Measure vs Reality

Sean McClure
2 min readOct 20, 2023

“Measure” is a term unbecoming of life’s actual experience.

It is a word suited only to barren systems whose most striking feature is their banality.

We cannot “measure” happiness, success, quality, worth, health or performance.

We are not apparatuses. The limits of man are not determined by the limits of his metaphors.

To suggest we can “measure” intelligence is as obtuse as saying we can measure reading speed.

Is the first person to put down a book the faster reader? Only the most shallow standard of achievement would suggest as much.

And yet such narrow-minded philosophy works its way into our lofty notions of human smartness. After all, surely comprehension can be “measured.”

Man devises exams to “assess” one’s awareness and discernment. He designs tests to check, determine and judge one’s grasp of material.

But from what world does his exam derive from? What details qualify as worthy of assessment? Why do some pieces earn their way into his gilded test while others do not?

To suggest comprehension can be “measured” demands one constricts nature well below its natural state. One must invent some contrived, sterile universe of isolated details, and then suggest, with a straight face, that such details demarcate knowing from unknowing.

Stripping away the uncomfortable yet critical intricacies of the real world can only test one’s niche regurgitation. A test is a mere slice through reality, chosen out of personal taste, yet injected into the veins of society.

Is it any wonder why civilization breeds such astounding levels of stupidity when our lofty institutions are founded on testing “knowledge” using counterfeit worlds?

The author might press words to paper, be he does not own my interpretation. Whatever he owns is his opinion and synthesis; something no detached instructor can purport to own themselves.

Neither author nor instructor can tell me whether I have grasped the importance of the matter. What is important to me is of my own authorization.

Suggesting a number can label my level of happiness, success, quality, worth, health, performance or intelligence is asinine.

Don’t contaminate my will with your subjective notions of merit. I have no use for your idiosyncratic designations. What is important to me belongs to me.

The day is coming when people of intellectual authenticity will tear down the fictional worlds of limited men. Men who have prevented mountains of potential from being realized.

Men whose attempt to purify our world through their enlightenment have only contaminated what makes us human.



Sean McClure

Founder Kedion, Ph.D. Computational Chem, builds AI software, studies complexity, host of NonTrivial podcast.