I delight in speculation.
Speculation tests my powers of perception, and (hopefully) heightens those powers.
For me, speculation is a process akin to peering into the distance and trying to discern whether a cloud of dust on the horizon is being caused by a bunch of kids playing football, an oxcart or a tank. It’s a process of “connecting dots” when most people don’t even see the dots. Speculation is the process of trying to reach correct conclusions based on the least amount of evidence.
Speculation is risky since it’s a kind of intellectual or perceptual gambling. That gambling excites me—especially when I publicly expose my speculations. By publicly declaring my speculations, I stick my neck out and risk being ridiculed whenever my speculations turn out to be false. I enjoy the risk because that risk forces me to be much more astute in my speculations.
I don’t like being ridiculed any more than the next guy, so, I generally warn people “not to believe something because you hear it from me”. I routinely sprinkle my texts and statements with words like “appears,” “what if,” or “hypothesis” to warn readers and listeners that the ideas I’m expressing are unproven, speculative and, while plausible, possibly mistaken.
I’ve been speculating in print or on radio for over 20 years. If I say so myself, while some of my speculation has been mistaken, most of my speculation has turned out to be roughly correct.
This blog (adask.wordpress.com) is primarily dedicated to speculation.