boiling it down

A few days ago we made pasta sauce from scratch in our slow-cooker. Fresh tomatoes from the garden, tons of delicious ingredients. It came out pretty tasty. But it could have been better. It was too watery, and when you took just the chunky parts, they lacked some of that intense flavor that we had been expecting. Usually when we make it on the stove that's not a problem, because the excess water boils off and the flavor sticks in the sauce, but the slow cooker has such a good seal that you don't get the same effect. Interesting, and it will be remembered.

After reading slacktivist for a while, I think I've boiled down his essential thesis to this: "self-delusion makes you stupid; intelligence means examining yourself and your beliefs. Anyone can be smarter or stupider by following the corresponding path." Which I think is an incredibly strange and powerful formulation of a thing that people have been saying for a long time, "the unexamined life is not worth living." See also: the scientific method. I'm trying to figure out if I believe it literally, or just allegorically, but he makes some interesting arguments, especially regarding empathy and bearing false witness.

It's really difficult sometimes, for me to keep an open mind in the face of my visceral emotional response. This comes up at work, and when reading the internet, playing a game, etc.. Really anytime. But I value the struggle. Regardless of (or in addition to) simply wanting to think that I'm "being smart" by considering a point of view, I'd also like to (smugly) think that when people, generally, consider other points view, the world is a little bit of a better place for all of us. In other words, when you consider another point of view, you make the world a better place.

It's like planting a (literal) tree. Most of the trees you plant may not grow above 2 inches tall, but if you plant enough, you will have facilitated many grand trees by the time you're old. And that's a pleasant thought, no?*

*damn I need to start planting some trees I guess.

file under: unrelenting smugness.

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