blogitto ergo sum

May 19, 2011

#183 – fallor ergo sum

first sold in ComiCon 2006

recently, a friend told me that he just figured out the meaning of this blog’s name – “blogitto ergo sum.”

Kathryn Schulz

we talked about it, discussed Descartes for a few minutes and that was it.  not even a week went by and i encounter Descartes’  cogito ergo sum again, as i was  watching yet another great TED talk.  this time it was Kathryn Schulz, an author and public speaker who claims to be the world’s leading wrongologist. quite predictably, her talk is about the value of being wrong, or better put, the open-mindedness that comes with entertaining the possibility that I’m wrong.  great insight.  while watching, i started wondering, should i rename my blog “fallor ergo sum?”  after all, I’ve been wrong before, and most likely will be again. naturally, used spoons come to mind.

this Ted Talk, among other things, taught me that ~1,200 years before Descartes realized that he doesn’t have to pinch himself to know that he is alive, St Augustine had a much more profound revelation, “fallor ergo sum.”  for the Latin-deprived such as myself, this would be  “I err therefore I am.”  St Augustine found his identity in the questioning and the pursuit of truth [and God too].  our ability to accept the fact that we might be wrong is fundamental to who we are; it helps us to become better; better people, better listeners, better communicators, helps us move forward.  So “err” and progress.  sadly, it’s hard for some.  we all know a few people who cannot accept the fact that they may be wrong.  it’s a painful expedience, for them and for those surrounding them.  yet, there’s nothing wrong in being wrong.  overdoing it though is not all that great.  i, by the way, would have happily pinched Descartes.  having to read his over-wordy thoughts was no fun. don’t want to imagine what his blog would look like.

St. Augustine would have made a much better blogger. In his first book, On Order (386 AD), Augustine wrote: “There is nothing that even the most gifted people desire more than to finally understand how, taking into account the amount of evil in this world, one can still believe that God cares about human affairs.” [no, not going there]  can you imagine the number of comments he’d have gotten once twitted?

but we are in the wrong business here.  even in politics, being a wrongologist may be a better choice than being a rightist.  watching this talk, i assure you with great confidence, is in no way wrong.

Descartes lacked the confidence that he is awake and not dreaming.  the only thing he knew for sure was that he was thinking and therefore, he is.

are you ready to be wrong?  those experiencing it, allowing themselves to open up their minds are facing a wider road with more possibilities.  another blog prompted/inspired by Schulz’s talk may be found HERE.  “maybe I’m wrong” sounds better than “I’m right!”, doesn’t it?

one last thought or association. in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig devotes some paragraphs and thoughts to the art of creating hypothesis and looking for the truth.  and yet, he says, “It is a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I’m looking for the truth,’ and so it goes away. Puzzling.”

“The TV scientist who mutters sadly, ‘The experiment is a failure; we have failed to achieve what we had hoped for,’ is suffering mainly from a bad script writer. An experiment is never a failure solely because it fails to achieve predicted results. An experiment is a failure only when it also fails adequately to test the hypothesis in question, when the data it produces don’t prove anything one way or another.”

for the rest of the day, i think I’ll do two things; write and wrong.
Sources:   This Blog is written by four people.

1 Comment »

  1. The image from appears in the editorial of the Scroll online literary magazine. The editorial column, coincidentally is also called blogito ergo sum.


    Comment by Senantix - contributor to Scroll — July 3, 2011 @ 12:53 | Reply

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