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View Diary: Is Obama a "Foreigner?" (24 comments)

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  •  I don't think the need for the other has anything (1+ / 0-)
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    to do with the other. Some people, perhaps because they have little self-awareness need someone to contrast with to have some idea of what the are -- or rather what they are not.
    The Party of No is full of people who define themselves in negative terms. For example, they might say to themselves or think, "I am a boy because I am not a girl."  Or, "I am white because I am not black." "I am a human being because I am not an ape or a tiger or a cat."
    Their world has to be binary for them to have some idea of themselves. Thus, when there are more than two alternatives, they find that very upsetting.
    Indeed, anything that doesn't mesh with their preconceived notions is upsetting. I was queried endlessly about the fact that I had dark brown hair and blue eyes. People with brown hair are supposed to have brown eyes and people with blue eyes are supposed to be blond.

    Sesame Street has that segment about "one of these things is not like the others." Note the plural. The Cons hate Sesame Street for a reason. The things it teaches are confusing to them.
    The importance about black/white thinking isn't the colors, but the pairing. The world comes in twos. It's obviously an ancient way of thinking. After all, Noah's animals all came two by two.

    Self-centered people are all about themselves, but, I suspect, they aren't aware. They have no self-direction, but rather all their actions are responsive to external prompts. They are "responsible persons" -- i.e. persons who are able to respond. The only choice they have is not to respond to the prompt and obstruct.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 02:25:30 PM PST

    •  Black-and-white thinking (1+ / 0-)
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      Critical thinking and the rules of formal and informal logic are skills that must be taught and practiced assiduously.  We are not born as logical thinkers.  

      One of the most common logical fallacies goes under several names, "black-and-white,", "either/or," "two-valued Aristotelian logic," "Manichean thinking," and others.  In logic it is often referred to as related to the Fallacy of the Excluded Middle, where people take the intellectually easy way out by categorizing everything into two opposing categories - pure good vs pure evil,  "you're either with us or against us," in Bush's famous words.  There are virtually always not only shades of gray between the two extremes, but also alternatives that are related to neither of the absolutes.  

      But, to consider the world in this more nuanced way takes abilities in logic and reasoning, and the willingness to burn up a bit of glucose forcing your cerebral cortex to do some actual work.

      The point about self-centered people opens up an entirely different Pandora's Box in that this self-absorption is sometimes an indicator of lurking psychopathy/sociopathy.  The experts in this field estimate that the percentage of sociopaths (a less emotionally freighted word than "psychopaths") is between 1 in 100 and 1 in 25.  For the great majority of them who possess sufficient intelligence and are not filled with violent tendencies, they tend to be over-represented at the top of power pyramids, like corporate executive offices or political parties.  But, that's a subject for another time, methinks.

      "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." --Frederic Bastiat, French writer and economist, 1850

      by Beartooth Bronsky on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 03:20:42 PM PST

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