To be a skeptic [skeptomai in Greek] means to look at, examine, consider. Thus to be a skeptic is a sign of wisdom. To think deeply about things, to not get suckered seems to be positively beneficial in this life we live.
Where I learned skepticism from
Essentially my mom got suckered all the time. It comes from AMWAY scams. My mom used to be part of Amway, and I saw my poor mom get suckered by the evil pyramid scheme which is Amway.
Also, my mom was too naive, and easily taken advantage of. Certainly from my dad. Thus it gave me a reason and impetus to be skeptical of almost everything.
How do we get easily suckered?
Why does skepticism get such a bad name?
Well in Ancient Greek times, the Skeptics (school of philosophers) were seen as play-actors. They would admit the limits of their knowledge and admit:
It is impossible for us to know anything 100% certain.
Which definitely pissed off people who wanted hard answers. Thus the Skeptic philosophers were seen as disreputable people, especially in modern history in which having ‘faith’ (Christian morality) is seen as good.
Thus to be a skeptic means:
To not have faith is evil.
Look at it with your own two eyes.
For example, I heard all this stuff about protests happening around town. I couldn’t trust the news until I saw it with my own two eyes.
I went to the protest real quick, and it was very good and peaceful. I didn’t personally agree with all the signs that people were holding up, but I am glad that I saw it with my own two eyes.
All the news is biased (even the ‘un-biased’ ones).
This is the thing:
No matter what … all news agencies will be biased.
Why? Simple; follow the money.
Never trust monetized news (or perhaps why Google might be indirectly causing mis-information)
How does the news monetize? Simple: advertisements. The basic gist is:
The more eye balls see an advertisement on a website, the more money a website will make. Or the more advertisements people click on a website, the more money the website will make.
What is in the best interest of the news agency?
The news ain’t evil and isn’t out there to spread misinformation.
No — the news just wants to earn money (the purpose of a business). When it comes to ‘facts’, we just cannot trust the news. Because all reporters, editors, journalists, and whoever funds the news is biased in some certain way.
For example, let us consider:
Whose opinion would I put more weight in when it comes to the ‘Black Lives Matters’ movement — the random opinion of a Caucasian male or an African-American male?
Of course I would put more weight in the opinion of an African-American male. Why? He has experienced real experiences, whereas the Caucasian might have only witnessed it from afar.
This is also why as a male, I cannot speak on female or feminist matters. I have never experienced life as a female, thus my opinion carries no weight.
Don’t be fooled by ethical or moralistic arguments
There are no moral facts, or ethical facts. No right and wrong when it comes to morals and ethics. It is all subjective.
Also, statistics doesn’t create “truth”. Statistics can only ever DISPROVE a certain notion or an idea (Karl Popper’s “Falsification” notion). Even if you got a trillion data points, you cannot positively “prove” anything. It just takes one black swan to cancel out the sightings of a trillion white swans.
Why I am also skeptical towards myself
My personal wisdom:
I know my personal biases, and I never claim no universal truth on anything.
For example, I know my history. I know how I am biased growing up in the Bay Area in the 90’s, of being a Boy Scouts (Eagle Scout), being raised Korean-American (a mix of confucian values and American individualistic values), getting bullied as a kid, being teased for being a fat kid when I was in the 4-6th grade, my self-racism on myself for being Asian (small dick syndrome) and other things. Also I know my heavy left-liberal leaning (participating in Oakland activism as a teenager, going to UCLA, and studying Sociology… an extremely liberal major, with the majority of my fellow friends and classmates being women).
Back to skepticism
To thrive in today’s brave new world … we must be skeptics. ‘skep-‘ as meaning “to see, to look, to observe”. Thus perhaps we photographers are the ultimate skeptics:
Don’t trust nothing until you have seen it in the flesh (embodied reality) with your own two eyes.
Also, less trust in commentators and talking heads on TV. Less faith in random bloggers and YouTubers and Podcasters (including ERIC KIM).
What is our end-game anyways?
My personal end-game:
To never stop getting stronger.
Physically stronger, mentally stronger, and more artistically stronger.
Also, to continue to cultivate my mind and thinking, and to encourage others to also think for themselves.
“Everything is permitted, everything is false”
Dictate your meaning and purpose in your life with ZEN OF ERIC:
- Just Follow the Money
- Why Selfish?
- WHY WE CANNOT BLAME OTHERS
- Why Are We So Anti Elitism?
- What Actually Interests You?
- How to Become Yourself
- SELF HATE
- Optimistic Fatalism
- Death is the Ultimate Creative Constraint
- How to Think for Yourself
- How to Live the Best Life
- Why Live a Life Without Regrets?
- Why Plato Ruined Art and Aesthetics for Us
- Self Respect
- Hypocrite vs Contradict
- Ideals vs Reality
- Spaceship Philosophy
- What is Your Ideal Life?
- MY EXTREME GRATITUDE TOWARDS LIFE AND BEING ALIVE!
- Critique of Utilitarianism
- Don’t Treat Others the Way You Want to Be Treated
- The Eternal Recurrence of Tragedy and Joy in Life
- Elite Asceticism
- Why I Don’t Like Numbers
- Action and Reaction, Cause and Effect
- The Antidote to Nihilism: The Philosophy of Nothingness
- ERIC KIM Notes on Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
- EXPLOIT CHAOS.
- WHY I DON’T BELIEVE IN GENETICS
- The Future Belongs to the Fearless
- Why Live Forever?
- THIS TOO WILL PASS.
- Why Education?
- How to Become Yourself
- Things Shouldn’t Go Back to the Way They Used to Be
- Why Am I So Cruel?
- The Great Joy of Existence
- Virtue for the Sake of Virtue
- NO DISDAIN.
- INTELLIGENT IGNORANCE
- A LIFE WITHOUT PAIN, DIFFICULTY OR TRAGEDY ISN’T A LIFE WORTH LIVING
- BITTER IS BETTER.
- EXPLOIT THE BEST FROM TRAGEDY AND LIFE
- DISREGARD FOR SELF-PRESERVATION
- WHAT IF EVERYTHING IS NOT GONNA BE ALRIGHT?
- Tomorrow is Never
- Life is the Ultimate Creative Constraint
- EMBODIED REALITY
- BLACK SWAN
- THINGS WILL NEVER GO BACK TO THE WAY THEY USED TO BE
- What are you *really* afraid of?
- HAPPINESS ISN’T THE GOAL
- Philosophy is King
- Why is Selfish Evil?
- YOU’RE CONSTANTLY IN A STATE OF BECOMING
- ENTITLEMENT A SIN?
- BE BRUTALLY HONEST WITH YOURSELF
- WHY FREE WILL?
- OBEY YOUR OPINION
- EGO IS GOOD.
- WHY IT IS GOOD TO BE INTO YOURSELF
- Seek the Good Pain
- Anti-Perfection in Photography, Art, and Life
- Can You Become an End into Yourself?
- WHY I LIVE
- Why I Hate Decline
- Why I Eat
- Why am I So Positive and Optimistic?
- EFFORT IS ENJOYMENT
- Never Stop Gaining
- TRUST YOURSELF
- A Life of Maximal Personal Independence
- What Do You Desire to Become?
- What Do I Want from Technology?
- Stratified Society
- Do You Love or Hate Reality?
- On the Brian, Body and Mind
- I’m Maximally Happy, Now What?
- Care over Fame
- ACTIVE NIHILISM
- Never Stop Subtracting
- How to Live a Happier and More Epic Life
- A Risker Life is a Better Life
- Only Work on Things You Can Imagine Doing for Eternity
- How to Maximize Your Happiness
- The Gladiator Makes His Plans once He Enters the Ring
- Meditations on Meaning in Life
- There is Nothing More Interesting than Human Beings
- Is Hope a Vice?
- Why Be Unique?
- Happiness is Metabolism Health and Strength
- You’re the Hero
- Is Productivity a Virtue or Vice?
- Why Do We Prize the Rare?
- The Joy of Uncertainty
- How Should I Best Use My Time and Life?
- A Life Without Pain or Suffering Isn’t a Life Worth Living
- Free or Unfree?
- What Do You Really Care For in Life?
- Anti-Satisfaction in Life
- Why Think?
- The Eternal Return
- Only Do What is Best for You!
- Why Be Happy?
- Permissionless Living
- In Praise of Unconventional Wisdom
- Become the Change Which You Wish to See in the World
- Beyond Freedom
- Idolize People, Not Stuff
- What Makes You Stronger? What Makes You Weaker?
- Why Hate?
- The Secret of Happiness
- You’re Constantly in a State of Becoming
- Life is about Choices, Not Obligations
- First, Do What is Best for You.
- Live Dynamic
- How to Prosper
- Is the Point of Life to Be Satisfied?
- SUPREME EFFORT OF WILL.
- How to Become more Idealistic
- Thrivival 101
- Create Yourself
- How to Live a Heroic Life: Dare the Heights!
- Human Augmentation
- Happiness: Do What You Want to Do (And Don’t Do What You Don’t Want to Do)
- Avoid Vain (Empty) Pursuits in Life
- Modern Slavery
- Kill the Leeches
- Wisdom Augmentation
- Why We Need Friction in Life
- Straight Line Philosophy
- What’s Your End-Game in Life?
- Create Your Own Happiness Today
- Desire Both Pain and Pleasure in Life
- Try the Impossible
- Anti-Social Extrovert
- Never Blame Anybody But Yourself
- Human Flourishing
- Simpler, Not Better.
- How to be Free
- Embrace the Extremes
- Cultivate Your Own Culture
- Inner Power
- How to Live a Purposeful Life
- My Definition of Happiness
- Why Change is Good
- Why Work?
- How to Live the Happiest Possible Life
- The Two-Pronged Approach to Maximize Joy in Your Life
- You Always Have Another Option!
- Never Stop!
- What is Your Self-Directed Purpose in Life?
- Live Today Like it Were Your Last
- Do You Photograph to Live, or Live to Photograph?
- Live Life to the Fullest!
- In Praise of Selfishness
- Why You Must Be a YAY-SAYER to Succeed in Entrepreneurship and Life
- Why I Love Walking
- Live Life Like a Video Game!
- Simple Luxuries in Life
- Treat Your Life Like a Fun Experiment!
- Only Prove it to Yourself
- You Don’t Always Need to Feel Joyful to Live a Fulfilling and Meaningful Life
- Life is Too Short to Be Bored!
- Money Cannot Destroy Boredom
- How to Find Inspiration in Life
- Why You Must Ignore Haters to Succeed and Win in Life
- An Active Life is a Happy Life
- My Simple Joys in Life
- Never Stop Striving
- How to Motivate Yourself in Life
- How to Be Optimistic in Life
- How to Dictate Your Purpose in Life
- In Praise of a Dynamic Life
- How to Enjoy Life
- Photography Therapy
- How to Conquer Regret
- Take Your Play Very Seriously.
- How to Prosper
- Memento Vivere
- Destroy in Order to CREATE
- Trust Your Body More Than Your Mind
- Make Photos to Make Meaning in Your Life
- Seek Knowledge, Not Information
- The Purpose of Human Life
- How to Overcome Impedence
- Why I Love Death
- How to Be Centered in the Eternal Now
- How to Be Happy
- Why Do You Care What Others Think of You?
- Why I’m Happy
- Why I’m So Prolific
- How to Reduce LAG in Life
- How to Be a Stoic Street Photographer
- How to Use Photography as Self-Therapy
- How to Free Your Soul From Disturbance
- How to Be a Zen Street Photographer
- Zen in the Art of Street Photography
- How to Find Tranquility in Your Photography
Learn more: Start Here >