To be a rational dreamer

As I was younger I ran head long into all types of books, going away to the worlds that were bigger than mine and ideas that challenged me. As I was younger I detested reading history or fact, always thinking that whatever I want to believe could be true... if I believe it hard enough.


My favorite books when I was younger were the Trickster Novel series by Tamora Pierce, Enders Game with the Wiggin's and then I veered towards Bean and the Ender's Shadow side of things, and the book I never feel old enough for The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner.

These books and many others gave a sense of creativity, brutality, and a clear understanding of the power of thought. But it is important to note I never read a book of fact unless required. This gave me a mix of blind faith in my reasoning powers and refusal to believe what others told me, until I tested it out myself.

Needless to say, as I grew up, I realized that I could not be as obstinate. That is not how you make friends or interact well with others or be happy or... and so I became a rational dreamer.

Rationality is the quality or state of being reasonable. Conclusion and decision can be made only when based on facts or reason(e.g. complete or incomplete knowledge.) Rationality expects the conformity of one's beliefs with one's reasons to believe. Nowhere in the definition can we find the word “right”. In rationality there is not necessarily this definition of right or wrong, just what is correct based on the information you have and the best outcome possible. Rationality dictates that one's actions with one's reasons for action are the same.

Which is why I am a rational dreamer instead. I refuse no matter how silly, that I can always be right ;)

To be a dreamer in philosophy is idealism, that reality, or reality as we can know it is immaterial and mentally constructed. Mainly being a dreamer manifests as a skepticism, for me a happy skepticism, about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing. Ergo I make my own reality and if I have not though it is not possible or if I have it is possible.

If I look at my life goal of happiness from a rationalist point of view, being happy is not the most important goal based on the facts, happy is a fleeting feeling and too much time is wasted trying to obtain happy. But in my reality, the one I make as a dreamer, it is the most important goal even with the knowledge that it is not constant.

To be so one-sided is impossible. I am not the rationalist nor the dreamer. I am both. Both clash and both disappoint. The difficulty of being both is clearly and creatively written by Eliezer S. Yudkowsky. He wrote a spin-off of a much-loved book series to many. He wrote Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. I would encourage all to read a chapter or listen to the podcast.

*As I get older I still don't enjoy books that are fact :)