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Leo
16-07-2010, 06:00 PM
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/11/how_facts_backfire/?page=1

both interesting and a little scary, seems to explain a lot about the current political debate in the US.

edit: probably should have posted this in the "politics" forum, oops. mods, feel free to move it if you want.

IdleRich
17-07-2010, 03:03 PM
Interesting stuff. Kind oonfirms some of what I've seen though. I was gonna say that the important thing is to learn how to process facts rather than learn facts themselves - so education is still key - but later on it kind of debunks that as well.

Sick Boy
20-07-2010, 04:31 PM
This phenomenon is a really big problem in Western society right now it seems, especially with people my age. It seems that, for a lot of people, to admit to being wrong has such catastrophic impacts on their idea of selfhood and often entails such enormous amounts of responsibility and changes in lifestyle (or even social groups!) that delusion is a much more preferable option. The world goes on exactly as it was before that way, and I think people will jump through infinite numbers of psychic hoops to keep it that way. American society in particular makes it very easy for you to do this.

Sick Boy
20-07-2010, 04:35 PM
In fact it makes me wonder how much longer people living in the West can go on feeling depressed, lonely and anxious and refusing to address the issue until the economy truly crashes because no one will get out of bed to go to work anymore.

rubberdingyrapids
20-07-2010, 04:57 PM
hmm ive been wondering about how people seem so obsessed with appearing ultra confident all the time. its some new ingrained kind of aggressive self assertion thing, esp with younger people just out of uni. they have this kind of fearne cottonised 'YOU WILL NEVER SEE ME EXPRESS OR EVEN HINT AT SELF DOUBT!' way about them.

or perhaps i just need to learn how to see through it more.

^see, a bit of self doubt.

Leo
20-07-2010, 09:07 PM
in the states, it's a lot of middle-aged people. it's the fox news/tea party demographic, suburban/rural white folks who can't come to grips with reality, whose lifelong sense of entitlement is suddenly threatened by a changing world: lost retirement savings due to market crash, scary immigrants moving in on "real americans", technology causing their jobs to disappear, satan-loving liberal democrats in control...and let's not forget, a black president who wasn't born here and is trying to destroy the country! (obviously, i'm being sarcastic here...)

when you are scared and mad, it's hard to admit you might be wrong. but to be honest, i know some hardcore liberals who are the same way on the left.

Sick Boy
20-07-2010, 09:37 PM
A few weeks ago, I went out to protest my government spending over a billion dollars on the G20 summit in my city, needlessly locking down half of the downtown core and searching and arresting without warrant close to 1000 people for days and then releasing them without charges. When I mentioned this publicly to some art-school kids of all people - kids my own age who consider themselves liberal or whatever - they got furious at us and told us that we lost our rights the minute we left our houses!* This is not only just demonstrably false, but also not what you'd expect from a group of society who in past generations were considered to be counter-culture. I was gobsmacked.

The thing is though that it is hard to give a shit when you're the type of person who up until that point had been getting by perfectly fine convincing everybody that you are who you are by what you say and not what you do. When you confront them with a scenario where they are no longer able to do this, it means a lot less X-box and a lot less getting drunk with friends and the reactions can get hostile, to say the least.

* Ironically, they actually called us "hippies." Not even kidding.

Sick Boy
20-07-2010, 09:48 PM
The difference between the older and younger generation is that the younger generation are convinced that Fun is their primary right and is the most certain path to leading a good life. That's how they can simultaneously bemoan the 9-to-5 capitalist culture of the cities and countries they live in while indiscriminately rejecting anything that isn't Fun - things that obviously often include civic and global responsibility, community building and developing a healthy sense of self.

So gay rights? Sounds good to us.
Defending gay rights? Not our problem.

baboon2004
21-07-2010, 10:46 AM
This phenomenon is a really big problem in Western society right now it seems, especially with people my age. It seems that, for a lot of people, to admit to being wrong has such catastrophic impacts on their idea of selfhood and often entails such enormous amounts of responsibility and changes in lifestyle (or even social groups!) that delusion is a much more preferable option. The world goes on exactly as it was before that way, and I think people will jump through infinite numbers of psychic hoops to keep it that way. American society in particular makes it very easy for you to do this.

Right on (the threat to selfhood and personal constructs) but it's always been that way. Being wrong is such a threat to most people's self-esteem. Definitely in my case, and I'm trying gradually to get over it, by engaging in debate in a more open way, and not succumbing to ego-saturated argument. Def. a slow process though.

As for (self)delusion, this man is your go-to on that :

http://www.loyno.edu/~kchopin/new/related/images/freud2.jpg

baboon2004
21-07-2010, 10:55 AM
The difference between the older and younger generation is that the younger generation are convinced that Fun is their primary right and is the most certain path to leading a good life. That's how they can simultaneously bemoan the 9-to-5 capitalist culture of the cities and countries they live in while indiscriminately rejecting anything that isn't Fun - things that obviously often include civic and global responsibility, community building and developing a healthy sense of self.

So gay rights? Sounds good to us.
Defending gay rights? Not our problem.

This is on the money too - the idea that fun (as flight from one's own consciousness) is always preferable to actually inhabiting your own consciousness, and, as you say, developing a healthy sense of self, is such a damaging idea ultimately, cos people go on ignoring themselves.

On a slight tangent (but fitting in with the idea of community building as opposed to Fun) , I had a really weird experience this past weekend, seeing Peter Hook do the Unknown Pleasures retrospective. Astonishing gig, but whereas int he past I would have felt really connected to a crowd all enjoying the same thing at the same time, I instead felt this really acute sense of being very separate from the crowd...I suppose seeing through this illusion that this represented some kind of community, rather than just lots of people having fun in the same place at the same time, with nothing having changed afterwards. Really quite a heavy feeling, although the gig itself was glorious.

paolo
22-07-2010, 08:47 AM
This phenomenon is a really big problem in Western society right now it seems, especially with people my age. It seems that, for a lot of people, to admit to being wrong has such catastrophic impacts on their idea of selfhood and often entails such enormous amounts of responsibility and changes in lifestyle (or even social groups!) that delusion is a much more preferable option. The world goes on exactly as it was before that way, and I think people will jump through infinite numbers of psychic hoops to keep it that way. American society in particular makes it very easy for you to do this.

There are plenty of people like this but I'm not sure that I agree entirely. People do change their minds, popular attitudes change over time

Mr. Tea
22-07-2010, 10:20 AM
I instead felt this really acute sense of being very separate from the crowd...I suppose seeing through this illusion that this represented some kind of community, rather than just lots of people having fun in the same place at the same time, with nothing having changed afterwards. Really quite a heavy feeling, although the gig itself was glorious.

That does sound pretty heavy...like "R.I.P. Ecstasy, 1988-2010" or something.

baboon2004
22-07-2010, 01:35 PM
That does sound pretty heavy...like "R.I.P. Ecstasy, 1988-2010" or something.

Yeah, a suspension of illusion, I guess. Frightening, but at the same time, true.

massrock
22-07-2010, 01:50 PM
I wonder if that isn't something that is likely to be particularly noticeable with these back in the day type gigs or with bands reforming. Something to do with expectations of wanting the event to celebrate or confirm personal ownership of a memory. I dunno, something like that.