14 July 2020

Trump's Descent from Reality TV Star to Comic Book Villain and the Capacity for Error Correction

Good people, good ideas, and good communities aren't perfect. They are perfect-able.

People screw up. Forgiveness is us saying, "I'm not going to define you by your worst moment." Repentance is saying, "I'm not going to define myself by my worst moment." Screwing up doesn't make us awful people. Refusing to change afterwards does.

One of the differences between real science and pseudoscience is not error. Both have them. Real science has the capacity for error correction. Understanding evolves. Pseudoscience is not defined by a testable hypothesis but instead by a core belief, a reliance on the words of an authority, or a conspiracy theory that depends on the absence of data that would either affirm, tweak or disprove it.

Asked about going to church Trump said, "I don't ask for forgiveness. For what?" Trump has no capacity for error correction. That would require a degree of humility and / or intellectual curiosity and / or ability to admit to being wrong and / or a conscience. He's 0 for 4 on those traits and because of this has descended from reality TV star to comic book villain, presiding over the worst domestic tragedy since the Civil War, all while downplaying and denying the risk, from the early days of COVID when he promised that it would magically go away to this week when he insisted that schools have to re-open in spite of the failure of his policies to make this country safe. Even in the midst of a catastrophe, it's hard to make improvements when everything is great.

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