The virtue of being Confused? Book contents

The case for Anti-fundamentalism

So, you are confused. that is good you are thinking and probably you are not a fundamentalist. I define a fundamentalist as someone who is so convinced of his or her convictions that it is almost impossible to change. This can range from left to right, from religious to atheist, from free market to socialist, and so on. If you do have sufficient (self) doubt it is very hard to be a fundamentalist. Therefore, it is good to be somewhat confused. However, on this website and in the forthcoming book I will try put a bit of method to the madness. So, how can we be sufficiently confused, not too much not too little? A good start is not taking yourself too seriously all the time. Nobody is completely “normal” and at least a bit crazy.

What is going on with all these people who pretend to know everything all the time? As far as I am aware you are always learning all the time. Someone who claims he or she does not need to be educated anymore, probably requires a lot of education, and is very confused without knowing it. If you want to be intelligent by definition you have to consider many different views. To put this to an extreme, would it not be very interesting to have a conversation in a save setting with a religious extremist or a neo-Nazi, just to try to understand why they think what they think?

The benefit of living in interesting times is that we do start to realize more what is fundamental to our long-term wellbeing. I think this has to do with that fact that we can see more extreme behavior in practice. Extreme examples help to understand reality. It needs to be said that I typically used these in thought experiments rather than looking at actual reality. Hopefully these interesting times will be a wake-up call for us to embark on a more collaborative and constructive path. But to even start to think about that, we have to have much more constructive dialog with people with vastly different viewpoints. Without dialog there is no democracy.

I apologize for any language errors on the website, I do this all by myself with no editorial help. Do not hesitate to point to any errors. I want to get the ideas out there and I am very bad at spotting language errors and I am certainly not a linguist. Accepting the risk of looking unprofessional, I have decided to crowd source some of the editing to the readers. Thanks in advance. And, if you have any other ideas do not hesitate to let me know trough social media or the contact page. Many thanks for your interest in my work.

** By the way, the whole undertaking is fan funded you can support it here   Support 

Book contents

(links to parts that can be found on

I Basics

What is a good life?

Freedom is that important?
 Everybody treated equally as an individual 
 Equality of opportunity. Not to be confused with equality of outcome
 Freedom of Expression

Do we need democracy anyway?

Clear & critical thinking is that what we need?

Critical & Clear: Why is nobody asking why anymore?
 Emotions versus rationality

What is good education?

II Information consumption 

Are people still buying books? Who is still reading nowadays? What are the alternatives?

What about Narrative, Angles & Motive Attribution?

But, what is true and what are facts anyway?

What is proof then? Empirical vs Anecdotal problem

Is Trump’s surprise election the end of climate change? Probability & Severity

The biggest group-think experiment. Why is everybody hiding in echo chambers? Using the internet and Social Media to become more aware, not less…

What is fake news then?

What about fake politicians, are they not more dangerous?


III Problem solving

How are we going to solve real issues with all these fake issues? What is anti-zero-sum?

Why do we not talk about what is important anymore?

Why are we all oversimplifying complexity?

Why are we complexifying simplicity?

What is better private or public, regulation or not?

Is it really all about the money? Why we always start talking about money and not process?

What is with all the polarization? What happened to consensus?


IV Conversation

Why don’t we start where we somewhat agree?

Have I missed something? Could the other be right? Anyone can have a good idea, or bring you to one so listen carefully

Safe spaces and trigger warnings, what on earth is this?

Correlation does not equal causality, or does it?

Antifragile, what happened to what does not kill you makes you stronger?

We should always be able to question everything, why is that even in questions?

Are we living in a dangerous society?

Is there a sore loser epidemic? if you keep doubling down you go bankrupt, if we all keep doubling down we collectively go bankrupt

What happened to politeness? Politeness yes, political correctness to be used with care


V Policy & justice

What is justice?

Are we not the luckiest bastards who ever lived?
 Is Back Pete a racist, and what should we do about him?
 Should we create discriminatory laws to tackle discrimination?
 What about criminal and political justice?

What is a just society then? Do we live in the lottery of life?

What is with electoral system craziness?

Are most people bad people? Are we not overestimating the power of the government? Do not underestimate coincidences.


VI Diversity & Integration

Are all Trump voters racist? Are they protecting their white privilege?

When was the last time a Muslim or another minority bothered you? If we only focus on the negatives we cannot understand integration

Dutch from Turkish decent, Dutch or Turkish? Are minorities discriminating against minorities & dissidents?

What is real racism and discrimination?

Why does religion sit on a pedestal? What is a religion anyway?

Should you be able to press charges if someone calls you Sylvia or Bob?

Muslims are the biggest terror victims, what can be done about that?

How much immigration is enough?

Diversity is good and should be desired, but can it be forced, or is that discrimination?


VII fundamentalist tribalism

The extremes are equally bad. Why do many people fail to see that?

You are either with us or against us. Ideology, religion, or tribalism?

What is pride, identity, and culture? Does this stop progress?

Everybody blaming everybody? Treat people you like to be treated versus populism and scapegoating

Why are Conspiracy theories used as an excuse for inaction?

Is there is a problem with science and scientists?