I was so sure that I was right. It turned out that I was wrong. But after finding this out, I was able to get on the road to rightness.
What got me facing in the right direction was doubt. Thank you, doubt! If it weren't for you, I'd have headed in the wrong direction for quite a bit longer.
I'm not talking about a religious belief, though I could be.
The lesson I learned last week is universal: don't be completely, absolutely, 100% sure about anything. Even when we're super confident that we're correct, it's important to leave open the door of doubt. Truth of which we're unaware might be on the other side.
My wife, Laurel, was trying to add TrafficLive to the Navigon GPS app on her iPhone.
She was heading from Salem to Gig Harbor, Washington to pick up a rescue dog that we were going to adopt. This would take her through Tacoma. Laurel wanted a way to tell if there were major traffic problems on the unfamiliar big city freeways she'd be traveling on.
Every time we tried to purchase this add-on from inside the app, we got a message saying that Navigon needed to be purchased before TrafficLive could be bought.
But Laurel obviously had already purchased Navigon for her iPhone, or we wouldn't be trying to buy TrafficLive via a Navigon "extras" option. So I entered into my righteous indignation mood after Laurel left for Gig Harbor, TrafficLive'less.
I emailed Navigon customer support about our problem. Soon a reply arrived from Germany, where Navigon is headquartered.
Dear Valued NAVIGON Customer
Thank you for your inquiry. This error often shows up if you use a different iTunes ID to buy in-app content instead using the one which you bought the NAVIGON app. Please make sure that you use the same ID.
That message only fueled my righteous indignation. Those fools, those idiots at Navigon! This crappy response was all they could come up with??!! I knew, for sure, that my wife had always used the same iTunes username.
I began composing an irritated reply. However, thankfully I had enough critical thinking neurons still working in my brain to say "almost completely sure" and "virtually 100% certain" rather than simply "sure" and "certain."
The same iTunes ID was used. I'm almost completely sure of this, because my wife's Navigon app was purchased via her iPhone, and she hasn't changed her iTunes ID since she started using Apple products. Do you have another suggestion for buying the TrafficLive option? I've thought about uninstalling the Navigon app and then reinstalling it, but am concerned this wouldn't work.
Again, I'm virtually 100% certain that my wife used the same iTunes ID to buy the core Navigon app, as to attempt her buy of the in-app TrafficLive.
Perhaps my adding those qualifying words helped prime my brain for what happened next. Almost immediately after I pressed the send button which flashed my reply to Navigon, a seed of doubt began sprouting in my psyche.
Suddenly I wasn't so sure. No longer was I "almost completely" sure, or "virtually 100%" certain. I didn't know why I felt that way. But some mental urging was pushing me to dig deeper into my wife's iTunes account.
Doubt was doing its thing.
No longer was I supremely confident that a Navigon glitch was at fault here. Indeed, it turned out that customer support was completely correct. I found that my wife had two iTunes usernames, each with the same password.
When I logged out of one iTunes account on her iPhone, and logged into the other account, I had no problem purchasing TrafficLive. Time for another message to Navigon.
Oops. i'm glad I said "almost completely sure" and "virtually 100% certain."
I did some more thinking, and checked my wife's iTunes account. After upgrading the operating system, I saw that she now had a me.com email address. When I changed it back to her gmail.com address, and logged into the old gmail iTunes account, I was able to purchase TrafficLive.
I was wrong. You were right. Thanks for the advice.
I've told this story partly because I want to make sure that the lesson of it is burned as deeply as possible into the operating system of my own brain:
Always leave room for doubt. Never be absolutely certain. Even when every fiber of your being is screaming, "I'm right," keep "I could be wrong" alive in a corner of your mind.
This is how science operates. Every theory, no matter how well founded, is viewed as falsifiable. The probability of such happening might be very small. But it isn't zero.
By contrast, religions encourage followers to have unwavering faith in the teachings, even when evidence is lacking; to suppress doubts about dogma, even when skepticism is justified; to persevere on a delineated spiritual path, even when roadblocks, pitfalls, and dead ends are evident.
Doubt is good. Certainty is bad. I'm almost 100% sure of this.