During My Hiatus from Writing…
I have been going through much difficult business in my life, which I will not share here because they are, in a word, personal. This, however, has not stopped my ruminations about the role of science in my life, especially when I “fall on hard times.”
It really is not enough to say that you value science and rationality. You have to live those values even in the worst of times – when self-deception and willful ignorance seem ever more attractive: like the Sirens who called Odysseus. When you have coped with hardships without loosing sight of your rational values, you know that you have practiced the “sheer courage” Bertrand Russell wrote about in An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish, “There are two ways of avoiding fear: one is by persuading ourselves that we are immune from disaster, and the other is by the practice of sheer courage. The latter is difficult, and to everybody becomes impossible at a certain point. The former has therefore always been more popular.”
I have always tried to keep a human heart while not wrapping myself in a comforting tissue of lies. And, I am proud to say that I have done that these past few months. I hope this explains adequately what I have been focused on, and why I have not written in such a long time.