Picking up on the observation that "Getting it less wrong" is, of course, applicable...to the idea itself...

There's something going on here I can't quite get a handle on/get my head around: an archiving-and-preservation of over 20 years' repetition of a phrase that itself encourages alteration and revision. The form doesn't accord w/ the function, the style w/ the content. There's a "stuckness" to the whole enterprise that I'm curious about. There's a stuckness in particular to the repeated insistence that "less wrong" and "more right" do not in fact require one another. The brain (my brain anyway) works associatively as well as logically; whatever the intention, the phrase "less wrong" persistently connotes/attaches to/evokes an association of "right."

What makes all this so curious is that what's always stuck in my craw about this concept is precisely the reverse of being stuck: the presumption (even in the newest and helpful re-formulation, "noticing and correcting a mismatch") of progress. Since progress is only/always in the eye of the observer, and only/always contextual (i.e.: dependent on a particular frame/point-of-view), I find "getting it progressively less wrong" a "less useful" and less "efficient" way of describing science, and intellectual work, and the general telling of stories than a description that "offers a different point of view," or "highlights some connections, while neglecting others," or "foregrounds some aspects, while assigning others a background position."

For example: a decision to drop out of school is a different thing to do than continuing studying. It is not "fixing a wrong"; it's not "less wrong" than staying in; it's not "progress" (at least not without defining what one's values are: escaping the system? getting ahead in it?). Ditto a decision to end a friendship, start a new job, change a place of residence. By what calibration can such decisions be said to be "less wrong"? Or--to take a classic science story, the re-description of the solar system, from earth-centered to heliocentric, as judged by the Little Monk in Brecht's Galileo--

My parents...draw the strength they need...from the feeling of stability and necessity that comes of...being assured that God's eye is always on them - probingly, even anxiously -: that the whole drama of the world is constructed around them so that they, the performers, may prove themselves in their greater or lesser roles. What would my people say if I told them that they happen to be on a small knob of stone twisting endlessly through the void round a second-rate star, just one among myriads? According to one standard of measurement--perhaps that of self-reliance?--the new story is "less wrong." According to another--presumably a belief in the significance of one's actions, as judged from a position outside oneself--the new story is "more wrong" than the old one. Progress is only calculatable once one has chosen a measuring stick, and the choice of stick is the index to the values being measured. "Progressively less wrong" presumes as a starting point a belief (above all) in "progress"; the valorization of newness and generativity follows from that belief.

What would happen if one did not begin with belief? Could one even begin?