in mind isn't necessarily destroying the good ideas - and in reality all systems carry with them a bit of valuable logic that can be mapped to another concept. The more multithink the merrier, as long as you can keep track of what's what. =)

Robert Plante

One thing that we learned in Theory of Knowledge (TOK for those IBers reading) is that can we really know the truth? I mean sure, we can say something is the truth, and we can have many people agree that it is the truth, but there is no way to know with absolute certainty, without a shadow of a doubt, that what we believe is actually the truth. For all we really know the world came into existence 10 minutes ago and everything that we believe to be our memories are artificial constructs placed within our mind to make us believe that the world has been around for longer.

Reading up on the different types of logical fallacies that there are can really make you rethink how you think. Appeal to authority, straw man, appeal to popularity, ad hominem, etc. There's a really good list of them and their descriptions here: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ (helps you break through the bs of politics too ^_^).

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