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Reader comment on item: Uncovering Early Islam
in response to reader comment: "What is more important in world history - a few stirred up Moslems or the fall of communism ...or a few thousand Americans killed on 9/11 and afterwards by a few stirred up Moslems? "

Submitted by the Grand Infidel of Kaffiristan (Australia), Jun 20, 2012 at 09:12

"The problem is not idealism at all. Privately, I doubt anyone working in the financial sector is able to preserve idealism in the long run given the dirty realities of the business. "

It all depends on focus and how much of it you mistake as being very real. Basically it's all just maths - just numbers and algorithms. It makes not too much difference what the numbers stand for. What one does for business - and who one is to oneself are (or should be) two totally separate things. i.e. being able to distinguish between acting out a role and one's fundamental identity.

"The deeper problem is what we do with new information contradicting our beliefs. Theoretically, we can either reject the information or our belief. "

No shades of gray? I would have said 'accepted the information and modified our viewpoint' - as belief is kind of hard to define (for me at least).

Practically, out of 100 people 1 or 2 at best will reject the wrong belief, 99-98 will stick to their belief and will reject the information which contradicts the belief.

I imagine you as a Kantian "Ding an sich" - unknowable, unfathomable, hidden for ever from the prying eye of an East European peasant's son like me.

Which begs the question - Do we ever really know anyone - especially our selves?

So why does 'journeyman' mean a peasant? I don't follow . Wiki's definition is 'A journeyman is someone who has completed an apprenticeship and is fully educated in a trade or craft, but not yet a master. '. So when saying someone is a journeyman - I would have taken that to mean a skilled tradesperson - or 'tradie' as we say here. There is no inherent association with poverty.


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