Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
An invite to Sol Beach,supported by our hometown crew members and for funky leucadians who are ready for utility biking:
The 1st Annual Velo Hangar/Alternabike Taco Social
Share · Public Event
Sunday, August 28 · 3:00pm - 9:00pm
637 Valley Avenue #C
Solana Beach, CA
If you've been in witness protection for the past 9 months & don't know current events... Velo Hangar & Alternabike have joined forces to create San Diego's 1st no nonsense bike shop. Service based (Customer & Repair), we will be carrying parts and accessories as well as nutrition. VH logoed product will be available shortly as well. We have espresso & wifi available to our guests & a spacious back patio to relax on before/during & after your rides. AlternaBike is importing Euro cargo bikes from Denmark & Holland plus a few from the good ole USA.
There have been rumors of a cargo bike TT as well... Bring your helmets. We will be providing Tacos from Rudy's Taco Shop & an assortment of beverages. I'll post more specifics as we get closer to the day.
Hope to see everyone there!!
**Parking is a little tricky but, doable. We have several reserved spaces on the property. You can also park at the La Colonia County Park just down the block. You can also park on Genevieve, Juanita & Vera Streets
Friday, August 26, 2011
For more info, http://www.madresfiesta.org/. Hosted by one of those pesky Leucadians.
City Ventures and KPRI are having a little concert tomorrow at noon.
From the inbox:
RSF organized as a big fat HOA and even has lots of employees and a big process for approving developments. They even have an design review board.
The Art Jury in Rancho Santa Fe, to this day, still reviews every proposed development or significant change in a property and gives its approval or not.This high rent low density area of the county is where people who can live just about anywhere choose to opt into.
A decision by the Art Jury was once challenged by a homeowner who was unsuccessful in his litigation.
“The court ruled that beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” Smith said.
The eye that decides the beauty belongs to the community and the Art Jury, the court decided.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
The entire council voted for the belly dancer.
Jacobson's appointment has been criticized because she did not have the professional experience that other applicants offered. A related viewpoint was published in the coast news (it provides the candidate's applications).
More important than creating a panel of experts is to create a panel of citizen representatives that are very interested and willing and able to do the research and joint deliberation. We are suppose to have a staff to help provide support on technical details and we have a populace that can bring ideas to the commission. The commissions should be reflective of population to some degree. That means the board shouldn't consist of professionals from a related field.
Should the planning commission consist of 5 professional developers?
We should be looking to build commissions with people that have different perspectives, who do their homework and are there for the purpose of the commission rather than resume building.
That means the council should also be asking questions like, have you ever contributed to the commission you want to join in the past? Have you attended and spoke at one of the meetings? Can you demonstrate your interest in the subject matter? Can you demonstrate your willingness to do the homework?
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
From the In Box:
Is the Mayor still listening to the Fed? Aging baby boomers may hold down U.S. stock values for the next two decades as they sell their investments to finance retirement, according to a paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
“U.S. equity values have been closely related to demographic trends in the past half century,” adviser Zheng Liu and researcher Mark Spiegel wrote in a paper released by the bank today. “In the context of the impending retirement of baby boomers over the next two decades, this correlation portends poorly for equity values.”
The equity-price-to-earnings ratio of U.S. stocks tripled from 1981 to 2000 as Americans born between 1946 and 1964 reached their peak working ages, Liu and Spiegel said. Overseas investors’ demand for U.S. stocks might help mitigate the effect of a baby-boomers’ sell-off, yet the impact would probably be limited, they said. “Foreign demand for U.S. equities is unlikely to offset price declines resulting from a sell-off by U.S. nationals,”they said.
On top of this from Chris Street:
The three largest California public retiree plans (CalPERS, CalSTRS, and UCRS) that administer pensions of approximately 2.6 million State and Local public current and retired employees have been under tremendous scrutiny since last year’s release of the Stanford University Institute for Public Policy report: “Going For Broke”. The study concluded that California retirement plans liability was under-funded by over $500 billion. The report blamed most of the shortfall on the pension plan’s expectation of future annual investment returns of 7.75%; versus a realistic expectation of a 4.14% annual return. The cabal of California politicians, bureaucrats, and crony consultants that justified granting lucrative benefits to employees while failing to contribute enough to support the true pension costs; solemnly dismissed the Stanford report as unsophisticated reflections by academics. But now that a swarm of local governments want to abandon the floundering retirement trusts; the State plans are only willing to credit a 3.8% expected return. If the California State pension plans adopted the same 3.8% rate they are only willing to credit when participants want to leave; their published $288 billion in pension shortfall would metastasize into an $884 billion California State insolvency.
Translation: The 7.75% ROR that the city allows CalPERS to use is not conservative.
It doesn’t take a Stanford MBA to realize producing consistently high investment returns since 2007 has been a difficult in the extreme. The California State pension plans that currently control $432 billion in assets, suffered a $109.7 billion in losses during the 2008 to 2009 recession. Pension plans normally require employers and their employees to mutually increase contributions to make up pension shortfalls. But public pension plans are notorious for not requiring employees to make significant contribution. California police, prison guards, firemen, and lifeguards can retire at age 50, but have never been required to contribute to fund pensions. With headlines that California plans are in big trouble; many government agencies applied to withdrawal from the State plans. But as calculated below; compounding investments at 7.75% grows to more than three times the amount of compounding investments at a 3.8% rate of return.
Play with the calculator at Chris's site here.
When I was elected as Treasurer of Orange County, California in 2006, I was flabbergasted to discover that the County’s $8 billion of retirement investments was covertly leveraged up by $22 billion of derivatives. I quickly learned that many unions see pension benefits as contracted rights; and pension investing as a no risk crap-shoot for extraordinary returns. If the pension investment returns sky-rocket, the unions will bargain for increased benefits. If the pension investment returns crash; the public employees are protected by rock-solid contract law that prevents any reduction in benefits. In 2007, I was fortunate to gain the support of enough OC Pension Trustees to reduce speculative derivative use by 90%. At the time, Trustees for the California public pension plans solemnly dismissed Orange County as unsophisticated. Shortly thereafter the stock market crashed and the State Pension Trustees stopped making comments.
Once famous as the Golden State for leading the nation in high tech growth industries that provided excellent wages; California is now tarnished for having the second highest unemployment and worst state credit rating in the nation. Forbes recently quoted a top venture capitalist that compared the California business climate to France: “I try not to hire here, and I certainly would not launch a company here. But the wine is good.” Tripling of the burden for under-funded pension liability to almost $1 trillion will probably ruin the taste of California wine for most taxpayers.
Duck Waddle's Emporium
414 N. Coast Hwy. 101, Encinitas, (Leucadia)
One block south of the Pannikin
23' south of Lou's Records
Friday, August 26th 7:00 pm
In Motion Trio, The award winning local jazz combo, will perform this Friday evening, August 26, in the Salon @ The DUCK. The In Motion Trio is an instrumental jazz group that delivers steamy Afro-Beat grooves and an eclectic blend of funk. They received the "Best Jazz Artist" award at the recent 2011 San Diego Music Awards. Doors open at 7:00, show starts at 8:00. Suggested donation $5.00. Please join us Friday night for this magical event. Please arrive early as seating is limited.
Also, get there early to catch opening set from Semisi & FulaBula, San Diego's best and most entertaining Polynesian rock group!!!
Ruthless Hippy at-large
Sunday, August 21, 2011
In more exciting news, there is no sign that ERGA is considering a global warming policy for the golf course. One enviro-golfer had been hoping the course would ban players who arrived via motorized vehicles, including buses, and the course would end the use of motorized golf carts.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
The latest housing proposal for the old Pacific View Elementary School site failed to gain favor Wednesday night with a majority of the Encinitas City Council.
The next battle over the prime coastal property's future is likely to occur in a courtroom, proponents and opponents said after the council's 2-2 vote on a rezoning request, which would have allowed the housing proposal to proceed. The council needed a super majority vote to approve the request.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
There are many who think the structural problem with our economy is just consumer psychology.
Qatar is the worlds most optimistic country and that is why they are super rich!
Ben Bernanke's job description includes using jedi mind tricks aimed at getting consumers to use their credit cards as much as possible. I was totally wrong. I didn't think anyone actually fell for it.
Here is the Mayor talking about the most delicate part of the budget process.
I've not had time to write this up, but I should leave some tracks behind for others to follow.
1. If they had fully vetted (as a serious effort) the assumptions, that stuff, and the stuff the Mayor says they are relying on should be documented. At least it should be referenced. If its there, well I suck. I didn't see it this year and I have exhaustfully searched in previous years.
2. The city projected a relatively snappy sales tax increase for this year. How was that conservative?
3. The city has not always got the projections right (At least our CFO Gaspar should have known that).
4. Just before the peak of housing, the city's assumptions were based on the stated position that home prices would not fall, even though it was a raging bubble, but listening to cheerleaders is easier than doing asset valuation analysis.
5. SANDAG modeling should not be swallowed whole. As a member of ITOC it was within our mandate to review some of their models. I did. SANDAG relied heavily on autoregressive forecast models that were seriously overfit (R2>95%). Those familiar with developing forecast models will not be surprised that the predictions didn't work as well as expected, especially in a time of mechanistic flux.
The city should rely on good mechanistic forecasts, not on the unquestioned authority of others.
6. The city does not use the best guess. They should be. When they do, they should not be basing their budgets on what is expected, but rather what can be counted on with high certainty. The difference is huge. They should also do sensitivity analysis with horizons out to as far as they are carrying current liabilities.
7. The most important projection has ALWAYS been the elephant in the room. It is not sales tax. It is not property tax. It is rate of return that the highly mismanaged CALPERS is providing the city on its pension fund. Get that wrong and it WILL results in layoffs and park closures IN THE FUTURE. It is not something that will be fixable.
I mentioned this and the general response is, well we don't calculate that number. Uhm, but we are the ones on the hook for that liability. It is not a conservative estimate. You can't find an annuity for anything close to CALPERS' "conservative" estimate. It now turns out that even CALPERS thinks their assumptions are too optimistic, but they don't want to change it because of political reasons.
8. As for the roads report. Nobody got in contact with me. Deferred maintenance of streets ends up costing future taxpayers more to repair. The city is underfunding roads maintenance and have done all they can to push that issue off as long as possible. It is not an issue of "perfection" of our streets. It is an issue of the ethical treatment of future residents. If the roads get bumpy... it is already too late.
It was insane that Bond and Maggie would spin the fact of the accumulation of deferred maintenance.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Our friends said it was put in for the new shopping mall and a big subdivision that connects into the intersection on the west. The waits at the intersection would have been too long for the shoppers and the new homes, without changing the intersection. The roundabout worked great. Traffic smoothly transitioned into and out the intersection with only mild acceleration/deceleration. Rarely did you have to stop, but when there were bursts of traffic people did have to stop and wait to go against the dominant flow (myth busted: no stopping with roundabouts). The radius seemed larger than ones in Encinitas. For an intersection with light traffic and with people frequently turning down any of the exits, the round about was the clear winner.
As for being the best for CO2 emissions, roundabouts can not logically be the universal best solution (but, so what, a lot of public policy is based on vehicle miles traveled, not CO2 emitted. Did you know that?). As for the problem of slowing down emergency response, the response looks like it will be hit with only a small new delay when going only one of the four directions. If there were ten roundabouts in a row, and especially if they all had really small radii, that might sum to a delay that shouldn't be dismissed.
I got the following link in my in box while I was on Kauai.
USA Today: Fire Departments and New Urbanies at Odds
Urban villages, quaint and pedestrian-friendly developments embraced by environmentalists, are sparking opposition from fire officials who say the streets are too narrow for their fire engines.
The popularity of such residential complexes sprouting throughout suburbia is forcing a rethinking of street design so the villages can accommodate both emergency responders and a desire for more intimate neighborhoods...
[I've never understood the hope that we will get a small town social dynamic by becoming embedded in a bigger social network. I've never seen the claim backed by data either. Anyone seen it?]
"It's far different than it was 10 years ago because people have actually started talking," says Jim Tidwell, a former chief of the Fort Worth Fire Department and a member of the city's planning commission. "Let's try to find a solution."
U.S. guidelines set by the International Code Council call for 20-foot-wide streets, but individual communities can adopt the codes and regulations they want. Some require 24-foot widths.
In sprawling suburbs where fire stations serve a vast area, departments opt for large trucks that can respond to a variety of calls. Because many suburban subdivisions are closed off by cul-de-sacs and have only one way in and out, firetrucks need wide streets to get their apparatus in and out.
Groups such as the Congress for New Urbanism, a non-profit that promotes the health and environmental benefits of walkable neighborhoods, are turning up the pressure to come up with guidelines that can accommodate urban villages without jeopardizing fire safety.[Moonlight lofts was smart growth/new urbanism. It didn't appear that anyone walked for utility trips or didn't use their auto as a primary means of transport among inhabitants of moonlight lofts. Then there is, Billions have been spent on transit-friendly housing, but it appears people aren't leaving their cars behind.]
"As our streets grew and as our budgets grew, our equipment grew," says Charles Marohn, a Minnesota engineer and one of the founders of the Strong Towns blog, which comments on the financial implications of development. "As cities are forced to contract, we're finding we can't afford the system we've created."
Proponents of narrower streets say they reduce car and pedestrian accidents because traffic slows when streets are not as wide.[Curved and narrow streets doesn't seem to solve the speeding/safety concerns in Cardiff.]
•One of the techniques for creating narrow, calm roadways and still provide emergency access are drivable sidewalks and roll-down curbs, Tidwell says.
"It restricts normal traffic to the width of a lane," he says, but wider vehicles can straddle sidewalks.[The Encinitas FD had spoken publicly about roundabouts having a negative impact on response time. I don't know that there has been an official or justified reversal of their conclusions. Anyone know if they include roundabouts in their response time modeling?]
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
To: City Council Members
From: The Encinitas Ranch Community Association
Date: July 11, 2011
Subject: Encinitas Ranch Development Agreement and
Encinitas Community Facilities District #1 Mello-Roos Taxes
The purpose of this memorandum is to formally request the Encinitas City Council take the following actions with respect to the above mentioned subject:Rescind the Council decision of April 27 regarding the establishment of a new Encinitas Ranch Golf Authority (ERGA) contingency reserve fund. Further, if the council were to reconsider such a fund in later years, it should be undertaken only after all other obligations of ERGA have
1. Fund a comprehensive audit of the operations covered under the Developer Agreement, ERGA and CFD 1 since its inception and including all modifications and extensions.
a. Such an independent auditor to be expert in this area and to be approved by Encinitas Ranch HOA.
b. The terms of such audit to include a full accounting of monies transferred either from the Town Center or the Golf Course to the City, and those amounts of Mello Roos taxes paid as a result of Golf Club or Town Center operations.
c. The audit should also include the economic impact of any non-completed obligations of the developer under the original contract, and the consequences of any failure to pay bond or other obligations on the part of the developer.
2. Revise the composition of ERGA board to include representatives of the homeowners at risk.
Recent Encinitas City Council action has called into question the basic fairness and even handedness of the Encinitas Ranch Development Agreement (“Agreement”). Close scrutiny of the Agreement and its implementation suggests that an economic burden was illegally imposed on the individual home buyers within Community Facilities District No. 1 (“CFD 1”) without their full knowledge and consent.
The 500 homeowners of Encinitas Ranch have just learned how directly and significantly their individual Mello-Roos CFD 1 tax liability is tied to the economic performance of the City’s golf course and the privately owned Encinitas Town Center commercial area.
This revelation came as a complete and total surprise to the Encinitas Ranch homeowners. It is fair to say that it will come as an equal surprise to the other 424 homeowners who together with Encinitas Ranch make up the total 924 homes in CFD No. 1. The facts surrounding this economic link, together with the potential negative financial impact, came to light as a result of City Council action taken on April 27, 2011. Specifically, the City Council, at the request of the Encinitas Ranch Golf Authority (ERGA) and Carltas, approved staff recommendation that allowed the golf course to divert $100,000.00 a year for the next five years from funds that would otherwise be available to pay the golf course’s obligation to pay its annual share of the CFD No. 1 bill, thereby shifting responsibility to pay to the individual homeowners of CFD No. 1.
Irrespective of the fact that the action taken by the City Council on April 27 had a clearly defined potential for direct negative impact on the homeowners of Encinitas Ranch, absolutely no advance notice was given to the homeowners.
The action taken by the City Council on April 27 caused The Encinitas Ranch Community Association Board of Directors to launch an immediate investigation into the underlying circumstances, which of necessity led to a review of the original Encinitas Ranch Development Agreement, which is a document allegedly prepared by the private developer Carltas with apparently little City oversight. The Agreement provided in part for the development of a commercial area known as Encinitas Town Center, which is owned by the developer Carltas and others, and a golf course, which is owned by the City. In conjunction with the development of the golf course, the City created an entity known as Encinitas Ranch Golf Authority (ERGA), which is managed by a City-appointed board and whose sole function is to manage the golf course for the City. The ERGA board consists of five members, three of whom are city employees, one a Carltas employee and a fifth at-large member. There is absolutely no representation by or input from an Encinitas homeowner despite the fact that action taken by the ERGA board can have a direct impact on the financial wellbeing of the homeowners.As part of the Agreement, a Mello-Roos special tax district, CFD 1, was created to provide the funding for the infrastructure and other specified amenities associated with the development. CFD 1 calls for the levying of an annual tax on all property owners in the district, with the exception of the golf course, which is technically not part of CFD 1.
However, pursuant to an Amendment to the Agreement, the golf course is legally obligated to pay a specified share (14%) of the total CFD 1 annual bill. This obligation resulted from the fact that the golf course is a clear and substantial beneficiary of the CFD 1 infrastructure. Also, unknown to the district’s homeowners until this recent investigation is a proviso that the golf course only has to pay its annual obligation to the extent that its revenue exceeds a defined amount. As exemplified by the City Council’s action of April 27, that amount can be manipulated to the homeowner’s detriment by re-defining the terms. The net effect of the April 27 City Council was to create a new layer of expense under the guise of establishing a contingency reserve despite the fact that the golf course already had three separate reserve funds totaling over $800,000.00 and more than adequate insurance coverage in the event of an undefined catastrophic event.
The Encinitas Town Center, which is a privately owned commercial enterprise, is part of CFD 1 and is therefore subject to an annual CFD 1 special tax obligation. The Town Center is a major beneficiary of infrastructure paid for by CFD 1 and should bear a fair share of the cost. However, like the golf course, it appears that the Town Center only has to pay its CFD 1 obligation if its retail sale revenue exceeds a defined amount. If the Town Center has a bad economic year and does not pay its annual bill, the unpaid amount will be passed on to the homeowners.
No such forgiveness provision exists for homeowners. If a homeowner has a bad year, no matter how bad, he/she will be required to pay the bill in full and may even have to pay a pro-rata share of the golf course and/or Town Center obligation. Moreover, it appears that if these entities have a surplus year, the excess may go to the city or private investors, and are not used to mitigate homeowner burden in poorly performing years.
The Agreement requires that each homebuyer be given notice regarding the existence of a special tax district such as CFD 1 and, to the best of our knowledge, which notice was given by each merchant builder. However, absolutely no notice whatsoever was given regarding the fact that what each homebuyer actually paid from year to year was tied to the economic performance of the golf course and the Town Center.
Even the administration of CFD 1 gives reason for concern. The finance manager for the City is also the administrator for CFD 1 and the finance officer for ERGA. The overlapping relationship between the CFD 1 administrator and the finance officer for ERGA would appear to raise a conflict of interest issue from the point of view of CFD 1 homeowners. This conflict presumably wearing all three hats, advised the City Council to approve ERGA’s request to create a new contingency reserve to the financial detriment of the CFD 1 homeowners. Mr. Lembach was unequivocally advocating for the benefit of ERGA.
There appears to be no independent oversight regarding the administration of CFD 1. No governmental agency, entity or individual has that responsibility. The CFD 1 administrator seems to have unfettered discretion, which is of particular concern when one considers the potential for bias based upon the duties of that position.
As part of its investigation into the above discussed matters, the Encinitas Ranch HOA Board looked at and considered the financial performance record of the golf course. Although the golf course is a for profit business, it has realized very little profit over the years and has lost money in recent years. Certainly, the overall economic downturn has had an impact, but there was probably reason for concern before the downturn. Because of the potential for shifting financial burdens resulting from poor economic performance, homeowners in CFD 1 are justifiably concerned about what would happen if the golf course was a complete economic failure and went bankrupt.Would the golf course’s obligation to pay 14% of the annual CFD 1 bill shift entirely to the CFD 1 residential property owners? This question was asked at a recent information meeting attended by City representatives and Encinitas Ranch Community Association representatives. The question was put to Mr. Lembach, and he either didn’t know the answer or
didn’t want to answer because he gave no answer. This is a significant concern to homeowners.
The residential property owners in CFD 1 are entitled to answers. If the answers show that the residential property owners would bear the cost of the golf course and/or retail elements’ failure, this would represent yet another example of lack of notice regarding CFD 1 liability.
Please respond to the Encinitas Ranch Community Association’s request for the actions outlined above within 30 days from the date of this memorandum.
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Thursday, August 04, 2011
Alice Jacobson is widely rumored to still want a seat on the city council. Its just a rumor, but the really really awkward jumps she's been making across city commissions looks more like resume padding than genuine interest and commitment.
Last time Alice ran she trumpted her experience on planning boards/commission and charity work. But did she do a good job on the planning commission? How does the charity work relate to her public policy and public administration positions? If Alice runs she probably will have the city's insiders crowd and money to pump a Gaspar style election. Little grassroots campaign support, mostly people with monetary interest and personal friends. That's just the prediction.
Lisa Shaffer is definitely running. She has been active in a diverse set of public policy issues pertaining to the city. She's published her views and spoken in front of council, most recently asking the city stop spending money trying to keep the roads report secret. Lisa is well known among city watchers and comes across as genuine, because she speaks up and is open about her positions. She says she is strongly motivated to run by the lack of transparency and manipulative way the city council has been operating.
She's got a Phd in public policy and is involved in a sustainability program at UCSD. She's already cleared next summer for campaigning and reduced her work load in the following fall. She knows what she's getting into and is ready to make it happen.
She says she has more time now and wants to use that time to make changes in our community.
Her campaign facebook page reads:
Let's hope this campaign is about public policy and not an ASB popularity contest.
Monday, August 01, 2011
We form our beliefs for a variety of subjective, emotional and psychological reasons in the context of environments created by family, friends, colleagues, culture and society at large. After forming our beliefs, we then defend, justify and rationalize them with a host of intellectual reasons, cogent arguments and rational explanations. Beliefs come first; explanations for beliefs follow. In my new book The Believing Brain (Holt, 2011), I call this process, wherein our perceptions about reality are dependent on the beliefs that we hold about it, belief-dependent realism. Reality exists independent of human minds, but our understanding of it depends on the beliefs we hold at any given time.
Once we form beliefs and make commitments to them, we maintain and reinforce them through a number of powerful cognitive biases that distort our percepts to fit belief concepts. Among them are:
Anchoring Bias. Relying too heavily on one reference anchor or piece of information when making decisions.
Authority Bias. Valuing the opinions of an authority, especially in the evaluation of something we know little about.
Belief Bias. Evaluating the strength of an argument based on the believability of its conclusion.
Confirmation Bias. Seeking and finding confirming evidence in support of already existing beliefs and ignoring or reinterpreting disconfirming evidence.
On top of all these biases, there is the in-group bias, in which we place more value on the beliefs of those whom we perceive to be fellow members of our group and less on the beliefs of those from different groups. This is a result of our evolved tribal brains leading us not only to place such value judgment on beliefs but also to demonize and dismiss them as nonsense or evil, or both.
Belief-dependent realism is driven even deeper by a meta-bias called the bias blind spot, or the tendency to recognize the power of cognitive biases in other people but to be blind to their influence on our own beliefs. Even scientists are not immune, subject to experimenter-expectation bias, or the tendency for observers to notice, select and publish data that agree with their expectations for the outcome of an experiment and to ignore, discard or disbelieve data that do not.
This dependency on belief and its host of psychological biases is why, in science, we have built-in self-correcting machinery. Strict double-blind controls are required, in which neither the subjects nor the experimenters know the conditions during data collection. Collaboration with colleagues is vital. Results are vetted at conferences and in peer-reviewed journals. Research is replicated in other laboratories [maybe]. Disconfirming evidence and contradictory interpretations of data are included in the analysis. If you don’t seek data and arguments against your theory, someone else will, usually with great glee and in a public forum. This is why skepticism is a sine qua non of science, the only escape we have from the belief-dependent realism trap created by our believing brains.
We should embrace processes that challenge each other's beliefs. It can result in better understanding and help shrink our blind spot.
Nobody gets it right all the time. Be wary of leaders who avoid challenges to their positions.
See also: Roots of disagreement.