Paul Parillo A Bout of Severe Uncertainty

I am constantly suffering from bouts of severe uncertainty. By this, I’m referring to knowledge: accepting authority on issues; the validity of information; and adopting personal philosophies as a result of learned concepts. It’s something we all, to one degree or another, strive for. We might not notice these adaptations, or feel it prudent to make them explicit, but nevertheless, our brains take it upon themselves to fulfill these knowledge equations as we experience and sustain the various elements of life.

This uncertainty I speak of might be a defensive response—a reminder to take a closer look at the information provided and the one providing it. There’s also the option that being uncertain is the automated response – and not one allowing for much accuracy. This is how the rabbit hole begins and the snowball into nihilism takes route.

Why should I believe in anything if I‘m convinced the validity of the information provided is wavering on falsities? I suppose when I read about the number of people in China that says there’s almost one and a half billion people, I can take the author's word for it (and save myself the trip). I don’t personally know any of the authors whose books I can gobble up; I don’t know if perhaps they’ve fudged certain details for conceptual gain. Who’s to say there’s proper evidence—the author? Surely I can’t settle with only firsthand accounts; I want to trust the literature.

And yes, I do check the bibliography, and yes, I do engage in some minor cross-referencing for the larger and more important details; that’s a reasonable safety net. But still, the itch of uncertainty that creeps its ugly infallible head in my paranoid noggin won’t remain quiet.

As time continues on, I’ve become relatively efficient in noticing the sillier moments of my uncertainty, where the hidden nihilist walks around my ethics with heavy-steps and echoing mantras. Somewhere between trust and sufficient background research, this paralyzing uncertainty can remain at bay – and what’s left is a normal distrust for information. All I desire is to learn, to adapt and to lead my own charge of self-philosophy and knowledge advancement – I realize it’s an ongoing pursuit, but I suppose most things in life that are really worth anything are as well.     

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.