I am researching a topic as part of a discussion with an old friend. At bsking's suggestion I have been reading from old Slate Star Codex discussions by Dr. Scott Alexander, who I greatly admire. I have found that I am wrong about at least one thing.
In the midst of this he puts a marvelous quote, expressing an idea I have attempted to get across, but more fully and elegantly than I have
One who wishes to believe says, “Does the evidence permit me to believe?” One who wishes to disbelieve asks, “Does the evidence force me to believe?” Beware lest you place huge burdens of proof only on propositions you dislike, and then defend yourself by saying: “But it is good to be skeptical.” If you attend only to favorable evidence, picking and choosing from your gathered data, then the more data you gather, the less you know. If you are selective about which arguments you inspect for flaws, or how hard you inspect for flaws, then every flaw you learn how to detect makes you that much stupider.
It is from a longer essay by Eliezer Yudkowsky, who I had not head of writing for Rationality. It is good to remember that while sometimes we are just wrong, little harm comes of it, and life goes on - but at other times if we persist in what we call research while favoring an outcome whether it is true or not, we make ourselves more stupid the more information we obtain. Much of learning is unlearning, which is no fun. The language of the essay is a little woo, but I don't think it is inappropriately so, given the state of mind he is hoping we will attain.