Being Wrong, adventures in the margin of error. The book covers many interesting views on wrongness but I'd like to focus here on one.
There is a difference between the scientific method and the approach to knowing we as individuals tend to have. Schulz: "The scientific method is essentially a monument to the utility or error. Most of us gravitate toward trying to verify our beliefs ... But scientists gravitate toward falsification.... Not only can any give theory be proven wrong, sooner or later, it probably will be. And when it is, the occasion will mark the success of science, not its failure."
According to Schulz, many individuals don't see being wrong as something potentially useful but have a pessimistic view of being wrong, interpreting it as a sign of being ill-informed, stupid of evil. The strange thing is, we often easily notice other people being wrong but we hardly ever notice it when we are wrong. Schulz explains that we think we are right because we feel we are right: we take our own certainty as an indicator of accuracy. This has to do with the fact that mental processes that, to some extent inevitably distort reality, like sensory perception and memory, operate largely outside or are conscious awareness. This explains why we generally tend to feel we are right: we are not aware of the ways in which we distort reality and therefore think we don't distort it all and perceive and remember reality simply as it is/was.
In fact, Schulz says, there is no experience of being wrong. Sure, we may remember we were once wrong. But knowing, in the here-and-now, that we are wrong, according to Schulz, describes a logical impossibility: "As soon as we know that we are wrong, we aren't wrong anymore, since to recognize a belief as false is to stop believing it. Thus we can only say "I was wrong." Just because it is so hard to perceive your own wrongness, I'm interested in how indidivuals manage to get from a state of being wrong to a state that is less wrong, more in correspondence with reality.
My questions to you, reader, are: Is there a topic about you now know you were once wrong and now more realistic? I don't ask you to mention what the topic was, I'm particularly interested in things like: How did you discover your wrongness? How did you develop a more realistic perspective? Was it easy or hard? Did it go slowly or fast? What helped? How do you know this new perspective is actually less wrong, more realistic than the one before?