Can You Build A Fine Watch With A 0.5 Inch Wrench?

People have opinions abut everything. And that’s neither good or bad, it’s just how we are creating this collective illusion that we call reality.

We have opinions about how the world works, about what other people should (and shouldn’t do), about what we should (and shouldn’t) do and pretty much about anything that we can imagine.

The problem with opinions is not necessarily their truth value, as one may think at first glance, but their “granularity”.

Let me explain.

At first, when we think about opinions, we may jump into comparing opinions with facts, (and that is ok too, but not enough). Verifiable facts always take precedence to opinions, and that’s how we manage to survive, basically. If everything we produce, mentally, will be only an opinion, then we couldn’t make it for more than a few days. Or a few hours actually.

Because, for instance, we may be of the opinion that fire is cold, which, from the “opinion point of view” is fine, we are all entitled to an opinion, but from the “verifiable reality point of view”, it’s not only completely wrong, but also dangerous. If we cling to this opinion and want to prove it in front of others, we may simply burn.

But let’s take it a bit further than that.

Suppose we already have this sorted out and we know the difference between facts and opinions.

If we already got past this level, then the next huge difference in our life quality is how flexible and “granular” opinions are.

If, for instance, we are of the opinion that people are all good, or all bad, well, this would be a very “coarse” opinion. Not too much granularity here.

A better, less “coarse” approach, would be to think that only some people are good and some are bad.

And an even better one would be to believe that there is good and bad in every person.

Opinions are shaping, in this case, our interactions with other persons. The more granular they are, the easier would be, for us, to move around and get the most of our encounters.

Imagine you want to build a very fine watch, a piece of jewelry that would be so well crafted that you will always count on it not only to indicate the current time with maximum accuracy, but also to always remain beautiful, desired, valuable.

Well, no matter how hard you’d try, you won’t be able to build such a watch with a 0.5 inch wrench. That tool would be too coarse. You may build a bigger watch, which, obviously, which will be less accurate, less desirable, less valuable.

The collective illusion we call “reality” has an infinite level of granularity. We live in a huge fractal, in which, no matter how deep we dive, we will always get something new (and yet, oh, so different) at the end of our search. There is no such thing like identical situations, persons, events on top of which we can build our generalizations.

Everything in life is different, this second is not similar with the one that will come next or with that one that just passed away. And yet, we rely on coarse approximations to make some sense of our environment. We build categories and classifications and, to some extent, they work.

But if we really want to get to the bottom of it, to understand the finest parts that our current evolution stage allows, we need more.

We need to learn. To be flexible. To allow change to flow and integrate the modifications.

We need finer tools.


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