A friend is mystified by Brexit and, even more so, by the certainty with which various people hold their opinions on it. “I don’t understand myself,” he writes. “How in the world do people hold neat, coherent worldviews?” It occurs to me that they don’t. Or at least that I don’t, despite my best efforts. I think the way a distracted person rearranges a room: tidy up this corner, try to establish some sort of harmony between these bits of furniture, take a break, go to the bathroom, start on another corner, repeat, realize only hours or months later that you’ve built several little islands of consistency that belong to totally incompatible floor plans. And then you do it again. And that’s intellectual life. Is it different for other people? How?

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