Feb. 21st, 2010

eosin: (Default)
I've got a number of friends, online and IRL, who fall into the category of 'loveable ditz'. That is to say, they are good-hearted people who blindly follow an extreme ideology, because they substitute good intentions for critical thinking skills. No, this isn't limited to a single ideology, and this does not include people who actually think about the real-world consequences of decisions. It's the people who intentionally limit their circle of friends and media sources so as not to have any uncomfortable cognitive dissonance. But hey, they mean well. :/

They can be quite annoying, although the really loveable ones work tirelessly for the benefit a certain group of people or cause, so one is left with the bittersweet combination of seeing almost saintlike dedication along with the horrifying knowledge of what results from their efforts. This means that sometimes one can chuckle when they spin their wheels at some truly useless endeavor, but that quickly turns to disrespect and disgust when they have some power and try to produce either some totalitarian horror from the past, or else the chaos and resulting misery of real anarchy. Rational people will avoid either of those two situations.

I'm actually subscribed to some left-wing, right-wing, and libertarian mailing lists, so I can see what's going on, and get a more nuanced perspective on important current issues. This has brought a lot of clarity, although some logical conclusions will probably scare the piss out of some people if they heard just blunt summaries. Good decisions require rational thought and the discipline to follow through with a plan. How to prevent getting stuck in an ideology? Listen to counter arguments; it will either point out mistakes which can be addressed, or it will reinforce what you already know, thus sharpening your arguments either way. This will help avoid the 'McGovern' syndrome. When McGovern lost in a landslide for Nixon in 1972, many journalists said out loud "I don't understand it--everyone I know voted for McGovern." They were right, as they were so limited in social and media circles that they lost touch with everyone else who thought differently.

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eosin: (Default)
The Pedantic Swordsman

March 2013

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