Skip to content

Day 398 - June 25th - The Battle for Right and Wrong

Day off in Serbia

**** Super Ponder 300 ****

Of course, life is just a matter of perspective. Maybe I am sitting here happily bobbing along my merry roadie way and some tragic event like loosing my sunglasses has befallen upon me three yesterday's past, of which I am yet unaware, so my world is still smiles. But now as I frantically search and realization slips in, my life slips in to chaos as the barrage emotional loss overwhelms me, I really liked those sunglasses and replacing them will involve remembering which gas station I purchased them and hoping they still have another pair after I figure out where that gas station was located in Australia. The perspective of whether this is truly a terrible event or an insignificant blip will vary from human to human. "Realization" was responsible for shifting my perspective, but the world around me remains unaffected. Expanding upon this thought-line and adding in the concept that "nothing is ever truly exact nor ever can be" sets the stage for some curious ponderings. Where exactly does land end and the sea begin with the tides and waves and all? Is this exactly a gallon of gas or perhaps a molecule less or more. I read the other day about how much gasoline expands when warm. A gallon cold gas will drive your car farther than warm gas because a gallon can be more or less than itself. Gas stations in colder areas have heaters, while hot area stations sell hot gas resulting in less gas per dollar. Temperature, motion, evaporation, deterioration, velocity and just the fact that an object exists, all play a part in the creating the impossibility of true exacting measure.

Whether we like it or not, every numeric, verbal or written description is merely an approximation that can be debated on some some level and if it can be legitimately debated, does this not make it an opinion? Does this not unravel everything we say or think into squirming mess of differing opinions and nothing we encounter or perceive being truly "true," if you look closely enough? The existence of "truth" itself is a matter of perspective and my personal set of truths evolves and varies, from every other individual's or group's set of truths. I believe it is highly probable that there is not a single truth that is truly universal. By this I am referring to the existence of a thought or concept that every single individual would unanimously agree to be "true." Proving a truth is universal by harvesting the opinions of all humans simultaneously would be quite difficult to the point of infinitely prohibitive. Conversely, proving a truth is not universal is actually quite simple, just find someone that disagrees. If you have to disqualify anyone due to age, race, religion, gender or even your opinion of their sanity level, then poof, not universal. In a world where humans strap bombs to themselves and run into crowded places, it does not take a rocket scientist to envision that finding humans who will disagree with every possible thought are most likely running around somewhere. In fact, now that I ponder it, there are more things humans universally disagree on than agree. Hmmm I wonder if there is such thing as a universal falsity? Naw, that couldn't work because that would in turn create the universal truth of us all agreeing on the universal falsity.

So where does that leave us if we were to accept that everything we think and believe is wrong in someone else's perspective and therefore not definitively true? Well, if the logic so far is accepted then here are a few possible conclusions. We are either:

A) All individually always wrong on some level in everything we do so we can not possibly ever do anything "right" or

B) We need to chop some humans out of the equation and relegate them to being irrelevant so we can establish a tangible foundation of "rightness" by which to judge all of those that are wrong and then tout how we live our lives correctly or

C) We could accept the perplexing concept that something can be simultaneous right and wrong at the same time.

"A" appears not to be a very useful perspective, as being wrong all the time about everything makes progress and decision making a bit tough, plus it is counter intuitive because there are many worldly things that can be repetitively demonstrated to have a high degree of rightness.

"B" involves cutting a bunch humans out of the mix and while it is a tempting and commonly implemented angle, it has a bit of a downside in that surprisingly, the humans that get relegated to irrelevance seem to exhibit a strong lack of enthusiasm at there position of being forever wrong that was created by others that have self-elevated themselves to a level rightness. Compound that with the likelihood that the "wrongies" carry the perspective that they are actually the ones that are right and you now have a recipe for a world locked in turmoil and fighting between various entities that feel justified in their actions, kind of like we have now.

Finally, who would be so silly as to embrace the absurd concept "C" that something can be both right and wrong at the same time? As demonstrated below:

Alfred the Right: "Wow, I want to tell you all, the fact is that today is really really hot!"

Far away little voice named Eric in the back with a Monty Python English accent: "No, it's not"

Red face evident Alfred "Excuse me, today is the hottest day on record, today is incredibly hot!"

Same Eric: "Today is not hot compared to molten lava, molten lava is incredibly hot"

Fortifying his position Alfred "Your an idiot"

Big eyed Eric "No, I'm not"

And on and on till the end of the world, The End.

Though this may seem on the surface trivial or absurd, pondering it a bit more deeply you may find that all alleged "facts" as we know them can be dismantled and every unresolved argument has little to do with the subject discussed but rather the differing perspectives the arguers have chosen. Since no perspective can be truly proved right or wrong, to discuss anything with a goal of gaining ground, a common perspective must first be agreed upon or naturally taken by the participants. Perhaps it is true that all perspectives are correct and nothing is truly wrong, yet life does suggest that some perspectives and beliefs are more useful, enjoyable, harmonious and life-compatible than others. Denying the effects of gravity may not be a very useful perspective and attempting to validate it by stepping out of a hot air balloon or attempting to walk on water may have less than a convenient outcome.

The concept that everyone, no mater how right they are, is automatically always wrong on some level, I think is really interesting. This duality of being right and wrong simultaneously sets the stage for humans to both accept religion and science even though they each prove the other wrong. More importantly it also creates the potential for everyone to accept each other's differing points of view while holding their own and the concepts of "right" and "wrong" themselves become relegated to irrelevance. Leaving us to enjoy navigating the discussions over which concepts are more useful by which to lead our lives, which ideas are repeatable, which patterns we can depend and what things we decide to do anyway because we enjoy the sensation regardless that it defies logic or explanation.

And me? I guess I am a "Useful-ist" so I shovel all the crap that must be believed because it was spoken or written and has no corroborating life-sensical reality into the mind-closet of possibilities that I do not live my life by unless a real world credibility event earns them a home in my inner perspective-structure.

Anyway, I just want to say, hey look, I have a whole bunch of money, I am rich!

"No your not rich! that is only like $200 US, you could not even buy a quarter of a plane ticket home with that"

"Well, shut up stupid head, I feel rich anyway and I don't care what you say, and besides $200 US goes a long way here and as best I can tell it is one of the few places left where the US dollar is not working it's way to worthless due to Shit-Neck-the-Incompetent running the White House"

"Hey, he is a good president, he is fighting for what he believes is right."


On a cheerier note, hey Scott wait up, let me grab a quick photo of you right over there.

And it was a hot day and nice for a wander about in Belgrade

Cool old-school carts, as Lampi Scott would say, "those are the real deal!"

"No they're not!" -- Just kidding. The Serbian's still rock the public water fountain in a big way!

Yumm, Iced Coffee! "Actually it is more like a coffee sunday"

Cool shoes, must be some sort of regional historic shoe as we saw them all over except on feet.

So I guess that's it for today or not, depending on how you look at it, oh well, who really knows anything anyway.

Dave Rat


No Trackbacks


Display comments as Linear | Threaded

ScottW on :

Love the existencial mind-bend. Here's a slightly different perspective for you: science doesn't prove religion wrong - it simply proves that the way people THINK about religion is wrong... Happy trails.

Kevin Poole on :

Dave, You have never met me, like many of the readers of this blog and various stories about you throughout the roadie kingdom. It is rare to find a roadie philosopher among the stereotyped world we live in. How refreshing. Your pondering made me ponder a bit, and in the land of free thought and speech, I beg your indulgence. You seek the holy grail of absolute truth. Yet your pondering led you to the fact that truth is situational and relevant only to those who ponder it. A couple of questions follow: 1. Why have law? 2. If there are no absolutes, as in the case of law, are you absolutely sure there arent or shouldnt be? 3. Creation must be absolute, and to say not would mean a confusion of existence? 4. If truth is the presence of things proven, what has been tried and not proven? There in lies absolute? I believe something very controversial in terms of absolutes and I think there is a source of truth that is above refute. Many have tried and none have succeeded. If I have sparked your curiosity, I would to ponder more.

Dave Rat on :

Hmmmm, well, 1) "Law" as a general term seems infer adding bit of structure, like a plan or direction or containment of sorts. Some plans are better than others and laws take many forms, so to answer with any meaning a common point of reference would have to be established. Created laws? Observed laws? 2) My personal experience is that nothing is absolute. Not the laws we create to govern nor the laws of nature. Tendencies and probabilities exists. Some are tilted extremely in one direction or another but I have yet to encounter or read or observe a single thing that leaves no question unanswered when analyzed enough. 3) Creation is no more absolute to me than the definition between hot and cold or life and non-living or the concepts of forever and never. I have yet to experience "must be" where as many many "probably's," "possibly's" and "doubtfully's" seem to fill the world around me. In my opinion, to try and establish a "must be" is to attempt to establish a "this is right, period." point of view, which, when implemented would naturally, propogate and divide the world into those that are right that believe it and those that are wrong that disagree. I believe it is the creation of these false "musts" that divides the world's minds and opens the door for endless friction. 4) The first part of the question does not fit in my perception. To me, a truth is an opinion that a group of humans have decided to call a truth. Perhaps the closest I can think of at the moment is that lies can be created where as truths can not. Lies can be proven where as truths can not. And I from what I have so far seen in my life, anyone who truly claims to know the absolute truth is most definitley lying. As far as a source of truth above refute, fair enough, valid and common belief, and perhaps correct for a segment of society but that does not make it correct for all. And if we were to take a world vote on what is right or wrong, would majority rule? Who amongst all the various groups of humans that each believe they know "The Way," truly have a leg to stand on? Would the biggest gun rule? Or the craftiest absorbing new members? It is illogical to me to think that with multitudes of groups of humans each gathering and deciding their truths that each group could somehow overlook the fact that the other groups that have chosen to do their own version of the exact same thing, are any less valid in thier choices.

Filip on :

Hope you enjoyed Belgrade as much as I did... Did you enjoy Jelen beer? :-) Can't wait for the next post! Cheers!

mike on :

Dave, If you haven't seen it yet, and have some time to do some reading, check out "God's Debris" by Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame. It is available as a free PDF download at: Let me know what you think of it, hopefully we'll meet sometime between now and later and be able to discuss over a pint or two. Mike

martin on :


Jamie on :

Hey Dave, Put a picture up of your sunglasses up in your next post and I'll see what I can do about sending them over to Rat-land, USA.

Iva on :

You have a "your" used instead of "you're" somewhere, thought I'd tell you...even though I wrote "sing" instead of "sign" in the comment on your previous entry. The beautiful park is called Kalemegdan. I go there almost everyday and I write and take photos. The money in your hands is actually worth about 100 bucks, believe it or not. But if you had a chance to find money bills from 14 years ago, you could've sold them to collectors for big money. There's a bill of 500 000 000 000 dinars from the years of crisis. NEXT juices actually *are* 100% fruit and they rule. If you have not tried the pineapple/passion fruit/tropical mix one, you'll have to try it next time (because there WILL be next time, even if I'd have to drag you all guys over in a caveman manner!). Restrictions which probably exist when wanting to send a bottle of juice couldn't help, sorry. The funny shoes are called opanci. Yes, they're a native thing and perhaps, perhaps, some people in faraway villages on mountains still wear them. Otherwise, they're used in old movies, series, folk dance etc. The writing above the shoes reads: Stand-alone workshop for making opanci "Kiri" Mijomir Aleksić, manager Beograd, King Milan street, ___ (number is not visible) The public fountain is called Delijska Česma. It was made when the whole Knez Mihailova street was reconstructed in 1987...AND IT WAS MY DAD'S IDEA TO MAKE IT! You can't believe how proud I am that a foreigner like you noticed it and took the photo. Dad was the brain behind reconstructing the pipes under the surface of the street back then and he had an idea of making a nice public fountain in the middle of the street...then they found an artist to carry the job on. Sometimes some funny people put water lillies there...don't know if that was the case on 25th June, as Fiona and I did not see them and then we had to leave for Inđija with our little gang.

Anonymous on :

But a b flat is universally a b flat, right? I seem to recall one of your employers telling us that's the truth in Melbourne...

Dave Rat on :

Well, that would be a matter of perspective and other perspectives appear to exist, like with everything, unless I am wrong, which of course I am on some levels, naturally and always. I founf this interesting: "A=440 has never been the international standard pitch, and the first international conference to impose A=440, which failed, was organized by Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels in 1939." Also, the concept that nothing can ever be exactly tuned exists. Was it "b-flat is the saddest note in the universe" he said?

Anonymous on :

Sorry Dave, the sound was probably off and I couldn't hear him clearly. I'M JOKING, it was awesome of course!! Always happy to learn something, thanks for the correction...

MKB on :

One thing is true... Shit Neck the Incompetent will be gone in a year.

frusciante33 on :

hi dave, well... nice blog i always take a look of it cause im a big fan of the rhcp, u re doing a good work man, keep like that and with your blog update, see u take care frusciante33

Add Comment

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.

Form options