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View Diary: How to Keep Your Balance When There’s No Place to Stand and Nothing to Hold On To (6 comments)

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  •  question reality >> question authority. (3+ / 0-)

    Questioning the "consensus reality" is the fastest route toward questioning the established authority.  

    For me the route was originally via questioning the moral and ethical assumptions of the culture, from the perspective of a combination of a clear grasp of my own moral sensibilities, and a strong sense of consistency, and parents who raised me to think for myself.  This stuff came up first at a ridiculously young age, but it would not surprise me if it did likewise for many others.

    The place where I started questioning the consensus reality itself is still to this day taboo in the dominant culture, even (and in some cases "especially") among people who are dedicated to scientific rationalism.  Few mental fetters are quite so confining as "prior plausibility," aka "a-priori thinking," aka "it can't exist, therefore it doesn't exist."  But when observations contradict theory, the thing to do is chuck the theory and keep observing.  This also came up at a ridiculously young age, and I was able to observe it do so for others, and the way they responded to the re-imposition of consensus reality on their thinking.  

    How it is that we ever make progress against the inertia of established ideas, should be the central focus of the study of history, rather than the endless tales of conquest and domination and exploitation that seem to pass as the skeleton upon which the body of human history is built.  

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 08:06:27 AM PDT

    •  "How it is that we ever make progress …? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, Joy of Fishes

      "How it is that we ever make progress against the inertia of established ideas" would make a good book title. And the examples of where and how this occurred would be informative and inspiring to would-be consensus busters.

      Continue the conversation at http://www.breakingranks.net

      by Robert Fuller on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 09:46:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  shorter version, "Progress against inertia." (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joy of Fishes

        There is something to be said for healthy skepticism, thoughtful conservatism, and respect for traditions.  But not to the extent of denying the reality of observables or their logical implications, and not as a rationalization for the will to power that is the usual cause.  

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 02:59:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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