Thursday, January 9, 2014

Skepticism, Truth, Experiment, Disruptive Social Innovation

A skeptic wants to believe that which is true, disbelieve that which is untrue. Why do I believe what I believe? Knowledge that can be tested should be tested. Knowledge that cannot be tested should not be relied upon too firmly. How does one test political beliefs, beliefs about government policy, beliefs about social organization? Where should I aim my skepticism? What sort of data should I gather? Who can I trust to gather it without bias? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Even with data, can I convince anyone?

The only way to innovate is to experiment. The only way to do ethical experiments at that scale is to let people choose to participate or not. Is the even possible in the US? The central government wants to get involved in nearly everything. Can anyone find a place to try something different? How about outside the US?

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