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What Degree of Wrong Are You?

Sam Brinson
Ed-Tech Talks

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If you’re not right, then you’re wrong. Right?

Isaac Asimov considered this in his essay ‘The Relativity of Wrong,’ which appeared in his book by the same name and the Skeptial Inquirer in 1989.

The essay is a response to a letter received from an English Lit major who argued, as many still do, that we should expect all our theories to eventually be proven wrong. After all, many have claimed knowledge in the past and in almost all cases it has turned out they were mistaken.

Asimov responds:

“[W]hen people thought the world was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.”

Michael Shermer calls this Asimov’s Axiom — some views are wronger than wrong, and it’s even more wrong to think otherwise. Just like coming in 2nd place in a race might still mean you’ve lost, it’s not as bad as coming in 100th.

Asimov then extends this argument beyond scientific theories or findings and into basic…

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Sam Brinson
Ed-Tech Talks

An emergent property of billions of chaotically firing neurons. Currently thinking about thinking. http://sambrinson.com/