It’s all too easy to let a false understanding of something replace your actual understanding. Sometimes this is an oversimplification, but it can also take the form of an overcomplication. I have an illuminating story:
Years ago, when I was young and foolish, I found myself in a particular romantic relationship that would later end for epistemic reasons, when I was slightly less young and slightly less foolish. Anyway, this particular girlfriend of mine was very into healthy eating: raw, organic, home-cooked, etc. During her visits my diet would change substantially for a few days. At one point, we got in a tiny fight about something, and in a not-actually-desperate chance to placate her, I semi-jokingly offered: “I’ll go vegetarian!”
“I don’t care,” she said with a sneer.
…and she didn’t. She wasn’t a vegetarian. Duhhh… I knew that. We’d made some ground beef together the day before.
So what was I thinking? » read the rest of this entry »