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There is possibly a way to approach my false beliefs by using the Trustworthiness of Information chart which I created back in 2007. Click here for a big and printable view. It is easier to view this chart if you print it out, as it is unreadable at a usual screen size. Or to have that bigger version on a separate window.

Trustworthiness of Information

Trustworthiness of Information

When I compare where my personal influences are coming from using this chart I realize that most of it is at the TST~7/14 level of trustworthiness. — The typical providers of the information are friends during conversational interaction about well-known subjects or about personal relationships. The information comes from a plausible knowledge spun out among friends based on mutually accepted facts to enhance local knowledge. The synonyms for this quality of information are, Satisfying, acceptable, feasible, attainable, believable, credible, probable, reasonable. — What generalizations about my personal reality I derive from these interactions are fine for social interactions, but they are not the mental stuff of the profound philosophers.

On that philosophical score, I have been reading and rereading Seneca, the Roman stoic (c. 4 BC-AD 65), who seems to have more advice for living a good life than our modern pop psychology magazines. He deals with more complex issues and openly discusses the negative aspects of various people, sometimes using horrifying illustrations of bad characteristics. Seneca seems to be writing at his time at a TST~11 level of trustworthiness and verifiability of the information that he is presenting. Being two thousand years old it obviously is difficult to verify at this time, but where the documentation is available it is considered accurate. — He gives a formal presentation using accountable informed and correct knowledge, where he is using verifiable chains of custody of the documents and of the sources of the contested or changeable information. It is information of the type that the old Encyclopedia Britannica would have considered valid.  Systematic, practical, documented, trustworthy, expected, useful, necessary, pragmatic, profitable. — I find myself pondering over Seneca more than I do over my personal conversations, although I enjoy my personal coffee-shop encounters more.

The human interactivity of conversation can be more satisfying than the great sages even if it isn’t as profound.