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BarryAZ
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Message 1349328 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 6:10:47 UTC

Too often I find myself engaged with folks in what I characterize as 0/1 arguments --
on least on their side.

Examples abound --

The Federal budget -- I encounter 'cutting spending for the poor' is the only option.
When I suggest some approach of targeted budget cuts -- including entitlement reform,
cutting the allowed cost of health care, military spending and the like, in conjunction
with tax entitlement reform (sweetheart tax deductions which largely apply to wealthy
Americans and profitable corporations), plus approaches to scoop up offshored corporate
profits, the response is apopletic. You are a socialist or a communist. I find the
response troublesome because it suggests a mindset not only locked into an absolute
0/1 space, but also it reflects a serious lack of critical thinking capability.

Global climate change -- I encounter some 0/1 here. I suggest that global climate
change is a reality and that human activity is at least a component of that change.
The 0/1 response is either that there is no such thing as global climate change, or
if there is, human activity has absolutely nothing to do with it. Again I find the
response troublesome because it suggests a mindset not only locked into an absolute
0/1 space, but also it reflects a serious lack of critical thinking capability.

Gun control -- I encounter a LOT of 0/1 here. I suggest that universal background
checks makes sense. I support weapons for home defense, I support concealed carry
where in order to get a concealed carry permit one needs training and to pass a
screening exam. I suggest that there is no rational need for 30 bullet magazines
or for that matter weapons that can be converted to automatic fire very easily for
home defense. I get told off that I am 'taking their guns away' (manifestly not
true). I am told that folks NEED 30 round magazines for home defense (apparently
because the person defending is a REALLY bad shot). Then I further suggest that
background checks (including screening for mental health issues) and the permitting
process need to be revenue neutral I get no response at all. The reason that latter
approach gets no response is that any screening process, or any magazine capacity
limitation, or any constraint on the power of weapons is simply anathema (0/1).
To me that means if we did get screening (including independent psychological
screening), making that process 'revenue neutral' we'd limit the purchase of
weapons by imposing the cost of the screening on the buyer. Again I find the
response troublesome because it suggests a mindset not only locked into an absolute
0/1 space, but also it reflects a serious lack of critical thinking capability.

Birth control and abortion -- yet another highly emotional 0/1 territory. I can
accept that for some this is a religious and ethical issue. But to me, what I
find unacceptable is the concept of sanctity of life inside the womb matched with
incredible indifference to life outside the womb. Folks in the 'right to life'
right wing are often firmly against issues like medical care for the poor (and
elderly) as a safety net system. Those part of the 'evil' entitlement system.
Again, what strikes me for these sanctity of life in the womb partisans is their
absolute incapability when it comes to connecting the dots regarding life OUTSIDE
the womb. Is critical thinking these days such a rare commodity?

OK -- that is a sample of those issues which trouble me these days. There are
others but it seems to me they are of a piece. They all reflect absolutist 0/1
thinking with a demonstrable inability to demonstrate critical thinking. When,
for these absolutists any of these topics pop up, there is never discussion or
even debate, it is purely argument.

Now I know there are true Republicans and conservatives out there -- these folks
are capable of and utilized critical thinking and actually are inclined to find
common ground. However it seems these days that many of these folks are either
drowned out by the absolutists or are perhaps fearful of being 'outed' as a
person who thinks and discusses and seeks to find common ground, as if that
was an absolute evil.

Message 1349335 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 6:43:40 UTC

Ok. We Get It.

You are The Only One in the room who can Critically Think and find Common Ground.

I'd rather be An Absolutist, than Alone In A Room talking to myself.

The Sounds Of Silence.

Bound For It.
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Message 1349430 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 13:55:34 UTC - in response to Message 1349328.

Now I know there are true Republicans and conservatives out there -- these folks are capable of and utilized critical thinking and actually are inclined to find common ground. However it seems these days that many of these folks are either drowned out by the absolutists or are perhaps fearful of being 'outed' as a person who thinks and discusses and seeks to find common ground, as if that was an absolute evil.

We have entered the era of the gang. Gang think pervades our culture. Us and them are seen as the only way to judge. As one who doesn't herd well, I wonder how so many gave up so much freedom so willingly. But sadly it has happened. Everyone is being told as a news program how to think and force fed a list of talking points. Why are you so willingly a slave to your master?

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Message 1349451 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 15:53:07 UTC - in response to Message 1349430.

Gary -- actually that is a fair question -- why are so many people slaves to an ideology the implications of which they frankly don't understand?

As for me, I've found common ground often enough with folks who self-describe as center-right to know that it is possible.

Then again, when it comes to posting here, it something of a dry well, as my twit filter reduces (thankfully) the number of responses I see ..

You are not on that filtered out list as often enough (except for some occasions when the 'dark side' infiltrates your mood) you are inclined to engage in civil and rational discussion.

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Message 1349461 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 16:24:15 UTC - in response to Message 1349451.

Gary -- actually that is a fair question -- why are so many people slaves to an ideology the implications of which they frankly don't understand?

First it is easy. I'm wondering it that is most of it. No need to have grey matter or use it. No need to did into the dirty details. No need to realize there is another side to be seen. Just sweep the mess, er reality, under the rug.

But that doesn't answer why. Has the educational system we have gotten so bad that independent thought is not only discouraged but prohibited? And by system I don't mean just schools, but am purposefully including the media, especially when used as a substitute babysitter.

I'm getting afraid that I'm seeing thinking patterns being espoused that are identical to the thought processes of the masses before violent dictators seize power.

As for me, I've found common ground often enough with folks who self-describe as center-right to know that it is possible.

Then again, when it comes to posting here, it something of a dry well, as my twit filter reduces (thankfully) the number of responses I see ..

You are not on that filtered out list as often enough (except for some occasions when the 'dark side' infiltrates your mood) you are inclined to engage in civil and rational discussion.

Less likely to go dark when the discussion starts civil and rational.

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Message 1349490 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 17:02:50 UTC

possibly the biggest problem is allowing ourselves to be wrong once in a while. It's quite uplifting to be wrong. You find that being wrong means the world doesn't end and we can move on. Some nonthinkers are so afraid to be wrong and admit it that they convince others to follow their own misguided ideals. I have been wrong plenty of times. I do however contemplate the words of others and rarely make kneejerk reactions. I however am a bit ADD so I can't always write every idea I have coherently as the stream of thoughts moves faster than my hands can
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Message 1349491 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 17:08:38 UTC - in response to Message 1349461.

Gary, regarding the easy part -- yes, I agree there, it seems that brain exercise is something of an acquired taste when simple 0/1 emotive and faith reactionary processes can be so powerful. Also, it may be due to failings in our educational system -- certainly by now we all should be aware of the failings of multiple cycles of social promotion -- first that started in elementary schools, then it moved into middle schools, and then into high schools and now it is apparent in a number of colleges and university. We are now producing college 'graduates' who lack the ability to do critical thinking -- that is not a good thing.

Of course one of the other issues there regarding process (or lack of process) is the vast and ready amount of diversion and distraction (TV from age 1, movies, social networks, etc.) Why actually think and interact with other people when these other options are out there.

Regarding the potential for government take over -- true enough -- if people actually became aware what has gone on with the distribution of wealth (and power) over the past 30 years (there are a lot of reasons for this, not simply a case of a tax system which protects the assets of the very wealthy -- that's one
aspect, but there are clearly others), there is an increased possibility of some real reaction (which I suspect in this country would come from the far better armed extreme right wing than from the largely moribund left wing).


As to your last comment -- I decided to post the original missive here (I've also posted in on FB and on my blog) to see if there were some rational folks who wished to respond -- and you are definitely one of the 'targets' for that discussion.



First it is easy. I'm wondering it that is most of it. No need to have grey matter or use it. No need to did into the dirty details. No need to realize there is another side to be seen. Just sweep the mess, er reality, under the rug.

But that doesn't answer why. Has the educational system we have gotten so bad that independent thought is not only discouraged but prohibited? And by system I don't mean just schools, but am purposefully including the media, especially when used as a substitute babysitter.

I'm getting afraid that I'm seeing thinking patterns being espoused that are identical to the thought processes of the masses before violent dictators seize power.

Message 1349521 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 18:06:58 UTC

It is The Smart Ones, The Educated Ones, The Intelligensia, The Brainiacs, The Aristocracy Of The Mind Ones, who Are To Be Feared/Not Trusted.

The Dummies Amongst US will Always Be on The Losing End with These Highly Educated Ones In Control.

And Said Ones who are Not Inclined to Decimate The Dummies Into Submission, they fill The Halls Of Bureaucracy, Academia, and Other Bastions Of Control and Further Pummel The Dummies with Their Superiority Of Rules, Regs, Laws and General Suffucations Of Spirit and Draining Of Resources.

Give me A Dummy Anyday. One who has learned Right From Wrong, and Other Absolutisms. They also will Take From The Weaker of Mind, Body and Spirit, but on A Personal Level and can be Paid Back In Kind.

What Revenge Can Be Had Against Superior Minds on A Macro Level? None. Voting Is A Joke. Protesting Is A Joke. All The Constitutional Rights Of Assembly and Free Speech Are A Joke.

Education and Critical Thinking has Put The US into This Madness. The Smart Ones use Their Advantage Of Mind against All The So-Called Ones Who Can't Think Critically.

Bound For It.
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Message 1349547 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 18:52:49 UTC

"Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions."
~Gilbert K. Chesterton
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Message 1349562 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 19:19:28 UTC - in response to Message 1349547.

People without their own thoughts use the words of others to make a point.

-me
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Message 1349565 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 19:21:48 UTC

Frequently without looking in the mirror to see if they apply to themselves before using them...
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Message 1349576 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 19:40:09 UTC - in response to Message 1349491.

Yes, it is very easy to be an intolerant ignorant loud mouth fool. Toss in some charismatic preaching style and you have a extremely dangerous person. Once they get followers, that is the precursor condition for the creation of e repressive police state or dictatorship.

Those that preach intolerance should spend a week or two visiting The Museum of Tolerance and see where this kind of thinking leads.

As to education, yes social promotion bears a big part. But it is not the only issue. The "teach to the test" method with the multiple guess tests are also very much at fault. If the measure of success is getting the right check box ticked off, then there is no need for thinking, just a need for strict rigidity, rote memorization and recitation of absolute rules. Something like Jesus Camp.

At least critical thinking still has to be taught in engineering. Classic example being "build a bridge" and hand every student the same bag of parts. There is no right answer but the student must think about every part and how to use it. I wish a similar exercise would be used in the social sciences. Issue a necessary solution and a bag of parts.

Debate class used to fill part of critical thinking and tolerance. Take an issue and make every student argue the other side. Very instructive in making you realize there are two (or more) sides to every issue.

Television has been horrible for our children. It has made the attention span drop from hours to seconds. That will damn us to repeat and repeat the mistakes of our past.

Now friends are on facebook and texting a reply is more important than the person in front of you.

Western civilization is going to collapse and we will be back into the dark ages very soon.

Gary, regarding the easy part -- yes, I agree there, it seems that brain exercise is something of an acquired taste when simple 0/1 emotive and faith reactionary processes can be so powerful. Also, it may be due to failings in our educational system -- certainly by now we all should be aware of the failings of multiple cycles of social promotion -- first that started in elementary schools, then it moved into middle schools, and then into high schools and now it is apparent in a number of colleges and university. We are now producing college 'graduates' who lack the ability to do critical thinking -- that is not a good thing.

Of course one of the other issues there regarding process (or lack of process) is the vast and ready amount of diversion and distraction (TV from age 1, movies, social networks, etc.) Why actually think and interact with other people when these other options are out there.

Regarding the potential for government take over -- true enough -- if people actually became aware what has gone on with the distribution of wealth (and power) over the past 30 years (there are a lot of reasons for this, not simply a case of a tax system which protects the assets of the very wealthy -- that's one
aspect, but there are clearly others), there is an increased possibility of some real reaction (which I suspect in this country would come from the far better armed extreme right wing than from the largely moribund left wing).


First it is easy. I'm wondering it that is most of it. No need to have grey matter or use it. No need to did into the dirty details. No need to realize there is another side to be seen. Just sweep the mess, er reality, under the rug.

But that doesn't answer why. Has the educational system we have gotten so bad that independent thought is not only discouraged but prohibited? And by system I don't mean just schools, but am purposefully including the media, especially when used as a substitute babysitter.

I'm getting afraid that I'm seeing thinking patterns being espoused that are identical to the thought processes of the masses before violent dictators seize power.



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Message 1349602 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 20:32:15 UTC - in response to Message 1349565.

Frequently without looking in the mirror to see if they apply to themselves before using them...

Tried my thoughts. Guess what happened....


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Message 1349613 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 22:05:13 UTC - in response to Message 1349576.

Gary, you and I tend to agree a lot -- even though I characterize myself as 'center-left' and would not assail you with that characterization. <smile>

The thing is, I honestly believe that 'rational' center-right and conservative folks have gone quiet in the face of irrational and reactionary far right folks who believe they have the truth (or are the truth). Absent this group re-engaging in the world, what we may well see is the center-left (and left - which would be relatively quiet during the process) simply egg on the reactionary right wingnuts who dominate the Teapublican Party today.

Tactically, having the ultra-right control the Republican Party via the airwaves and the partisan primary process is quite likely in the best interest of the Democrats.

While that might be a good thing tactically, I think it is something of a bad thing for the country. What we need is a legitimate political dialog (and representation) from governance oriented Republicans and Democrats resulting in finding the critical common ground on various issues. Absent a moderate Republican Party to work with, the Democrats have precious little incentive to avoid their own populist nonsense. Irresponsibility gets institutionalized.

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Message 1349621 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 23:17:39 UTC - in response to Message 1349613.

Gary, you and I tend to agree a lot -- even though I characterize myself as 'center-left' and would not assail you with that characterization. <smile>

Center-orthogonal might be closer to correct <smile>

The thing is, I honestly believe that 'rational' center-right and conservative folks have gone quiet in the face of irrational and reactionary far right folks who believe they have the truth (or are the truth). Absent this group re-engaging in the world, what we may well see is the center-left (and left - which would be relatively quiet during the process) simply egg on the reactionary right wingnuts who dominate the Teapublican Party today.

I think the phrase you are looking for is fascist totalitarian looney-tune wingnut.

Yes I also think that persons such as Reagan who understood that compromise is the only way to govern are afraid to speak up.

Tactically, having the ultra-right control the Republican Party via the airwaves and the partisan primary process is quite likely in the best interest of the Democrats.

While that might be a good thing tactically, I think it is something of a bad thing for the country. What we need is a legitimate political dialog (and representation) from governance oriented Republicans and Democrats resulting in finding the critical common ground on various issues. Absent a moderate Republican Party to work with, the Democrats have precious little incentive to avoid their own populist nonsense. Irresponsibility gets institutionalized.

+1
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Message 1349622 - Posted: 22 Mar 2013, 23:39:21 UTC - in response to Message 1349621.

Now if only you and I could run the country <smile>



I think the phrase you are looking for is fascist totalitarian looney-tune wingnut.

Yes I also think that persons such as Reagan who understood that compromise is the only way to govern are afraid to speak up.



Message 1349635 - Posted: 23 Mar 2013, 0:20:50 UTC

Now if only you and I could run the country

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Message 1349640 - Posted: 23 Mar 2013, 0:54:37 UTC - in response to Message 1349622.

Now if only you and I could run the country <smile>

All we need is some babble mumbo jumbo. They pretty much seem to be in a hypnotic state already.


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Message 1349690 - Posted: 23 Mar 2013, 4:57:00 UTC - in response to Message 1349640.

Right -- there are times I'd say to folks -- 'your meds, double or halve them, the current dose isn't working right' -- but these days, with all the drug company ads infecting TV, I'd just say halve them as folks are way past optimum.




All we need is some babble mumbo jumbo. They pretty much seem to be in a hypnotic state already.


Message 1349844 - Posted: 23 Mar 2013, 17:49:25 UTC

Right -- there are times I'd say to folks -- 'your meds, double or halve them, the current dose isn't working right' -- but these days, with all the drug company ads infecting TV, I'd just say halve them as folks are way past optimum.


Yep. Only You and A Few Other Premium Super Duper Grade A Critically Thinking UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CITIZENS have GOT IT ALL TOGETHER.

Yep.

Folks. Our New Prez Is Here. Who'd A Thunk.

Got Birth Certificates? Good. Welcome To The Election Season. The Super PACs are drooling.

Bound For It.
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