May 15th, 2006

Semiformalishmaybe

Mistaken Monents of Humility

There's something about those moments where one comes to feel one has made a mistake, and vows to learn from excessive dismissiveness (or similar) in some situation, and one goes back to check up on exactly how badly one in fact screwed up, only to find that one was right all along. What one does in that circumstance is very defining.

At the advice of a friend, I got some Claratin last night, and took it. Does it work? "Sort Of" seems to be the best answer.

Semiformalishmaybe

Large Skin, Small Bones

I'm cramming for my BioInformatics final tomorrow. Eep.

As part of that cramming, I am to know how to use VCell decently well. It is a rather cool piece of software.

Trivial and boring:Collapse )

I am trying to understand if our greatest fears are a good way we can learn what our values are. One of the difficulties with accepting a sufficiently powerful value framework is then trying to find ways to understand what one's values are -- it is often not obvious. I believe that to a certain extent, even for those who come to a fairly good understanding, people may discover new values (or new things that come out in interaction) in themselves. Having a good variety of ways to interrogate oneself hopefully helps slow the pace of surprises.

I am very comfortable with my framework for understanding values. It's been with me as I went through radical changes in my actual values and philosophy, and has weathered those changes well. To some extent, these changes were waiting in the wings because of underlying tensions between my philosophy of the time and some of the groups I was involved with (and their inherent philosophies). It is amusing and kind of sad that those very groups that inspired me to shift are all groups that I no longer have substantial involvement with. I don't know if I am becoming more cautious with age (not having a family or a significant other, I should still be willing), or if it's something else. I still believe the causes are right by me, legal and not. I wonder if I'm tired of the secrecy, or if I'm just less social.

I've been chewing on how the origin of ideas in a particular person can be seen to interact with notions of justification of that idea in a person. In particular, if we find an idea almost exclusively in people who have a certain type of trauma in their life, should we consider that idea to be less valid in any way? I ordinarily would be inclined to say no, but I've come across at least a few people who think otherwise. A notion of "ad hominem" is at stake, perhaps, but I don't think we should necessarily shy from investigating sacred principles to their depths, and weakening or discarding them as we see fit. Sure, it's a path to deviation from the mean, but if we arn't concerned about staying within the mean, it is perhaps a journey for us.