No Better Time Than Now

I saw this first on LinkedIn—that Instagram for personal promotion in a sea of vanity and hubris of all flavours—and had been sourced from Twitter, a more free-form universe.

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As the narrative went, this was written by a Parkinson’s-afflicted father to his daughter. There are many ways to interpret this. Ostensibly, it’s in line with Nike’s Just Do It tagline of a few decades back or perhaps Joseph Campbell’s advice to follow your bliss, but what is it?

To me, the it involves socially sanctioned activities, whether in commerce or the arts. If the it is robbing banks or shooting fentanyl, perhaps the drive should rather be suppressed. So the do it or go for it operates within boundaries. Nothing new here.

Then there’s the ‘no time is better than now’—exclamation—bit. Why privilege now? Why wouldn’t it have been a better yesterday or last week or tomorrow?

I love quotes—or they pique my interest—if they interest me. But vapid platitudes annoy me to no end. They are beyond being trite. I suppose I can forgive the person who finds solace in this note, but these almost always preach to the choir. They resonate with the daughter—first on an emotional level owing to the familial connection and next to a connection in worldview. I don’t need to point out the connection between worldview and upbringing. Let’s pretend there is no covariance.

Meantime, whatever you’re doing go for it. Just do it. Or not. Take the path on the left. Or the right. Or just sit and meditate. Or turnaround and try something else. But whatever you do, just do it. There’s no better time than now.

The Truth about Truth (Fourth Amend)

Please note that this content has been subsumed into the originating article: The Truth about Truth.

This is a response to this comment by Landzek from The Philosophical Hack regarding the notion of intended truth in communication, the fourth amendment in a series of posts extending the concept commenced in The Truth about Truth.

Extending the simple asymptotic function from the first amend, we might see (in Graph 4a) a slight variation in interpretation due to the insufficiencies of language—providing us with a close enough for the government approximation to some shared perception. People in this group will tend to agree on some perception, say, that the earth is spherical.* The average distance from perception to reality is the same for all in-group members, give or take some small variance that I’ll dismiss as an insignificant rounding error.

Graph 4a: Correspondence of Truth to Reality (Simplified in-group concurrence)

Graph 4b, however, illustrates two opposing perceptions of reality. In this example, I show proponents of orthodoxy (group O), who claim the earth to be roughly spherical, arbitrarily closer to reality than proponents of an alternative theory (group A), who claim that the earth is flat.

Each in-group has some variance from the mean notion, but ex-group members are orders of magnitude apart, as measured by the blue and red bars to the right of the chart. If we assume some binary condition that the earth is either spherical or flat with no other options, one of these might be considered to be right whilst the other would be wrong. We can establish this situation relative to the ex-groups, but, still, neither of these is comparable to Reality™ .


Graph 4b: Correspondence of Truth to Reality (Simplified ex-group concurrence)

The intent of each group may be to promote the perspective of the group—each claiming to be closer to the truth than the other. It is easy to imagine a situation where both claimants are equally distant from the truth:

Imagine two groups, each making opposing claims:

  • Tarot is superior to Astrology in predicting the future.
  • Astrology is superior to Tarot in predicting the future.

I’ll go out on a limb here and create a reality where the future is not predictable by either measure, irrespective of what each in-group believes.


* I understand that the earth being an oblate spheroid is primarily an analytical distinction, so is tautologically true, but I am using a simplification of a commonly accepted fact.