To Be Human is to Embrace Incoherence
Can you hold two opposed opinions at once and still function? The Fitzgerald Test tells us something important about what it means to be alive.
In his essay “The Crack-Up,” which is really quite wonderful if you haven’t read it, the novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald writes that “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”
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I’ve been thinking about this quote in light of recent developments with artificial intelligence. It’s not so much that holding two mutually opposed opinions at once is the sign of something special: it’s evidence of being human.
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