For the most part, I cannot trust nobody else but myself, Cindy, my mom, my sister, and my old friends.
Why? My thoughts:
The limits of knowledge and information
I cannot even trust myself 100%.
Why? A lot of my thinking is hiiiighly influenced by others. In fact, the only time I have been able to get really interesting or original ideas is when I spend long periods of time in creative isolation (no news, no media, no random nonsense chatter). For example, much of my interesting thoughts from 2017 happened while living in Vietnam and being in the ultimate zen-zone.
I can trust myself more than I can trust others
I do not believe in ultimate truth or ultimate knowledge. Even myself … I am the person I can trust the most. I can explore my own personal biases and the genesis of my thoughts and personal beliefs. Yet I cannot do this for others. Why? Most people don’t know themselves. I barely know myself. Why would I put more faith in others than in myself?
Why I don’t trust anything I read online anymore
HUUUUGE BIAS on the internet towards a more ‘leftist’ view.
For example, Google, Apple, Amazon, etc are typically based in the West Coast/Bay Area. And the Bay Area (I grew up there) has a distinctly leftist view. Focused on notions of utilitarianism, Christian-Judeo morality, and French notions of ‘equality, justice’ etc.
The right is dumb too
I still consider and see myself as a ‘liberal’. But I don’t like to be lumped into any other categories.
The right and conservatives … I always saw them as the devil as a child. Growing up poor, I always wondered:
If the rich are so rich, why don’t they give some of their money to the poor?
It seemed logical and fair. And once again, this is me growing up poor, and raised with Christian morality. But now I think about my perspectives more critically, I can see how my personal perspective has been skewed very heavily — from my elementary school teachers, my high school teachers, and also my college professors. Also by having so many friends in the big tech companies, and understanding the genesis of so many of these companies, I am becoming more and more distrustful of everyone and all other tech companies.
No I do not believe in any conspiracy theories. I also do not trust the opinion of anyone who is overly religious in a literal sense (many extremist Christian groups are absolutely insane in my book).
Now I still identify myself as Catholic, but I see it more from an empirical view. I love Catholicism for the aesthetics, the global community, and (some) of the morality and ethics. I am proud to be Catholic, but I don’t take anything from the Bible literally. Once again, I love Catholicism for the charity to the poor, the aesthetics of the religious ceremonies (I got wedded in a Catholic Church which was awesome), and I also want to raise my kids Catholic (although I want to teach them to not take anything from Sunday school literally).
Most people (including the intellectual elite) are easily suckered
I have never met an intellectual individual who I considered my equal. The closest are the janitors, parking lot attendants, construction workers, and other people who just do “manual labor” — they can think (more) independently. But the problem with even these free-spirited thinkers is that they eventually get suckered by ‘mysticism’ (notions of life after death, notions of a metaphysical “soul”) etc. I prefer to take a more pragmatic, empirical approach. I like to think philosophy, physiology, physics, flesh, and muscles.
Most thinkers get suckered by morality and ethics
Typically I have found that most academics either believe in utilitarianism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc. Which is fine … but the problem with hyper-factual belief in religion is that it prevents a more empirical growth of knowledge and wisdom. The only modern thinkers I like include Nassim Taleb and Nietzsche (more old school).
Why aren’t there more free thinkers or free spirits?
I am surprised. We are currently living in the most free-spirited, freedom of speech and thinking, scientific time. To be frank, I don’t think any real serious thinker truly believes in a conscious life after death, the immortality of ‘souls’, or a “beyond”. Yet, why is modern thinking still so basic?
- Because people still believe in ultimate morality and ethics
- Too much thinking about utilitarian ethics and morality (‘effective altruism’ is just Christian morality in a secular disguise)
- Intellectuals who are atheist still believe in Utilitarian-Judeo-Christian morality, or when they feel they want to become more “spiritual”, they end up getting suckered by mysticism.
- The fear of being lynched by the PC police. Notions of ‘political correctness’ is holding us back. People nit-pick and miss the point. For example, I have 0 qualms with someone calling me ‘oriental’– why do I care? I have seen soooo many changes even in my short life span. Oriental used to be the politically correct term for asian people. Now I should call myself “East Asian”. And Indian people aren’t ‘Indian’ anymore, but “South Asian” (technically is more accurate). Also the rise of strange notions such as ‘toxic masculinity’ (I am seeing more and more men become push-overs and weak).
- The tenure system in academia: You work sooo hard to get tenure at a reputable university. But on the road to get tenure, you cannot 100% truly express what you really think about issues x, y, z … because if you say or do the “wrong” thing, your chances of getting tenure are hugely diminished. For example, no “serious” academic or scholar is “allowed” to vote or support Trump.
- Social media: All hyper-opinions. Too much over-flooding our brain with dopamine, serotonin, and nonephrine and other hormonal cocktails from the slot-machine notifications of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, etc are preventing us from thinking independently.