When i was very young, like in kindergarten, it would sometimes pass that i would say something to someone, and she would disagree with me, and she would be totally mistaken, and i would have nothing at all at stake, no reason whatsoever to convince her of anything. Of course this always gets framed in terms of who is right and who is wrong. And i would see that the person was not really worried about understanding me, she just wanted to beat me.
My reaction was always something like: “All right, you can think so now, but i am totally sure that ten years from now you’ll think exactly as i do now.”
Sadly, in my 30s, i realize that when it happens now people will literally die without ever coming around to see their errors. And it’s really sad that in no conceivable perspective they are right, they just are not interested at all in being reasonable.
There is a lot that i could add, and in many ways this whole blog was an attempt to do it, but… It does not help.
It is just sad.
If you start paying too much attention to people, if you dive one layer beyond what they say into what kinds of possible thoughts might lead then into saying it, you’ll at some point begin to notice, or maybe feel in your gut, the moment they find a category for you, the time they mentally put you in a box. Read More »
Have you made your mind about whether false dichotomies are a pain or not? (Maybe this will make more sense after reading the referred post). The exercise consists in:
- Find a reliable dichotomy, one that is not false, one in which you really believe. If this sounds confusing, check in a dictionary the definition of “dichotomy”.
- Prepare a complete and exhaustive defence for this dichotomy. This defence should at least contain the following:
- an account of the inexistence of borderline cases;
- a plausible theory about why borderline cases are impossible, both in concrete existence and in conjectural terms;
- a clear and usable method by which we can safely split any case of one or the other poles of the dichotomy, so that we never incur the risk of having both mixed, either in time or in circumstance (that is, a guarantee that a positive case can’t turn negative neither with the passing of time nor with the change of context);
- an analysis of the reasons why aplying such dichotomy is relevant and important most of the time, or at least in a set of circumstances so rich and common that we can’t dismiss the dichotomy as a mere special case or as an exception;
- reasons to believe that this dichotomy was already effective in history, both short and long terms;
- reasons to believe that dichotomy will not lose validity even despite the vast changes the contemporary world is undergoing;
- concrete proof that the dichotomy could not be made less granular, that is to say, that the dichotomy is not a trichotomy or even a more (or much more) complex type-system which we take as a dichotomy for pure lack of deepness of analysis.
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Do you think our lives are overtaken by false dichotomies? Do you think false dichotomies bog us down? Like:
- rational VS emotional
- left VS right
- functional VS aesthetic
- theory VS practice
- winners VS losers
- love VS war
- honesty VS corruption
- loyal VS promiscuous
- and (boooringly) so on and so forth…
Because, you know, i most definitely DO THINK FALSE DICHOTOMIES ARE A PAIN there. Yes, there.
But, by all means, make your own mind. (Which is to say: right now i am feeling too lazy to argue about that…)