Another Dark Little Corner

moon phases

Started this before change to "New Blogger", as backup in case of trouble with digiphoto blog "In a Small Dark Room", or rants & links blog "Hello Cruel World" . Useful - at one stage Dark Room was there, but like the astrophysical Dark Matter, we could't see it ... better now, but kept Just In Case.

Your ABC

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There is nothing. There is no God and no universe, there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought.
Mark Twain (letter to Joseph Twichell after his wife's death)
[me, on a bad day]

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On Certainty, Fallibility, etc.  
The problem has been noted, sadly, for some time
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. — Bertrand Russell

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
     WB Yeats, The Second Coming
It is also put clearly, passionately, and with references to its possible effects in the 'Knowledge and Certainty' episode of The Ascent of Man, by Jacob Bronowski; quoted in The Danger of Knowing for Sure, and here, as well as part of discussing 'Science', mostly under the heading "science as a candle in the dark".

There's even scientific studies of a related phenomenon. My link to this has gone dead, so here's info to track it down with.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology - December 1999 Vol. 77, No. 6, 1121-1134
Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments
Justin Kruger and David Dunning, Department of Psychology, Cornell University

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