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At first blush, it seems absolutely insane to constantly update your beliefs. After all, how could you possibly really believe in anything if, at a moment’s notice, you could completely discard those notions like an out-of-fashion shirt and replace it with something new and possibly even radically different? Doesn’t that, you know, run exactly counter to the very definition of the word?

Yes, it does. And that’s a good thing.

Beliefs in science are provisional. They’re based on the accumulated weight of evidence. New evidence comes in? It’s time to re-examine all of your hypotheses, your assumptions, and your final conclusions: your beliefs. Sometimes the new evidence only serves to reinforce your beliefs. Sometimes it puts your beliefs on thin ice. Sometimes it’s a whole new paradigm.

All of those outcomes are great, all of those outcomes are wonderful, all of those outcomes are good news, and all of those outcomes are welcome.

It’s liberating, really. You never need to worry about having an existential crises of belief systems - you just wait for the evidence to tell you what to believe. This frees up valuable time for many things, such as putting your beliefs to good use.


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