On Certainty

On Certainty

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“Certitude is not the test of certainty. We have been cocksure of many things that were not so.”

 - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. -

“If I am a fool, it is, at least, a doubting one; and I envy no one the certainty of his self-approved wisdom.”

- George Byron -

I sure hope my bumptious, pro-tax liberal friends Linda Beale and James Maule read this post.

Here’s a timely excerpt from a commencement speech given by Time editor Richard Stengel:

[T]here is what I think of in my world and I think in American politics on the left and right, there’s an epidemic of certainty—people who are absolutely sure that they know that they’re right. And I find this a little irksome.

And those of you who have studied science know that modern neuroscience tells you that certainty is a state of mind; it’s not an appraisal of the state of the world. It’s some temporal lobe stimulation, some synapses firing in your brain, that gives you that feeling of knowing that you’re right. It doesn’t necessarily correspond to the world. The brain creates that feeling of rightness, not the world itself.

(Hat Tip: Aaron Worthing, Patterico)

About Peter Pappas

Peter is a tax attorney and certified public acccountant with over 20 years experience helping taxpayers resolve their IRS and state tax problems.

He has represented thousands of taxpayers who have been experiencing difficulty dealing with the Internal Revenue Service or State tax officials.

He is a member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Bar Association and The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court, the United States Supreme Court, U.S. District Courts - Middle District of Florida

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