A simple exercise in rationality: rephrase an objective statement as subjective and explore the caveats

“This book is awful” ⇒ “I dis­like this book” ⇒ “I dis­like this book be­cause it is shal­low and is full of run-on sen­tences.” ⇒ I dis­like this book be­cause I pre­fer read­ing books I find deep and clearly writ­ten.”

“The sky is blue” ⇒ … ⇒ “When I look at the sky, the vi­sual sen­sa­tion I get is very similar to when I look at a bunch of other ob­jects I’ve been taught to as­so­ci­ate with the color blue.”

“Team X lost but de­served to win” ⇒ …

“Be­ing self­ish is im­moral”

“The Uni­verse is in­finite, so any­thing imag­in­able hap­pens some­where”

In gen­eral, con­sider a quick check whether in a given con­text re­plac­ing “is” with “ap­pears to be” leads to some­thing you find non-triv­ial.

Why? Be­cause it ex­poses the mul­ti­ple lev­els of maps we nor­mally skip. So one might find illu­mi­nat­ing oc­ca­sion­ally walk­ing through the lev­els and mak­ing sure they are still con­nected as firmly as the last time. And maybe figur­ing out where the peo­ple who hold a differ­ent opinion from yours con­struct a differ­ent chain of maps. Also to make sure you don’t mis­take a map for the ter­ri­tory.

That is all. ( ⇒ “I think that I have said enough for one short post and adding more would lead to diminish­ing re­turns, though I could be wrong here, but I am too lazy to spend more time look­ing for links and quotes and bet­ter ar­gu­ments with­out be­ing sure that they would im­prove the post.”)