All men contain several men inside them, and most of us bounce from one self to another without ever knowing who we are. - Paul Auster

Contexts and Conformance

Just because a large number of people believe something does not mean it is an effective and correct way to view the world. It is possible (and probably inevitable) that existing consensus beliefs about all sorts of things will turn out to be wrong in the future. Even the Pythagorean theorem is only correct in a very specific context specified by the axioms that model flat/Euclidean space. Mathematicians now speak of abstract geometries specified by axioms that do not conform to Euclidean space and therefore do not validate the same theorems as Euclidean geometry. The analogy here is about axioms that provide the context for mathematical reasoning and the social context we all operate in that provide the context for our actions and beliefs. Things are simple in mathematical contexts but as far as right and wrong is concerned context matters more than many realize. What is right/correct in one context might turn out to be wrong/incorrect in another one. So be careful what contexts you conform to (both social and otherwise) and how you act based on assumptions in those contexts because not everything a group of people believe and do is going to stand up to the test of time.

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving. - Lao Tzu