A Thought on Progress
There has been a particular element that I had been reflecting on in regards to progress. It’s an element of progress that I feel doesn’t get discussed and I’ve realised is necessary in determining whether or not one is making progress in anything. So, let’s get into it.
The element of progress that I had been reflecting on is that you cannot measure progress unless your hypothesis is falsifiable. This is a bit of a mouthful, but what this realisation is getting at is that there is a relationship between the falsifiability of your hypothesis — falsifiability meaning that your hypothesis, your conjecture, can be proven wrong — and the ability to measure progress.
To use an example:
If you had a hypothesis that you can earn $50,000 in the next 6 months flipping houses, you would be able to measure your progress towards your goal of $50,000. This is because the hypothesis can be proven wrong. If you don’t earn the $50,000 in 6 months flipping houses, then you were wrong in your conjecture.
Whereas, if you had the hypothesis that you will become the greatest artist of all time, you wouldn’t be able to measure this because your hypothesis can’t be proven wrong. Who is to say who is the greatest artist of all time? And if you do pick someone to determine this, why should they be the one to do so? Since the hypothesis cannot be proven wrong, the experiment cannot be measured.
Why this is worthwhile to realise is because so many people, at least from what I have observed, make hypotheses that aren’t falsifiable and, in turn, lead them nowhere. What’s worse is when people have conjectures that cannot be proven wrong and, in turn, cannot be measured, but they then delude themselves into believing that they are making progress in whatever field their conjecture is about. And this error appears to be happening more often than not.
I am not sure why people do this. Any speculation I have could only ever be an abstract speculation and, in turn, cannot be falsifiable and measured, ironically. There’s really no value in determining why this is the case.
But I also cannot help but feel that most people are this way because if their hypotheses were falsifiable and, in turn, could be measured, then they run the risk of being wrong, and that really, they, consciously or subconsciously, give themselves abstract, immeasurable hypotheses just so they can delude themselves into feeling that they are getting somewhere in life, without having to take on the potential downside of feeling bad when they realise that their conjecture was wrong. In other words, it’s a coping mechanism.
However, I don’t know if this is the case. And again, I cannot prove this because the hypothesis is not falsifiable. It’s just something to think about.
I’ve been developing my own virtual assistant with Python to speed up or automate various tasks. This’ll be an ongoing project, but I have been developing the foundations for it this week. Check it out here.
I’ve also created a FB page in preparation for the release of my film, Śūnyatā. Check it out here: facebook.com/ewenmunro
A Confucian Confusion (1994) - Dir. Edward Yang
The Mother and The Whore (1973) - Dir. Jean Eustache
The Trial (1962) - Dir. Orson Welles
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