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Two wars.  Our economy in crisis.  Yet in many working class neighborhoods you still see McCain/Palin signs in yards or windows.  Don't they get it?  Change is happening.  Change is necessary.  They must be stupid to resist changes that will help their own lives, right?  Or maybe they're just human beings.  It turns out we all tend to resist change more often than we realize.  And not because we're stupid.

This week, Morning Feature focuses on change.  Today we'll explore why we're often resistant to change.  Tomorrow we'll discuss risk and how it shapes our society.  Thursday we'll look at the institution of law, and how it functions as "common wealth," to limit and predict change and to distribute risk.  Friday we'll look at how energy constraints may change the mathematics of economies of scale, and how those changes might affect our lives.

More below the fold....

Only the Stupid Resist Change?

One common biological definition of intelligence is "the ability to comprehend and profit from experience."  More broadly , as I was taught it, intelligence is the ability to change behavior in adapting to stimuli or to changed conditions.  To bump into a wall once does not suggest a lack of intelligence; it may be merely a lack of attention.  But to bump into the same wall repeatedly, when it's clear the wall is still there ... suggests something else.

And we see that divergence often on politics.  Progressives, as the word itself suggests, tend to favor political and social change.  Conservatives, as the word itself suggests, tend to resist political and social change.  Does that mean progressives are smart and conservatives are stupid?  Given our nation's turbulent circumstances - with two wars and our economy in peril - don't you have to be stupid to resist change?

Well, not exactly.  It turns out that most of us resist change, most of the time.  And our reasons aren't stupid at all.

We are a pattern-dependent species.

We may chuckle when someone sees the face of Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich, but we shouldn't be surprised.  It's a cognitive function known as pareidolia, our capacity to discern familiar patterns in vague or random stimuli.  Some say we are a pattern-recognizing species, while others - pointing to examples like the face of Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich - say we're a pattern-creating species.

I prefer to classify us as a pattern-dependent species.  We see patterns all around us - in sights and sounds and other stimuli, in our own and others' behaviors, in causes and effects - whether the patterns are "really there" or whether they're simply random noise.  We see them because we need to experience our world in patterns and not merely as chaotic, undifferentiated messiness.

We need those patterns because the reliable ones allow us to predict outcomes, at least to some extent.  We also need those patterns because recognizing that something is out-of-pattern cues us to pay much closer attention.  Out-of-pattern experiences often signify danger, and we couldn't recognize that cue - the out-of-pattern-ness - if we had no pattern against which to test it.

Indeed, empirical science is all about proposing and testing patterns of experience.  Given conditions C and event E, we should see result R.  If that hypothesis holds up in experience - often but not always controlled tests with defined protocols - science says we can rely on that pattern of experience and use those predictions to make better decisions.

Less change is often better.

Imagine walking into your kitchen to find that all of the cupboards have been rearranged while you were out.  The plates are where the pots and pans used to be.  The pots and pans are where the bowls were.  The bowls are where you kept the glasses.  The glasses are where the plates were.  Cooking implements are where the silverware used to be, and the stuff from the junk drawer - those handy-dandy-don't-work-worth-a-damn things you ordered from late-night TV - is where the cooking implements were.  As for the silverware ... it's been divided among three drawers, one of which used to hold the spare batteries.  Who knows where those went.

At the very least, it's a recipe for frustration.  At Casa Crissie, it would definitely be a precursor to some very out-of-pattern behaviors involving loud noises and four-letter words.  When I'm cooking, I don't want to spend time looking for something I use every day.  I want it to be where I expect it to be.  Change that at your own risk.

While your kitchen pattern may differ from mine, I'll bet you have one and that you're as protective of yours as I am of mine.  It's a matter of cognitive convenience.

Repetition enables reliability.

In his book Thinking Points, linguist George Lakoff explores the emerging science of cognitive frames.  These seem to be biological structures, linked bundles of neurons that encapsulate patterns of analysis.  Our "thinking" seems to consist first of frame selection and then frame execution: first we find a "best match" frame for the stimuli our sense organs are sending to our brains, and then we apply the narratives and strategies of that frame to construct experience from and of those stimuli, to estimate causes and effects, predict outcomes, and respond.

Much of that happens invisibly, in the sense that we're not consciously aware of selecting a frame, nor usually of walking step-by-step through the execution of that frame.  Indeed, the science suggests that we can't be consciously aware of a stimulus until we have first assigned it to a frame.  Frame selection is a pre-conscious act, and an error in frame selection - choosing an ill-fitting frame - skews the rest of the process.  We're "thinking about" a telephone as if it were an apple.

But merely having and selecting the best-fitting frame is not enough.  The more complex the frame's narratives and strategies, the greater the chances of errors in frame execution.  We may be "thinking about" the telephone as a telephone yet push the wrong sequence of buttons because we've never tried to use that particular function before, or we use it so rarely that it remains unfamiliar.  To get past that, we have to shift out of invisible thinking and into visible thinking: working step-by-step through the narrative, testing strategies, to find a solution.

And there are huge cognitive advantages to invisible thinking.  We can do a lot of invisible thinking at once, in the background, while our visible thinking is focused elsewhere.  I'd have to sit down and visibly work out how to describe the act of tying my shoes, but with invisible thinking I can perform the act of tying my shoes while I'm talking to Herself about the grocery list.

So we generally prefer cognitive frames that are general and simple.  General frames apply to more kinds of situations, and thus reduce errors of frame selection.  Simple frames require less analysis, and thus reduce errors of frame execution.  Like tying our shoes, repetition enables reliability.

Most of all, we prefer frames that are familiar over those that are novel.  We're used to selecting among the frames we have, and we have to learn from experience when to select new ones.  And we're used to executing the frames we use most often; force us to adopt an unfamiliar frame, and we have to switch from invisible to visible thinking, and even then we're prone to make more mistakes.

Conservatism creates comfortable constants.

Turn on Rush Limbaugh, on any given day, and you know what you'll hear.  If everything else in your life is turbulent, if it seems as if the world is spinning into uncontrolled chaos, Rush Limbaugh will cast all of that turbulence and chaos into the same, familiar frames, with narratives and strategies you've used time and time again.  He won't confuse you with some novel analysis, or ask you to consider a problem from a different perspective.  He won't challenge your basic worldview.  He'll tell you your frames are right and it's the world that's wrong.

Of course, that doesn't make the world fit your frames.  But it does let you leave political and social issues on auto-pilot, to be processed with invisible thinking.  That leaves your brain free to focus on what's right in front of you: getting to work and doing your job (if you still have a job), feeding the kids, and the other day-to-day stuff of life.  If it sounds as if Rush and his callers are playing a continuous loop of the same ideas day after day, regardless of what's happening in the world, that's because they are.  They're applying the same, general frames in the same, simple ways ... and reaching the same responses.

And we all do that.  So long as our familiar frames seem to work well enough, we stick with them.  Even when they stop working well enough, we tend to stick with them until and unless we have to change, because life experience has taught us that learning and using new frames makes us more likely to commit errors of frame selection and execution.  It's not much different from walking into the rearranged kitchen and having to search for the plates, pots, bowls, glasses, and silverware.

And we still haven't found those batteries.

Happy Tuesday!

Originally posted to NCrissieB on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 04:03 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for understanding change :) (149+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skybluewater, Terri, JillR, Chi, Trendar, PeterHug, RunawayRose, DebtorsPrison, freelunch, marjo, Matilda, anotherCt Dem, MD patriot, RabidNation, mkfarkus, evelette, bustacap, wader, slackjawedlackey, Janet Strange, grannyhelen, niteskolar, riverlover, exlrrp, zerelda, ScienceMom, bibble, Marc in KS, dakrle, murrayewv, ebbinflo, rapala, chumley, radarlady, NoMoreLies, Nadnerb in NC, deepfish, JanetT in MD, PBen, EJP in Maine, NLinStPaul, Inland, brenda, noemie maxwell, The Raven, BlueNarwhal, pico, Orinoco, duckhunter, Catesby, mango, tecampbell, nonnie9999, SadieSue, real world chick, bleeding heart, MarciaJ720, myrealname, profh, DanC, ms badger, Pandoras Box, DBunn, One Pissed Off Liberal, JFinNe, linkage, karmsy, edsbrooklyn, Jimdotz, bnasley, cyncynical, mudslide, GeorgeXVIII, Empower Ink, MKinTN, GANJA, Ms Citizen, Panurge, Rick Winrod, pamelabrown, MsWings, WoodlandsPerson, mofembot, mommaK, winterbanyan, luckylizard, get the red out, BlueStateRedhead, xysea, MinervainNH, BYw, Athenocles, Issek, dont think, Piaffe, jedley, 1BQ, cybrestrike, loftT, rsmpdx, litoralis, snackdoodle, cantelow, maryabein, pylonsound, mrchumchum, guyeda, elropsych, mdmslle, Shuruq, fernan47, Words In Action, swaminathan, Latex Solar Beef, robertacker13, amk for obama, Hamsun, chrome327, atxcats, ATFILLINOIS, NY brit expat, elginblt, Anne933, AJ in Camden, NYWheeler, j b norton, sharonsz, eyesonly, pateTX, boomonkey, addisnana, dclarke, Anne was here, Hawaiian, theKgirls, gobears2000, Colorado is the Shiznit, Sarah Pawlenty, I love OCD, Olon, FarWestGirl, lovespaper, gfields1026, bamabikeguy, merrily1000, whoknu, Edgewater, wide eyed lib, cherish0708

    We need to change, but we also need to understand why we often resist change.  Merely dismissing those who resist change as "stupid" misses an important point: most of us resist change as often as we can.  We're not stupid.  We're trying to avoid mistakes, and we know new frames invite mistakes.

    As always, ::smooooooooooooooooooooochies:: to Kula, wherever she is, and ::huggggggggggggggggs:: to the Kula Krew.

    I'm dropping Springoff the Fourth at his carpool, and will be back in about a half-hour.  Have fun!

    •  Crissie, you've got a huge talent (36+ / 0-)

      for explaining complex stuff in laymen's terms, so kudos, as usual, for being the Fritjof Capra of DKos!

      I must say though that I did miss any mention of the emotional factor in your largely cognitive account of conservative 'framing'.

      Sure, it's easy for them to put their political views on autopilot, just as it is for any of us to tie our shoes. But they do this for reasons that go beyond the demands of devoting their 'visible attention' to their jobs and day-to-day activities.  

      One, they do it because they are PASSIVE. That is, they don't actually care enough about politics to bother really learning or thinking about it. Their political posture is no more or less a part of them than their favorite t-shirt or tv show. They feel comfortable generally identifying with a group that appears to share their general values, not unlike being a fan and rooting for the home team. This is what makes them unwilling - indeed incapable of criticizing one of their own. It's the adversarial Us vs. Them mentality of the herd, the tribe, the NFL, etc. We rule and they suck. Simple as that.

      Two, they do it because they're TERRIFIED - terrified of new patterns, new rules (codified and not), new accents at the PTA meeting, new variants of skin tone in the neighborhood, unfamiliar odors coming out of that new ethnic restaurant where the lunch counter used to be. You're not scared when your silverware has been moved to the scissor and self-tying string drawer. You adapt, or you fix it. But that's not what conservatives do. They panic, and they become enraged.

      Taken together, these two tendencies result in a state of confused, uninformed fear that connects directly, of course, to your excellent explanation of patterns and framing. I just wanted to point out that the emotional component is just as determinant, if not more so, as the cognitive one.


      "Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig actually likes it"

      by jedley on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:06:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with both. (15+ / 0-)

        I did use the word "comfortable" in describing the constancy of conservatism, but I didn't go into too much detail there.  It allows one to feel as if one is socially and politically engaged without actually engaging social and political issues and searching for solutions.  And conservatism is a very robust frame set, because it includes convenient, no change required explanations for its failures: government is bad, people do dumb things, etc.

        And changing frames can be very daunting, for any of us, as we've all probably experienced when cast into an unfamiliar situation.  First dates, for example, are often fraught with tension because we don't yet know exactly how we should act with this person.

        Good morning! ::huggggggggggggggs::

        •  Morning Crissie! Excellent as usual! (5+ / 0-)

          i'm late to "the gathering" today so I'm looking forward to reading through all the comments and catching up.

          THANKS for doing this. You really are amazing.

          Your comment that I am responding to made me wonder if there room to analyze the natural inclination of different personality types to different frames.

          •  Hrmmmm ... good question.... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jedley, FarWestGirl

            And perhaps a chicken and egg question as well.  Do certain personality types prefer certain sets and uses of frames ... or does having certain sets and uses of frames produce certain personality types?

            It isn't an easy question, especially when you recognize that frames aren't merely "theoretical."  If the cognitive science continues to prove out, our frames have a biological component: they exist as bundles of neurons in our brains.  In that respect, there's a literal truth to the phrase "That changed my mind."  There's a lot of good science to support the notion that our brains are more plastic than we'd imagined, and that by selecting and using frames we actually change the physical structure of the brain.

            So which is the chicken and which is the egg?

            Good morning! ::hugggggggggggggggs::

            •  There was some research (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NCrissieB, wide eyed lib

              on the relationship between infant personality types and later political leanings.

              I wasn't able to find the specific article I (vaguely) remember, but there are several linking infant and adult physiological responses Inhibited and Uninhibited Infants "Grown Up": Adult Amygdalar Response to Novelty which found:

              Infants with an inhibited temperament tend to develop into children who avoid people, objects, and situations that are novel or unfamiliar, whereas uninhibited children spontaneously approach novel persons, objects, and situations. Behavioral and physiological features of these two temperamental categories are moderately stable from infancy into early adolescence and have been hypothesized to be due, in part, to variation in amygdalar responses to novelty. We found that adults who had been categorized in the second year of life as inhibited, compared with those previously categorized as uninhibited, showed greater functional MRI signal response within the amygdala to novel versus familiar faces.

              And Political Attitudes Vary with Physiological Traits found that adults

              individuals with measurably lower physical sensitivities to sudden noises and threatening visual images were more likely to support foreign aid, liberal immigration policies, pacifism, and gun control, whereas individuals displaying measurably higher physiological reactions to those same stimuli were more likely to favor defense spending, capital punishment, patriotism, and the Iraq War.

              Not clear from the abstract if this is attributed to the same amygdalar response, but it sounds like it.

              No more nonsense, please.

              by ohiolibrarian on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 08:14:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Very true, however.... (4+ / 0-)

                As I noted, new research is suggesting our brains are more plastic than was previously believed.  That's why those studies end up using words like "tend to" and "are more likely to."  It turns out that we can and do restructure our brains by the frames we learn and apply, and how often we repeat them.  This makes it more difficult to parse out exactly which are the causes and which are the effects.

                Which is a way of saying, when it comes to thinking, the brain is both cause and effect.

                Good morning! ::huggggggggggggggggggs::

                •  And the physiological trait (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Janet Strange, linkage, NCrissieB

                  tends to result in certain types of responses from parents and other caregivers. (i.e. "difficult" babies may get less positive attention--and babies may be "difficult" because they react more strongly to stimuli). So, maybe it is the exasperated parents that reinforce a level of distrust in the novel displayed by some babies and later, by some adults.

                  No more nonsense, please.

                  by ohiolibrarian on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 08:44:13 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  What seems important, in terms of (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Janet Strange, NCrissieB

                  plasticity, is exposure to stimuli that challenge your frames and move you out of your comfort zone.  That's why the homogenization of the Trad Med has concerned me for years.  

                  I remember seeing the first edition of USA Today and thinking "This is not good.  This blurs the lines between journalism and entertainment, and it will not be good for any of us."  

                  Newt Gingrich is the future of the Republican Party. Oh yeah!

                  by I love OCD on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 09:51:59 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Education, journalism, and entertainment. (0+ / 0-)

                    Education, journalism, and entertainment (sports, the arts, etc.) have historically had blurry lines.  All are culture-making and culture-marking activities ... ways we create, nurture, and celebrate our cultures.  Each has other functions as well, and that's why they evolved into separate fields.  But because they share common roots and some common functions, the lines are never quite as bright as we sometimes imagine.

        •  Daunting, or exhilirating. Some seek situations (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          linkage, jedley, NCrissieB, FarWestGirl

          that require adaptation and frame-creation or at least accommodation. And, not only high-adrenaline stimulus seekers, but anyone who reads books to gain new ideas is rearranging the kitchen, so to speak. To step outside of ourselves and look for what we are missing is how some of us live our daily lives. Some thrive on throwing all the kitchen utensils in the air and engaging with intent the problem of creating ever more efficient and sense-making kitchen arrangements. And then as soon as the new system becomes comfortable, throwing them all in the air again and seeing how it can be remade anew, and better.

          Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

          by elropsych on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:37:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And not entirely either/or. (5+ / 0-)

            Most of us find some kinds of changes daunting and others exhilarating, though of course which are which differs from person to person.  But whether it's "eustress" or "distress," reframing is stressful.  And when enough piles up too quickly, we experience the body's stress responses.

            There are no simple, facile answers to issues of reframing, no "people who embrace change are smarter than those who resist it."  Recognizing the cognitive realities of reframing - it's literally "changing your mind" - should encourage us to be more patient and less strident in dialogue with conservatives.

            Good morning! ::hugggggggggggggs::

      •  Neoconservatives (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi, NCrissieB, FarWestGirl

        are typically aggrieved, terrified little people. I like the analysis by Richard Rodriguez of the support for Proposition 8. He claims that the righteous "family values" anger fueling the passage of that initiative was basically antifeminist. The support of restricting the rights of any consenting adults to marry, sprung from a deep dread of women's new freedom to leave bad relationships, fundamentally altering family life.

        "Doesn't matter that I beat my spouse and kids, the real problem with my family, the real reason my wife wants to leave me, is those gays across the street wanting to get married."

        •  There's some of that, surely. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DBunn, linkage, karmsy, jedley, FarWestGirl

          I think some of the "abstinence only" impulse is similar: "I don't want my spouse to know if I'm an incompetent lover."

          Limiting options feeds directly into conservative framing.  Any theory works if you marginalize the non-conforming data.  Conservatism is largely about marginalizing the non-conforming data to preserve the simple theory.

    •  Intelligence Defined (18+ / 0-)

      Pattern Recognition is the kernel of Intelligence.

      Knowledge is the sum of recognized patterns.
      Vision is to discern profundity within Knowledge.
      Wisdom is the application of Vision.
      Creativity is the avoidance of Knowledge.

      Intelligence is the sum of Wisdom and Creativity.

      I know the special interests and lobbyists are gearing up for a fight as we speak.
      My message to them is this: So am I -- President Barack Obama

      by Jimdotz on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:35:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent definition! (7+ / 0-)

        And good morning! ::huggggggggggggs::

      •  That is an excellent definition. I read it (8+ / 0-)

        3 times to get the depth of what you were saying. Very well expressed and beyond so many simplistic definitions of intelligence. Thank you!

        No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable (Adam Smith, 1776, I, p. 96).

        by NY brit expat on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:03:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hope it is valid on many levels... (4+ / 0-)

          personal, societal, even biological.

          I know the special interests and lobbyists are gearing up for a fight as we speak.
          My message to them is this: So am I -- President Barack Obama

          by Jimdotz on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:18:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It certainly holds on an academic research level (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chi, Jimdotz, NCrissieB, FarWestGirl

            and on an epistemological one. I also think that it is legitimate from a societal one. My knowledge of biology is extremely limited and probably out of date so I cannot speak to that topic.

            When I read the definition, I realised that it was exactly how I determined which students I would push (or nag) to go to graduate school when I was teaching at university ... it is not only understanding information, not only linking information that you learned earlier, not only applying it to similar situation, it is the possibility of pushing the boundaries on that knowledge, of developing it in new directions.

            I am still thinking of that definition, it is really very good. :)

            No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable (Adam Smith, 1776, I, p. 96).

            by NY brit expat on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:27:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you're in NY as your name suggests... (4+ / 0-)

              I hope you can make it to the next meet-up of NYC Kossacks. Details are in the link. As a fellow academic myself, it might be fun to meet you.

              I know the special interests and lobbyists are gearing up for a fight as we speak.
              My message to them is this: So am I -- President Barack Obama

              by Jimdotz on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:40:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Unfortunately, I am in Britain. I would (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                linkage, Jimdotz, NCrissieB

                love to come to the NYC kossacks. I come back to visit friends and family once a year (health willing), I can try and plan to come when you meet up as it would be really great for me to meet some of the people that I "know" from the site personally. :)

                No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable (Adam Smith, 1776, I, p. 96).

                by NY brit expat on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 07:01:22 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Let us know when you're in town... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  linkage, NCrissieB, NY brit expat

                  and maybe we'll use you as an excuse for another meet-up.
                  Best of health to you!

                  I know the special interests and lobbyists are gearing up for a fight as we speak.
                  My message to them is this: So am I -- President Barack Obama

                  by Jimdotz on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 07:37:44 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You are a sweetie! Thanks! :) (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    linkage, Jimdotz, NCrissieB

                    I already have Peter Flom's e-mail and he has mine as I offered to cover for him when he was on holiday (of course I then realised that I was also on holiday, we changed it as my mother-in-law became ill). I can try and let him know when I am coming in or is there someone more appropriate to contact?

                    I cannot believe how nice you all are! :)

                    No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable (Adam Smith, 1776, I, p. 96).

                    by NY brit expat on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 07:56:10 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Another view: internal map of the external world (5+ / 0-)

        This idea posits that we make our way around the "real" world by developing an internal mental map or representation of the physical world we live in. This fits with the frames idea in that the frames can be considered as the elements of which the internal map is constructed. It's important not to think of the internal representation as having a one-to-one correspondence to the outside world: the "Cartesian theater" fallacy that Daniel Dennett discusses. Our brains are so good at (and reliant on) patterns, frames, and maps that they trick us into believing there's an actual little world somewhere "in there" that's just like the external one, only smaller.
        I have to say it again: these diaries of Crissie's are some of the best, most thought provoking posts on this or any other site.

        •  Certainly, even in cognitive psychology (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gatorcog, linkage, Jimdotz, NCrissieB

          there is recognition of the fact that there is not necessarily a congruence between our representations and the real world (I am thinking of direct perception theory and the idea of a break-down between what we perceive and how we process it and then the break moving from the process to the accumulation of information so as to be able to develop and use knowledge). However, perceptions are only that, a beginning, it is the epistemological step of moving beyond what we see to develop knowledge, creativity, and then wisdom and intelligence.

          No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable (Adam Smith, 1776, I, p. 96).

          by NY brit expat on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 08:02:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  There's good evidence of non-correspondence. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          linkage, Jimdotz

          And the evidence lies in how we cross-apply frames.  Lakoff gives an excellent example in the book: that we tend to frame our nation as a family.  Lakoff proposes that conservatives rely on the "strict father" frame, while progressives use the "nurturant parent" frame.  I don't entirely agree with all of his analysis, but that we can discuss our nation as if it were a family shows the Cartesian fallacy is exactly that: a fallacy.

          We can see other examples as well.  If someone travels a lot on business and is always "meeting" new cities, he might link the frames of city and person, using narratives and strategies from one in reference to the other.  "He's got a great work force, but his mayor is out to lunch."  Or "The city's heart is in the right place, but its brain is broken."

          And sometimes those cross-applications of frames can yield amazing insights.  Issac Newton wondered about the motions of the planets in the sky, and is said to have found the answer in a falling apple.

          Good morning! ::huggggggggggggggs::

    •  A thought in the morning (6+ / 0-)

      is more stimulating than a cup of coffee. The coffee marks the beginning of "order' to my day. A new thought stimulates my mind into seeking solutions which enable me to cast order to change.

      Patience and curiousity finds order and peace, even amidist chaos and controlled anger (precursor to finding order).

      You stated brilliantly the mindset of my tolerated right wing-nutz friends and relatives...and my anger trying to encourage a change to their Limbaugh "order".

      There is no hope for them. They tolerate their own stupidity because it is a path of least resistance. Limbaugh is their Jim Jones.

      •  For some he is. (6+ / 0-)

        For others he's Linus' blanket: the familiar, the comfortable, the secure.

        Recognizing that ought to change how we try to dialogue with conservatives.  Simply saying "You're an idiot if you can't embrace change" is not going to work.  Obama does a much better job of it, by taking the time to ground new ideas in familiar frames, so they don't seem as radical as they really are.

        Good morning! ::huggggggggggggggs::

    •  how many Republicans does it take (5+ / 0-)

      to change a light bulb?

      Just one... to tell you there's nothing wrong with the old one.

    •  Not all change is for the better... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NCrissieB least, not for everybody. There are always going to be people who benefit and people who lose out.

      Frex, was Reagan a change? Yes. Did the Reagan Years change America for the better?

      For some people, yes. For a whole lot of people, in fact.

      It just made things worse for a whole lot of people, too... Just like the Highland Clearances, or Iron Maggie's election, or pretty much era you can name.

      This is shallow, facile 1970s pop-psyche pap that you're peddling, not actual critical thinking. Without specifics, "change" is a worthless meter. Cancer is both growth and change, after all.

      "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

      by bellatrys on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:59:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Does this mean (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I have to change my underwear?

      ...where will it tickle you?

      by GANJA on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 07:53:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great diary! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Strongly recommended.

    •  Nicely done! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Ain't behavior grand?


      We're not on the mountaintop yet, but we can see it, now.


      by Marc in KS on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 08:41:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Change is hard. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Ya gotta have the stomach for it.

      "The truth shall set you free - but first it'll piss you off." Gloria Steinem

      Iraq Moratorium

      by One Pissed Off Liberal on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 08:52:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Happy SQUARE ROOT DAY -3/3/09 (31+ / 0-)

    If you're a mathematician, you get the day off, cuz it only happens 9 times per century.

    Motorized bike diaries resume next Tues. a.m., WITH mojo enhancing baby goat pix !!

    by bamabikeguy on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 04:07:32 AM PST

  •  I resisted the Compact Disc player (21+ / 0-)

    and the computer.

    I thought CDs were just scams to make us pay $20 for what I had been buying in the cut-out bins for $2.00.

    Computers...just scared me.

    Then I got better.....

    Thank DOG I am not a conservative.....

    (Seriously - 'conservatism' is a form of developmental delay....)

    And they said a black man would never be President.....

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 04:08:00 AM PST

  •  Brilliant as usual! (23+ / 0-)

    Change is reality. From The Buddhist point of view, there IS no permanence. Everything arises; everything fall away (Ajahn Chah) I have to get to work - delighted to have seen this before I left.

  •  I press for change in a certain law (12+ / 0-)

    and encounter LOTS of ignorant opposition to it.

    Ignorant meaning, specifically, there is no logical, coherent, or fact-based opposition to it.

    People are just scared by the propaganda and it's tough to get them to see they really know nothing about that which they think they fear.

    And they said a black man would never be President.....

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 04:09:41 AM PST

    •  i would never use that particular (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx, NCrissieB

      substance (at least, not recreationally) but even so, I think it's absolutely ludricrous that it is illegal.

      "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

      by Pandoras Box on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:24:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think that much of that opposition has been (0+ / 0-)

      caused by proponents of that substance.  I'm looking at you, Cheech and Chong.  You have done more to annihilate the possibility of marijuana legislation than any conservative could dream.  Your absolutely idiotic sterotypes of marijuana users hurt us all. And your movies suck.  (my advance apologies to any C&C fans.  i just can't stand that stupid crap.)

      Whenever I text "Barack", my phone suggests the word "capable". I like that.

      by dclarke on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 07:21:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cheech and Chong were fun and funny. (0+ / 0-)

        until Republicans under Reagan censored marijuana humor.

        its not their fault.

        Not Jeff Spicoli's.

        I can understand your complaints, but they are mis-guided.

        it is totally the republican's fault. Them and their ONDCP propaganda.

        And they said a black man would never be President.....

        by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 08:12:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But Cheech and Chong created a (0+ / 0-)

          widely accepted stereotype.  What do you think Repubs think of when they think of marijuana users?  Freaking idiots running around in tutus.  Have you ever done that?  Do you know anyone who has?  We can agree to disagree, but my comments are not misguided.

          Whenever I text "Barack", my phone suggests the word "capable". I like that.

          by dclarke on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 10:57:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  therwe was nothing wrong with them (0+ / 0-)
            until the repubs made them into a negatoive stereotype.

            you are buying into that effort.

            And they said a black man would never be President.....

            by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 01:20:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry, but Repubs don't influence my views. (0+ / 0-)

              You like C&C, that's fine.  I don't, and I think they present a bad stereotype , that's also fine.

              Whenever I text "Barack", my phone suggests the word "capable". I like that.

              by dclarke on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 03:00:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think much of them at all... (0+ / 0-)

                I still sung the lines from "Earache my eye, though'.

                I I said, they have been made the prejudicial stereotype, and not by you and not by me.Nor did they do it themselves.

                I remember them from when they first came out....They were successful BEFORE the loser stereotype was foist upon them.

                The republicans have done this through their focus on repressing marijuana culture, whether you are aware of it or not.

                It's also part of the 'dirty fucking hippie' meme they created the denigrate the more positive aspects of the so-called 'hippie movement'.

                I will soon do a piece on this prejudice, because so many people buy it unquestioningly.

                You're pissed because you are tarred by the C&C 'stereotype' if you mention pot.

                Carl Sagan smoked a lot of pot. Why isn't he a stereotype?

                Micheal Phelps was harangued because he smashes the propaganda stereotype that says "stoners can't do anything".

                Im going on 49, have a graduate educate, a professional counseling license, a beautiful wife and a home and a responsible job....Maaaaaaannnnnn......

                Blame the republicans - it's truly where the blame lies.

                And they said a black man would never be President.....

                by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 04:01:54 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I really don't think we're disagreeing. (0+ / 0-)

                  (only about the fact that I just don't think C&C are that funny ;)) My point is that repub lawmakers use C&C as an example of how ALL pot smokers are.  We know that it isn't true. It's incredibly frustrating. I feel like we are basically agreeing, I'm just not getting my point across very well.
                  No matter, just know that I completely support your cause!  BTW, I'm 35, college grad, business owner, home owner, mom, volunteer and proud weed smoker! Keep up the good fight!

                  Whenever I text "Barack", my phone suggests the word "capable". I like that.

                  by dclarke on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:54:38 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  good morning crissie & crew... (16+ / 0-)

    out of surgery...on the mend.
    and, to illustrate how difficult change can be, cross you arms.  now, cross your arms the other way.  it's hard and takes some thought.

    All shall be well again, I'm telling you. Let the winter come and go. All shall be well again, I know. (S Carter)

    by MinervainNH on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 04:11:31 AM PST

  •  McCain/Palin signs in yards or windows. (11+ / 0-)

    Don't they get it?


    And they said a black man would never be President.....

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 04:15:03 AM PST

  •  Simple cognitive frames are powerful. (8+ / 0-)

    I'm fascinated by the power of a simple frame: rather than discard a simple frame that is contradicted by empirical facts, the conservative mind discards the facts.  In the economic arena, that leads to a panglossian view of markets, that is, markets are perfect and rational, and therefore there's no such thing as bubbles or panics; everything is perfectly predetermined and correct.  Evidence of complete failures from lack of information, individuals acting according to their interest and not the companies, is just discarded or ignored.  

    Also, perceptions of patterns is a tricky thing.  What pattern did Bob Dole perceive from the US wars during the twentieth century?  Why, "democrat wars".  It's true.  Wilson.  FDR.  Truman.  All democrats.  So he concludes democrats cause wars.  

    "The first Republican who cries "Wolverines!" on the House or Senate floor has to be considered the front-runner for the 2012 Iowa caucus." JF on TPM

    by Inland on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 04:15:12 AM PST

    •  Robust frames are even more powerful. (4+ / 0-)

      Robust frames are those which include explanations for their own failures.  Ideally, but not always, the explanations include different strategies to try the next time.  That allows us to use the frame again, even when it fails.

      But when the explanations are non-falsifiable within the frame's narrative and strategies - government always fails, people always do dumb things, etc. - you end up with a tautological frame.  Just do what you're doing, and here's a ready list of explanations for why it didn't work ... and none of them require you to try to change.

      Good morning! ::huggggggggggggggggs::

      •  But those tend to be complicated. (5+ / 0-)

        Conservative thought of the Palins and Joes isn't the case of people trying to explain the retrograde motion of planets.  This is the case of people picking one or two causes that explain everything.  The supernatural, democrats, market forces, whatever.  Those are robust in the sense that they explain everything by definition--the market crashed because God is punishing the US for tolerating democrats, for example.  

        "The first Republican who cries "Wolverines!" on the House or Senate floor has to be considered the front-runner for the 2012 Iowa caucus." JF on TPM

        by Inland on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 04:56:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly ... explain by tautology. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Inland, winterbanyan, FarWestGirl

          We want Outcome O.  Government should do Policy P.  If P does not yield O, it's because "government is bad."  So do P again.  It's robust, but not in any productive, problem-solving way.  See "tax cuts."

          •  I've decided that "tax cuts" are preferred (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mommaK, NCrissieB

            because it is expected that the alternative, bonded debt from which the invested class gets a cut, will be used.  Part of that stems from the perception of reality in binary (black/white, this/that, either/or, punishments/rewards) terms.

            It's the inability to conceive of many more alternatives that leads to the conclusion that whatever is not allowed to live must be killed.  If things are not to be built up, then they must be knocked down.  If government is not to grow, then it must be drowned.

            I think what's most distressing about liberals is their openness to multiple alternatives.  Therein lies no certainty.

            I wonder, do instincts follow a binary pattern?  Is there room for ambivalence in our instincts or does that require the intervention of the intellect?

            How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

            by hannah on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:37:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  We're an analog species. :) (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              theKgirls, FarWestGirl

              Most of our instincts are not binary.  The so-called "fight or flight" response, for example, seems as if it's a binary instinct.  But in fact it's much more subtle than that, and it includes waiting and hiding strategies as well.

              Conservatism makes its points by committing fallacies of false extremes.  "Yes, there are waiting and hiding strategies, but the hungry lion isn't going to just go away, so sooner or later you'll have to fight or flee ... so choose one now."  It reduces a complex analog strategy to a simple binary strategy by means of a false assumption (that a hungry lion will never decide there must be easier prey elsewhere).

              Good morning! ::huggggggggggggggggggggs::

            •  I think that we tend to be more adept at (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mommaK, elropsych, NCrissieB

              visible thinking, which decreases the error rate and the attendant anticipation of being wrong. People with less ability to perceive and project solutions to novel circumstances anticipate their higher error rate and get anxious when they have to go 'off script'. They strongly prefer their tried and true rote frames.

              Good morning! ::Huuuuggggs::

              Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

              by FarWestGirl on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:27:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Conservatism didn't fail... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...the people failed conservatism.

        I see this kind of thing when talking about the failures of the free market with free market ideologues. Inevitably they fall back on the excuse that free markets haven't failed because we haven't really tried them. All the documented failures were really caused by government interfering in the market. If we just got the government out of it then it would really work!

    •  Speaking of frames... (8+ / 0-)

      I had what I thought was a very simple one: life is sacred, even the life of a murderer.   Then we had a mass murder so horrific in its details, and a perp so lacking in conscience, that I actually went into a state of cognitive dissonance, my "all life is sacred" frame banging up against, "the s.o.b. deserves to be killed" gut urgency.  In this instance even life imprisonment didn't seem to be enough.

      In the end, working my way through the moral and emotional morass resulted in me writing an entire novel to work through the issue and test my frame.  I found that my frame, insofar as it regarded the death penalty, was far more complex than I had realized: Part of that frame was the very real concern that we might execute the innocent, so it was not just a straightforward "all life is sacred" position. What's more, I discovered that even while I loathe vengeance, sometimes I wanted it as much as anyone else.

      The amount of effort that can go into working through an issue when you are suddenly faced with the fact that your frame is not working for you in a given instance, can be quite overwhelming.

      Interestingly, reader mail was evenly divided as to whether I wrote in support of the death penalty or against it.  Hence, my novel was viewed through other people's frames and they took away entirely different conclusions, one from another.

      The austerity you see around you covers the richness of life like a veil -- Anonymous

      by winterbanyan on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:27:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, it's really not about what the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mommaK, winterbanyan, NCrissieB

        miscreant "deserves;" it's about what response is appropriate for the community at large.  Is it good for a society that's committed to human rights (natural or God derived) to kill on purpose?  

        It's the same question that needs to be asked about the CIA torture corps.  Was it good for those people to heap physical, psychological and sexual abuse on their captives?  Did it make them better people?

        Is it good for a drone-driver, sitting at a console in Denver, to be dispatching Hellfire missiles to atomize people on the ground in Iraq?  Does assassination by remote control relieve them of the sting of guilt?

        How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

        by hannah on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:44:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you, hannah (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mommaK, guyeda, NCrissieB, FarWestGirl

          and that's partly what I meant.  Those seemingly simple "frames" in which we organize our experience and beliefs become amazingly complex when we really start to explore them and see if we need to change them.

          That's why most people run on autopilot so much of the time.  We lack the time, and often the patience, to explore all the avenues involved in change...or sometimes just in re-examination of what we have always held to be true.

          The austerity you see around you covers the richness of life like a veil -- Anonymous

          by winterbanyan on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:03:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Vengeance and the death penalty? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You have touched on something that I have wrestled with all my life concerning the death penalty.  I had a family member who was personaly affected by Ted Bundy's murders of two of her friends years ago.  Since Bundy had previously escaped from a prison out west prior to committing murders in Florida, I was relieved when he was executed.  I never saw it as vengeance, but more like ensuring that he would not inflict pain on other families again.  Perhaps I was justifying to myself my support of the death penalty in the case of Ted Bundy.  I do not know.

  •  Good morning (11+ / 0-)

    I'm having a little trouble with this one, because I do think I change often.  I even periodically rearrange my kitchen, because I find a way that I believe will function better for me.  Perhaps that is because I worked in a hospital lab and the technology changed pretty rapidly, as did our responsibilities.  I admit, though, that I may be blind to ways that my behavior is stuck in a rut.

    •  I read somewhere that Democrats, in general, (12+ / 0-)

      responded positively to unexpected stimuli in some scientific study a year or so ago. They met the stimuli with curiosity, iirc. Republicans tended to respond with hostility. I don't have time to look for it now, as I'm already running behind this morning, but if no one finds it, I'll hunt tonight and link it tomorrow morning.

      Morning, all! Have a splendid Tuesday.

      •  i have long felt/observed exactly this (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MinervainNH, NCrissieB, FarWestGirl

        i love change (but only in certain arenas).  Too much will blow out anyone's tubes.

        However, I have observed that conservatives react negatively to almost anything new.  Their default frame seems to be: do not threaten the status quo.

        good morning to all


        this ain't no party.. this ain't no disco.. this ain't no foolin'around..

        by fernan47 on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:01:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We have a love/hate relationship with change. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mommaK, FarWestGirl

          The degrees of love or hate vary with individuals, and within an individual by age and circumstance.  If we can accept that, as progressives, we may find it easier to dialogue with conservatives and encourage at least some of them to embrace positive changes.  We'll never convince all of them - see xysea's comment below - but we can convince many.  And we can convince more of them by recognizing why people are generally change-averse, and grounding our proposals for change in frames with which they're familiar and feel comfortable.

          Good morning! ::hugggggggggggggggs::

      •  There is also great stuff out there on (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ms Citizen, NCrissieB

        the need for closure and tolerance for ambiguity.

        And, my personal favorite: need for cognition.

        In multiple studies, people who affiliate Dem have a higher "need for cognition" than do those who affiliate Rep.

        You could take a lot of the comments in this thread regarding kitchens and frames and consider forms of cognition.

        Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

        by elropsych on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 07:00:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Elaborate, please? (0+ / 0-)

          I think I know what you're referring to, but I'd love to hear you explore it a bit more for us. :)

          •  You've inspired my next diary length thought. I (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ms Citizen, NCrissieB

            don't think I could explain how I understand these in a comment-length piece, so I'll put together a couple of sources and pull quotes and do a more thoughtful presentation.

            Thanks for the idea!

            But, in completely unsatisfyingly simple terms (can you tell which of these I tend to be?):

            tolerance for ambiguity = feeling comfortable with ambiguous stimuli or situations, related to "need for closure"

            need for closure = cutting off thought on a subject, stimulus, or situation, aka "reaching a conclusion."

            need for cognition = natural propensity or desire for thought, complexity and length of thinking, multiple perspectives, considering multiple possible outcomes or input variables, etc...

            There are research supported positive and negative correlations for each with conservative/progressive affiliations.

            I first encountered these when preparing to administer a special program for talented and gifted students. We used standardized tests for creativity (ironic, that, I know) that were in large part based on measuring these three constructs.

            See...I could go on for awhile. Need to organize and edit, and I'll get back to you!

            Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

            by elropsych on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 10:15:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Both are survival strategies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and both have their benefits.

        Those who are inclined to change are better suited to deal with unexpected situations, but they are also more likely to put themselves into danger by taking unnecessary risks.

        Those who are adverse to change have problems dealing with unexpected situations, but they are also more likely to avoid falling into stupid errors because they don't stick their necks out.

        Like the brakes and the gas in a car, both are necessary.

        •  I agree with you. (0+ / 0-)

          Our species has surprisingly high variations in both cognitive and physical abilities.  Some say that's a problem, but I think it's actually an adaptation that has served us well.  Having those high variations makes it easier for us to task specialize and better accept task specialists, and we've survived based on our ability to communicate and cooperate ... which by implication includes delegating tasks.

          Seen in that light, the variations are nature's way of encouraging us to raise our hands and say "I can to that!"

    •  me too - I love change; I get stressed with (13+ / 0-)

      ruts.  I like finding a new way home so I turn on side streets just to see where it leads.  When we lived in Japan, we had a housekeeper who totally rearranged our kitchen while I was away and I loved it.  Teachers have told me that both of my kids need consistancy, do things exactly the same way every day.  Um, no... They have to choose: familiar routine or a sane mother.  They can't have both! :D

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics" FDR

      by theKgirls on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 04:31:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm the same way - I embrace change, often just (9+ / 0-)

        for the sake of change. It drove my husband crazy when I was married, it drives my kids crazy. It drives me crazy now that I'm not able to bring about change in as many ways as I would like. Or maybe I'm just crazy - that's always possible.

        I'm told my Grandmother, who was our babysitter when I was an infant, used to rearrange the furniture almost daily while my parents were working. It was not unusual for my Dad to come home from work and trip over furniture that wasn't there when he'd left that morning. At least I know I where I get the trait from.

        "You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do." Anne Lamott

        by MsWings on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 04:37:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I do that when I can spare the time/attention. (6+ / 0-)

        Obviously I like turning ideas over and looking at things from different perspectives.  But that does take a lot of time and attention.  When I'm cooking, my time and attention are already occupied, thus I want things to be where I expect them to be so I can find them using invisible thinking, and keep visible thinking focused on getting the food ready and on the table for the family.

        Good morning! ::huggggggggggggggggggggs::

        •  ooh, I love and embrace the familiar too... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mommaK, NCrissieB, FarWestGirl

          I have my wonderful ceramic mug that fits so comfortably in my hands for my morning coffee that I sip slowly while reading Morning Feature; I love my faded jeans; and I love climbing into my comfy bed, doing my evil Sodokus, sipping my tea (in a different mug) while watching Keith and Rachel... And I like everything in its place (it's just that our housekeeper's place was MUCH better than my place).  So I start and end my day in a routine, but the inbetween times just screams out for a change just for the novelty of it.  The irony is that my husband travels the world, seeing new countries and experiencing new cultures -- and he hates change.  I go down side streets for a different view.  Sheesh!

          Morning Crissie!  And mega-hugggggs for being such a great part of my mornings!  

          "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics" FDR

          by theKgirls on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:04:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Discovery and Curiosity= two of the most (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ms Citizen, NCrissieB, theKgirls

        underrated, unsupported, unencouraged values in American mythology.

        Where would we be without the curiosity of Benjamin Franklin? Of Thomas Jefferson?

        Conservatives today want everyone to take their curiosity and only use it to tune in to Fox and Rush. Standardized tests kill curiosity.

        Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

        by elropsych on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 07:03:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's a very common self-analysis. :) (6+ / 0-)

      Change attracts our attention, so we tend to be more attentive to the ways we embrace change, and unaware of the ways we don't.  This leaves most of us feeling as if we embrace change far more than most of us really do.  But different people do have different levels of tolerance for change, and our tolerances for change vary with age and circumstance, so it's by no means a constant for all people at all times.

      Good morning! ::huggggggggggggggggggs::

      •  I took a break from the internet (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shuruq, NCrissieB, theKgirls, FarWestGirl

        and while I was doing other things I started thinking.  Huh, I've been married to the same man for 37 years and we've lived in the same house for 35 years.  Maybe I'm not so good at change as I thought.  In my defense, our house has changed a lot, and it's always been me that has said "Let's add on, let's change this or that".

    •  And here it is. (7+ / 0-)

      Since those darned rats hopped on the bus, I had time to look it up. It's from theSept. 19 issue of Science.

      Since the whole article isn't available unless you're a subscriber, here are a couple of articles on the article (1, 2, 3)

      The researchers noted a correlation between those who reacted strongly to the stimuli and those who expressed support for "socially protective policies," which tend to be held by people "particularly concerned with protecting the interests of the participants' group, defined as the United States in mid-2007, from threats." These positions include support for military spending, warrantless searches, the death penalty, the Patriot Act, obedience, patriotism, the Iraq War, school prayer and Biblical truth, and opposition to pacifism, immigration, gun control, foreign aid, compromise, premarital sex, gay marriage, abortion rights and pornography.

  •  Morning, Crissie. Really enjoyed this (8+ / 0-)

    morning's diary. Great job, as always.

    So here's the question--how do we get them used to the new, and politically much more sensible, kitchen arrangement? (and... first thought when reading this: Teacher Hubby was putting the dishes away in Crissie's kitchen.)

    I'm tempted to ask the rational Republicans on my side of the cubicle wall what they think of the Rush trouble going on in their party right now, but it feels a bit like bear baiting. I may do it anyway.

  •  Change in my house is spelled HUSBAND (11+ / 0-)

    I too do not like change in the kitchen unless I'm the one doing the changing.  My household organization, which used to be pretty well formatted, has gone to a don't ask, don't tell situation since my husband retired.  

    Without knowing it, I experienced a case of pareidolia yesterday.  After kneading bread dough, I divided it into two round loaves of bread and set aside to rise.  One loaf had didn't form  a quite nice round shape and had what I pointed out to my husband, a plumber's crack at the bottom.  We affectionately named it Joe the Plumber.  

    "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

    by JFinNe on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 04:29:36 AM PST

  •  I fear change. (13+ / 0-)

    There's a whole jugful on my dresser that needs to be counted and rolled.  When I get to that task, it means times are really bad.

    If you can't support the veterans you have, don't make any new ones.

    by slackjawedlackey on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 04:29:47 AM PST

  •  a lot of progressivism is about limiting the (6+ / 0-)

    range of change which takes place, or slowing down the rate of change, and this is not a bad thing.  Examples are labor unions, laws making it more difficult to lay off employees or send jobs offshore, and environmental protection.

    Oversimplistic calls for "change" are just that.  "Change the planet" - what it is exactly about the planet people want to change?  "The only constant is change" - would that include wild swings in the stock market, speculative bubbles, drastic disruptions in peoples lives, loss of privacy due to technology?  

  •  Haphazard after DOJmemo induced nightmares... (6+ / 0-)

    ..truly. I was fighting off Blackwater types in possible according to Yoo/Bradbury scenarios for tolerated unconstitutional violence all night.*

    Brain is battered. Anyway, re frames:

    for purpose of argument and testing the hypotheses:
    replace hovels with McCain/Palin signs with mansions with same.

    I have seen McCain/Palin signs in front of big houses in the People's Republic of Cambridge, MA. in the area where the great minds of the Republic live (including those who trained the great mind at its head, like Larry Tribe.) The old money which owned these houses and might have been Republican has mostly passed on or at least passed their houses on. If they are still in place, they would not be the kind of people to do lawn signs.

    a sign is therefor an act of effrontery in that part of the People's Republic. Not class effrontery, as they are all monied. What's the point? Where's the frame.

    Will ck back for answer this p.m. Leaving for an early am appt.

    *how important are the founding documents to the BSRH. Case in point. A very rich dinner and two glasses of wine made her sleepy right at table. Called out by SO, she opened her eyes and said whatever had been going own by its own in the sleeping redhead.

    It was "all men are created equal etc."

  •  There is an ocean of difference between (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shuruq, NCrissieB, addisnana, FarWestGirl

    human tendency against change and the repubs' cognitive dissonance. They resemble the wall-meet-the-head types you speak of.

    From Alabama to Obama - You've come a long way baby.

    by amk for obama on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 04:39:28 AM PST

    •  In some cases it's self-serving. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      winterbanyan, addisnana, FarWestGirl

      There are some in the GOP who are resisting change because they benefit from the status quo, and thus have a direct, self-serving interest in preserving it.  But for the "rank and file," I think the change-aversion is grounded in a risk-free approach to political and social activity.  To stick to the same frames, the same narratives, the same strategies, and settle for the same outcomes - on the theory that government is bad, people are stupid, and thus you couldn't have reached a better outcome anyway - lets you feel as if you're politically and socially engaged, without actually engaging any of the political or social problems.

      Good morning! ::huggggggggggggggggs::

    •  I agree. A Rep.'s kitchen would look very (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      different from a Dem's kitchen, in this analogy.

      The Rep's kitchen might have the knives and the cutting boards in two completely different parts of the kitchen, and the cups and glasses as far from the sink and refrigerator as possible.

      Let's say this is to prevent anyone else from being able to get a drink. Others may know there is water in the faucet, and milk in the fridge, but if we can keep them from getting a cup, then we get to keep all the water and milk!

      And those pesky progressives keep coming in here and trying to move the cups!

      Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

      by elropsych on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 07:11:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Intelligence and change (4+ / 0-)

    One common biological definition of intelligence is "the ability to comprehend and profit from experience."

    Isn't having some control on change, or keeping the environment predictably changeable, not a smarter kind of intelligence?

    •  It's not always possible. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mommaK, addisnana, FarWestGirl

      We talk a lot about controlling our lives, but more often we're really talking about predicting how they will change.  At some level, I think most of us do recognize that much of what happens is outside our individual (and sometimes even collective) control, in the sense of strict causality.  We can do our best and make predictions as to what that will probably yield, make preparations for the range of outcomes, lather, rinse, and repeat ... but that's about the extent of our "control."

      Good morning! ::hugggggggggggggggggs::

  •  Grrrr. We have our own little household example (8+ / 0-)

    of inability to adapt to change in my house this morning. The twins started morning tutoring at their school last week, but between going down to Florida this weekend and a snowday yesterday, they appear to have lost the new-forming pattern. I just went to get dressed for work with a "get packed up so I can drive you to school" comment, and what did they do? They panicked when their bus came and ran out and got on it. I heard the door slam and went running out if a robe hollering, but they were already getting on it and couldn't hear me.


    Patterns, once established, really are hard to give up, aren't they?

    •  They sure are! (4+ / 0-)

      And we need those patterns in order for us to function efficiently, and to know when something is out-of-pattern.  It can be frustrating, but it's not "stupid."

      Good morning! ::huggggggggggggggggggs::

    •  too too funny! But I want to know your secret.. (5+ / 0-)

      Having kids ready in the morning when you're not hovering over them, directing their every move? I sent K2 to brush her teeth while I grabbed her clothes, got changed myself, and packed a snack. When I got back, she had just picked out her toothbrush and was contemplating adding the toothpaste now... Eek! And yeah, I have tried letting them do it themselves without my direction and it always ends with me driving them. Grr!

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics" FDR

      by theKgirls on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:08:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I *do* stand over them. I don't get on here until (5+ / 0-)

        they've started their breakfast, and then we talk about they day's news while they eat. Even with that, with me telling, "take another bite. And another," I've had to institue a 10-minute "silent breakfast" time to keep them under a 45-minute bowl of cereal. While they poke and dally, I read Crissie's diary and whatever else I want. The twins (and the little one, but the Hubby takes her to preschool by his work, so I only deal with the two of them) have to be prodded at every step, or they just stall like K2 did at the toothbrush...

        If you find a secret that works with kids, let me know... And good morning!

        •  They get used to being over-watched and like (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shuruq, NCrissieB

          the attention and the routine.  I find a periodic unpredictable blow-up more satisfying and, usually, more effective.  Of course, my kids, now all in their forties, swear that I was an unyielding parent and can't understand when I suggest that they are talking too much AT their off-spring.

          I had one who really required constant correction and I found it really hard to stop doing that, ignore some misbehavior and pay attention when he was being "good."  Siblings, of course, didn't think that was fair, either--he was "getting away" with something.

          Bottom line, no two children can be treated the same.  It's not even worth the bother because, no matter how hard one tries, one's behavior is bound to be judged differently.  (think of a kid that doesn't even like candy complaining that a sibling is getting some)  Humans want to be equal but they want their differences recognized and taken into account.  The only solution I've found is that they just have to learn to take turns.  You can BE equal and different at the same time, but I can't do the same and something different at the same time.

          How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

          by hannah on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:08:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good Morning Crissie and Krew!!! (5+ / 0-)

    On my second cup of strong tea and am starting to process this great diary.  ((((((HUGS)))))) to all the regular Krew and to all the wonderful new faces we are seeing each day.  It is great to see more and more folks commenting every day.

    Crissie, this is one of your best diaries to date.  I am so glad that you made it the first in this series because you have given us each a framework for examining and and hopefully understanding our times.

    We all resist change in our every day lives and in the broader community.  But for some of us (hopefully all of us progressives), we do allow our minds to examine the possibilites that change can bring before we resist it or modify our actions.  

    For me, nowhere is that dichotomy more pronounced than watching Presidents #42 and #44.  Once President Bush set about on a course, he was very resistant to changing or modifying it.  To him, it meant that he admitted he had chosen the wrong route.  What President Obama seems to be able to do is seamlessly adjust as the conditions dictate.  Is this change?  IMO, this is good change.  

    •  oops....#43 and #44 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NCrissieB, addisnana, FarWestGirl

      typos abound, as usual.... LOL

    •  Obama does "change" very well. (6+ / 0-)

      Obama is not only willing to embrace change, but able to ground it in the familiar.  A case of "This may seem different, but it uses frames you already know and trust, and here's how...."  Doing that makes it much easier to sell change, and to implement change without quite as many errors of execution.

      Good morning! ::huggggggggggggggs::

      •  Doing change well (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ms Citizen, FarWestGirl

        I agree with you. I personally initiate change in my life often, sometimes out of sheer boredom.  There is a period during these change initiations where I am absolutely writhing and when I get to the other side, I feel great and proud that I can change.

        Excellent diary.  My husband and I talk about the need for more "Critical Thinking" out there.

    •  Hugs gulfgal :) (4+ / 0-)

      Hope you aren't too cold this morning.  We had frost again.  (Again!)

      That's an interesting point about being willing to change meaning you have to admit you were wrong. A surprising number of people are incapable of doing that.  I still remember the morning when, as a young mother, I had the most freeing realization:  I could be wrong, I could admit I was wrong, and I wasn't going to get a spanking.  Heh-heh.  Leaves me wondering how much having been raised by authoritarians has to do with our unwillingness to own up to mistakes and change.

      The austerity you see around you covers the richness of life like a veil -- Anonymous

      by winterbanyan on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:47:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  (((HUGS))) to you too Winterbanyan! and... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ms Citizen, winterbanyan, NCrissieB

        ...I have been cold for three straight days!  LOL We had frost too.

        I just got back from taking one of the pups into the vet and saw your comment above.

        I love your comment about making mistakes and being paralyzed by the possibility of doing so.  I have learned some of the best lessons in life from my mistakes.  

        Hope you have a great day!

        •  The only mistake is one (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          you don't learn from.  Having discovered that through personal experience, I tried to teach it to my children.  But I have to remind even the eldest of them (37) of that from time to time.

          We don't learn nearly as much from our successes as we do from our mistakes.  And the only failures in life are the mistakes we don't learn from.

          Three mornings of cold, huh?  I won't tell my daughter that.  She's here visiting from Jackson, MS, and realized yesterday, when our temps started dropping, that she hadn't left the heat on in her apartment.  The cats, of course, will know to cuddle if enough heat doesn't seep in from the apartments above, below and to the sides.  But her two parakeets...  Nah, I'm not going to mention three days of cold to her.  She can't do a darn thing from here, and I would think that the friend she has checking on the animals would think of turning on the heat if the apartment gets too chilly.

          I hope.

          The austerity you see around you covers the richness of life like a veil -- Anonymous

          by winterbanyan on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 08:22:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Fear of the Inexplicable...Rilke (8+ / 0-)

    But fear of the inexplicable has not alone impoverished
    the existence of the individual; the relationship between
    one human being and another has also been cramped by it,
    as though it had been lifted out of the riverbed of
    endless possibilities and set down in a fallow spot on the
    bank, to which nothing happens. For it is not inertia alone
    that is responsible for human relationships repeating
    themselves from case to case, indescribably monotonous and
    unrenewed: it is shyness before any sort of new,unforeseeable
    experience with which one does not think oneself able to cope.

    But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes
    nothing, not even the most enigmatical, will live the relation
    to another as something alive and will himself draw exhaustively
    from his own existence. For if we think of this existence of
    the individual as a larger or smaller room, it appears evident
    that most people learn to know only a corner of their room, a
    place by the window, a strip of floor on which they walk up and
    down. Thus they have a certain security. And yet that dangerous
    insecurity is so much more human which drives the prisoners in
    Poe's stories to feel out the shapes of their horrible dungeons
    and not be strangers to the unspeakable terror of their abode.

    We, however, are not prisoners. No traps or snares are set about
    us, and there is nothing which should intimidate or worry us.
    We are set down in life as in the element to which we best
    correspond, and over and above this we have through thousands of
    years of accommodation become so like this life, that when we
    hold still we are, through a happy mimicry,scarcely to be
    distinguished from all that surrounds us. We have no reason to
    mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors,
    they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abuses belong to us;
    are dangers at hand, we must try to love them. And if only we
    arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us
    that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now
    still seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust
    and find most faithful. How should we be able to forget those
    ancient myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into
    princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses
    who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps
    everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless
    that wants help from us.

    Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement. Alfred Adler

    by Hamsun on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:06:05 AM PST

    •  That's true to an extent. (6+ / 0-)

      We are, however, more prone to errors of selection and errors of execution when we adopt new frames.  We need to do it, but we also need to recognize that we take risks when we do so, and be aware of how those risks tend to play out in society.  That's something I'll discuss more tomorrow.

      Good morning! ::huggggggggggggggs::

    •  ah Rilke (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NCrissieB, Hamsun, FarWestGirl

      Like a lovely summer morning for the soul of everyday.

      "So many live on and want nothing,
      and are raised to the rank of prince
      by the slippery easy of their light judgments."

      Somehow I doubt the McCain-Palin folks spend much time with the master, now or ever.

      Maybe the next stimulus should be an intellectual and cultural infusion of Rilke if the country wants a real lift.

      Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.--Oscar Wilde

      by lascaux on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:47:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Intellectual & Cultural infusion... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        This would be a great gift to the nation and to the world...I agree a stimulus of this nature is needed to repair the psyche.

        Noble life demands a noble architecture for noble uses of noble men. Lack of culture means what it has always meant: ignoble civilization and therefore imminent downfall. Frank Lloyd Wright

        Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement. Alfred Adler

        by Hamsun on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 07:05:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Driving on the Left (7+ / 0-)

    The first time, in the Cayman Islands, I totaled the rental car because I was hit from behind by a big red dump truck. Walked away without a scratch. The next time, in England, I was hyper vigilant. Got to the center of the roundabout and circled until I was sure of my next move. Very stressful.

    I realized that I often drive almost on autopilot and that having to drive fully consciously was hard. I had trouble sorting out the stimuli and deciding which ones to react to and how to react.

    A lot of life's stress is like that. When something which has been routine needs to be reevaluated, it's very hard to know which factors are now relevant. It's why we make mistakes in times of change. Incidentally, both times I was alone in the car and would have loved a navigator or copilot.

    Morning all and huggggggggs.

    •  Roundabouts are a good example. (4+ / 0-)

      I like roundabouts, because I grew up in a place that used a lot of them.  To me they're an easy and very intuitive way of traffic management at intersections: enter to the right (or left in British areas) and go round until you reach your turn-out.  But I know a lot of people who've never used them and for whom a roundabout is a what-do-I-do-about?

      And it doesn't help when someone tells you the answer is "obvious, if you think about it" ... because much of our intelligence is about not having to visibly think about everything we do.

      Good morning! ::hugggggggggggggggs::

    •  that left-hand drive threw me too (4+ / 0-)

      It took me weeks to figure it out in Japan.  My first week I actually screamed (a nice Japanese quiet type of scream) when I saw a seven-yr-old driving down a major road until I realized he was the passenger. Idiot! I also used to walk into people constantly until I finally noticed that the sidewalk "traffic" flowed in the same pattern as cars -- closest to the building walked in same direction as traffic while those moving in the opposite direction stayed to the outside. Never noticed that was true here until I had to walk "leftie" there.  Escalators were opposite too.  I felt like I was living in a mirror all the time.

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics" FDR

      by theKgirls on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:36:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I did okay in Ireland until I tried to drive at (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        night. I had so many, (more than .75 million) miles logged at home that I couldn't get over being scared at the lights coming from the wrong angle out of the darkness.

        Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

        by FarWestGirl on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:45:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Gosh, yeah. I was in Pakistan in the (4+ / 0-)

      90s and had real trouble driving when I got back. I would have moments of near-panic when I couldn't quite remember which side I was supposed to be on.

  •  Change. Wait until Obama's Health IT starts up (8+ / 0-)

    I had the lead role in implementing the inpatient pharmacy system as part of our electonic medical record. Did all the check offs on our implementatin plan. Did a lot of extra stuff -- Rebuilt nurse stations to change ergonomically, opened up dedicated training room for training on the new system. Trained everybody until we were blue in the face. Implementation day -- what the F**K did you people do? Why do I have to order inpt meds this way? Thank God the storm subsided, but only after we went out an hired a bunch of IT folks and assigned them to every nurse station to be on hand for any questions.

    Out of their comfort zone big time.

  •  McCain/Palin bumper stickers (5+ / 0-)

    All weekend I kept being behind vehicles (invariably SUVs) with McCain/Palin bumper stickers still on them!  We won and I removed the Obama/Biden sticker on November 5th.  The thing these vehicles all had in common other than being grotesquely large and still sporting the loosing sticker was that "fish" symbol that fundamentalist Christians seem to feel is a requirement for a vehicle to be on the road.  This isn't a knock on Christianity, I saw a great "Christian and Democrat" bumper sticker at the local Methodist Church during the election.  But the extremist Christians are sporting their loosing Republican crap like it is a part of their religion, and at this point I think it is.

    Change for these folks (extremist-Christians, not normal Christians) would literally go against their spiritual belief system, considering their "Churches" are little more that Republican PACS.  They take change about as well as the Taliban.

    Fox news: Even better than meth!

    by get the red out on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:27:12 AM PST

  •  Conservatives Vote FOR Their Own Interests (4+ / 0-)

    That's what we won't let ourselves grasp.

    One common biological definition of intelligence is "the ability to comprehend and profit from experience."

    Well one common dictionary definition of religious faith is "belief in the absence of proof."

    We have scores of millions of people who are connected in realtime daily collaboration with the spirit world. These are typically the less educated among us, but it's still a huge number, and they all vote.

    For Protestant fundamentalists, they go right to the top, they deal with the Holy Spirit or Jesus. Personally. They really do believe what they claim they believe, that they have a relationship with their personal Lord and Savior. He literally talks to some of them and their leaders; he personally guides all of them.

    For Roman Catholics there's a chain of command in the spirit world, so they tend to deal lower down with dead saints and sacred artifacts and icons.

    Either wayk, these are people who "are" rewarded very immediately for good behavior like voting for Saved candidate George Bush, with anything from little breaks that make the day a bit easier, to life changing opportunity like meeting the future spouse. And they "are" punished very immediately for misbehavior like using condoms or voting for Damned candidate John Kerry with anything from increased daily frustration to illness, job loss or whatever.

    These are a sizeable chunk of what's remaining on the right. People who are rewarded by larger or smaller spirits for voting Republican among many many other things they might do in a day, people who are punished by the spirits for voting Democratic.

    There are also economic and militaristic fundamentalists who believe that outcomes for society in general don't matter, many of whom believe that no matter how bad things get for society, they personally will profit from the "right" governmental decisions because they're smart enough to understand the rules.

    These people are incorrect. But they're not voting against their interests by the criteria available to them.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:28:33 AM PST

    •  Perhaps over-generalized, but true. (5+ / 0-)

      One can be Christian and also be rational.  But you tend to see a lot of irrationality in fundamentalism of any stripe, because fundamentalism attempts to reduce the complexity of life to simple fundamentals that anyone can understand and apply.

      In order to do that, fundamentalism teaches tautological, belief-based causality: if you "have enough faith," X will happen.  If X does not happen, then obviously you didn't "have enough faith."  It's a very robust frame, but not a very useful one if you actually want to get good results.

      Good morning! ::hugggggggggggggs::

  •  Yes, I can understand this. (12+ / 0-)

    And weirdly enough, when we were going through a new database implementation at work a couple of years ago, this bit of info from a motivational speaker stuck with me:

    With any major change you're going to have roughly 25% of your 'changers' be gung ho leader types who seize the bull and ride it.  They are people who are on board from day one.  Another 25% are easily accepting of change if the change is explained to them in ways they can understand and relate to.  The third 25% takes more convincing than the first two groups, and is generally a bit more cautious or doubtful, but with dedication and time can be brought on board.  That leaves the last 25%, the people who do not do change.  Often, they would rather leave the organization than face a change of any magnitude.  And they are people you are simply wasting your time and dollars on, because no matter how much you train or coach they will never, ever come on board.  

    His advice?  Write 'em off.  Focus on the 75% you can work with, because they constitute the majority.

    Seems a lot like what's going on in the country, doesn't it?

    I'm sick of GOP SOP!

    by xysea on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:29:14 AM PST

  •  Obama was successful in the change (6+ / 0-)

    of some because of how he framed it.  He described it as a journey with a prize at the end.  (oversimplified)  Others who try to get you to change just tell you - change or else.  You can't get alot of people to change that way.  They will resist.  However, there are those out there that resist any kind of change no matter how it is framed because it leaves them lost and at sea.  They have no coping mechanism for change.  They will walk into the same wall over and over and blame the wall for the resulting headache.  It is NEVER their fault that they made the bad choice.  I don't know if it is a taught skill or an inherited gene.  

    Nature's laws are the invisible government of the earth - Alfred Montapert

    by whoknu on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:01:13 AM PST

    •  And he uses familiar frames to encourage change. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pandoras Box, FarWestGirl, whoknu

      I discussed this in some other comments above, but Obama is very good at grounding change in familiar frames.  He gives the familiar frame just a tiny tweak - "investment" in infrastructure, education, and health care, for example, tweaking the notion of "return on investment" from the individual to the societal - and is better able to convince people that his very different policies are grounded in frames they're familiar with and know how to apply.  It's a very good rhetorical practice.

      Good morning! ::huggggggggggggs::

  •  Delayed diary reaction syndrome (6+ / 0-)

    Crissie, your diaries rumble around in my mind long after the day they appear. I'm a person who mulls things over and I find that my own learnings hit me in the days following like a series of ah-has. Same with many of the wonderful comments.

    In this diary, I had immediate (an hour) insight as to why I made some really stupid financial decisions after my divorce. It helped me understand myself so much better so I thank you.

  •  Good morning Chrissie and Krew! (4+ / 0-)

    I'm late this morning so I'm just sending hugs and will go back and read comments before commenting. Today's diary is, as aways, informative and gives me much to think about. I treasure this time in the morning. Looking forward to reading what everyone has to say.
    Have a great day all!

  •  Great diary, Crissie! (6+ / 0-)

    And hugs to you and all the Krew!  

    Once again you've got my brain cells firing, and I haven't even had coffee yet.

    I'm as resistant to change as anyone, I suppose.  When I was younger, I seemed to thrive on it, but now I've reached an age where it often seems more trouble than it's worth.

    Except occasionally.  Then I do something really radical and discover that it feels like a breath of fresh air in my life, even if it does strain the old brain.

    Most of us tend to live in a state of inertia, doing things automatically because it's less taxing.  And, frankly, it gives us more time to do things.  But every so often a good shake-up benefits the soul.

    The austerity you see around you covers the richness of life like a veil -- Anonymous

    by winterbanyan on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:15:47 AM PST

  •  A story. (8+ / 0-)

    I was basically raised by political archconservatives. They weren't all that into nurture, empathy, collaboration, or anything. With varying degrees of religious backing, my elders believed, very much, in the "every man for himself" as kind of an organizing principle for life in the home and the world. You sank, or you swam. It was all about your own merits as a person.

    Why didn't I pick up where they left off? Why didn't I grow up to be someone who hangs out in venues like this one and contributes to progressive causes? In Conrad and Milburn's book "The Politics of Denial," they make the case that people raised around authoritarian attitudes and behaviors--people punished and shamed as children--tend to subscribe to authoritarian political ideologies in adulthood. Shit, I should have been out campaigning for Proposition 8!

    I think at least part of the cause of my political awakening was stumbling into the student health service one day during my sophomore year in college and establishing a relationship with a counselor who made me feel for the very first time in my life that I was being listened to undividedly. After my ten free sessions were up, I continued seeing her in her private practice on a sliding scale. We almost never talked about politics. But I was able to reorganize every facet of my worldview. I credit her, very much, with my birth as a political liberal.

    Thanks for the diary.

  •  Well ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    guyeda, NCrissieB

    ... I've never heard anyone say "only the stupid resist change."

    I think the anger that leads to that kind of name calling is not so complicated.

    I think the anger is due to the effects on the rest of us of the choices made by folks to, say, vote for George W. Bush.

    So there will be name calling and fairly shallow analysis to support that name calling.

    I agree with you that resistance to change knows no party or culture.

    I also think our culture is highly conditioned and we all are, in some way, victim to that conditioning.  It's an individual task to break out of such conditioning, and dealing with change is certainly one aspect of that task, imo.

    It seems to me you are trying to lay the groundwork for better, more informed, communication in our public discourse.  To see the roots of our own anger and the behavior that flows from that, yeah, I think that would lay some ground.  And certainly, resistance to change is part of that behavior.

    For me the goal is an informed and active citizenry, something we haven't had in a very long time.

    •  I agree (almost) entirely. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I understand where the anger and name-calling comes from, and I agree with your analysis of it.  And yes, part of what I'm trying to do is help us get past that, because I don't think it's productive.

      The one part I disagree with is this:

      It's an individual task to break out of such conditioning, and dealing with change is certainly one aspect of that task, imo.

      Breaking our conditioning - learning new frames or new ways to use familiar frames - is not entirely an individual task.  We're too social a species for an activity that important to be left entirely to individual analysis.

      Most of us try to test new frames or applications in social discourse, to experiment with them, feel out their dimensions and utilities, and to some extent our comfort level with the new frame will reflect what we've encountered in that discourse.

      I'll explore ways society can encourage the exploration of new frames and new applications of familiar frames in other diaries this week.

      Good morning! ::huggggggggggggggggs::

      •  Sure ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... not entirely an individual task.  But the choice is an individual one - it may be influenced by others, may be influenced by what we've read or heard, but the choice itself is made alone, imo.

        Once that is done we can test out a whole lot of things.

        Again, I'm viewing all this in the frame of citizenship and re-establishing the public square which has been pretty much demolished at this point.

        •  Choice is a complex word. :) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Our frames are prepackaged bundles of analysis.  Most of them are received and validated culturally, albeit not always "the national culture."  (Indeed, "the national culture" is probably a non-entity; it is a collection and interplay of subcultures.)  When we use those frames, we make "choices" from the menu of options those frames offer.  And as discussed in the diary, the most important of those "choices" is frame-selection, which is a pre-conscious act.  It's hard to classify a pre-conscious act as a "choice."

          So while each of us has a different collection of culturally-received and culturally-validated frames, and each of us has privileged and reinforced some frames over others by virtue of repetition and experience, it's a bit complex to say that the "choice" emerging from a culturally-received and culturally-validated choice is an "individual choice."

          But neither is it meaningless to say that.  Our frames may be culturally-received and culturally-validated, but our specific life experiences - by which we internalize and learn to apply the frames - are indeed individual.  I like Derrida's notion that we as individuals exist at the intersections of the many narratives (his term, I prefer frames) we've learned and internalized.

          That makes us unique individuals in the whole, but I suggest that no single characteristic or act is uniquely individual ... including our "choices."

          We're a social species, after all. :)

          •  At some point or other ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ... we are alone with ourselves, for all that we are a social species.

            If you get hit with a hammer, I don't feel a thing physically.

            We are born alone.

            We die alone.

            So I do believe there is something within us that makes certain choices alone in how we relate to our own existence.

            I also believe we are entirely interdependent.

            Iz a paradox!  :-)

            •  Hrmmmmmmmm..... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nightprowlkitty, Ms Citizen

              It's definitely a paradox.

              As for being born alone, that's about the one time when it's absolutely certain none of is was alone.  At the very least, mom was there. :)

              But yes, it's a paradox.  We do experience ourselves as separate, and experience life as if much of what we "think" is entirely solitary.  But in fact, most of that "thinking" is replaying frames we received in our cultures, so we are engaging in social "thinking" even if no one else is there.  This is especially true if the "thinking" includes self-talk, because self-talk includes language and language is without doubt a cultural element.  The prattle that goes on in "our own" minds is often using and shaped by words and ideas that are received from our cultures.

              And yet we can feel so ... alone.

              A paradox, indeed!

              •  Not referring ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                ... to "thinking" here, but to our individual apprehension of existence, which is more experiential than reflective (i.e., "thought about").

                Mom may be physically present at our birth, but the actual birth itself is by its own nature, alone -- the cord is cut and in that instance we are separate.  There's nobody in our minds with us.

                Don't know if you have read of the Tibetan Buddhist monks who, as the stereotype tells it, sit alone in a cave and meditate.  There is no "thinking" in that state (and it's very interesting to see results of brain science testing on them).

                "Feeling alone" is for sure a psychological state, but that's not really what I'm talking about.

                For now, I'll leave it at that and hope to continue in one of your future diaries.  I'm going awfully far afield now!

                Thank you for the intelligent conversation!

      •  P.S.: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And a good morning to you, too!

  •  Crissie, you are incredible (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winterbanyan, NCrissieB, j b norton

    I have suscribed to you and will be using you to wake my brain up every morning this week.

    Republicans need to go back to picking white males cuz they suck at picking others. Palin. Steele. Jindal.

    by niteskolar on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 07:12:02 AM PST

  •  I was driving yesterday listening to NPR and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eloise, winterbanyan, NCrissieB

    someone was talking about dopamine levels in the brain, lack of or too much, i wasn't listening hard, but it seems that the brain triggers pattern recognition and kind of gets set in concrete if one has too much or too little, acounting for compulisve obssessive disorders.

    So, it's all in the mind!!!!!. Another point made was the brain was not designed to absorb the overload of information we are all bombarded with these days.

    Food for thought, if anyone wanted something else to worry about?  Me, my first crocus's are out so I am going to garden instead.

    Besides everyone knows it is in the stars, I am a Taurus and set in my ways!!!!!!

    •  Happy crocuses! (0+ / 0-)

      Gardening is a joyful activity.  There is something unique and special about feeling intimately in touch with the earth, and nurturing life in that way.

      As to whether our brains are suffering from information overload in our modern society, that may be true to some extent.  On the other hand, I think we may also simply filter out more.  I've seen no evidence to suggest that our brains' mean processing capacity has changed over the past few centuries, and people then were awake and doing things for about as much of their days as we are now.  Their brains were processing something, after all. :)

      Good morning! ::hugggggggggggggggggs::

  •  I think the problem is more complex, here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To you, and to me, it is quite clear that the Republican policies have been a disaster.  It's SO clear, that we are tempted to say that anyone who does NOT see that clarity is a moron.  And yet ... I know highly intelligent conservatives!  I bet you do, too.  

    OK, I live on the upper west side of Manhattan, and I work with academics, so I don't know MANY highly intelligent conservatives, but I know some.  And not all of them are motivated by greed.  

    So, what's up?  Do these people turn off their brains when they think about politics?  Naaaah.

    They come in with some preconceived notions, and they tend to see the data that confirm those notions, and ignore or argue against data that disconfirms those notions.  But you know what? So do we!  In fact, humans do this, for all sorts of issues.

    Now, this is only a tendency, and it's stronger in some people than others.  The fact that it's only a tendency accounts for why a bad economy tends to yield a change in who gets elected.  But it also accounts for why some people never change their minds.  About anything.

    •  Cherry-picking conforming data. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Confirmation bias is the technical term for cherry-picking data that conform to our preconceived ideas and marginalizing the non-conforming data.  And yes, that does play a role.

      But to me, that's a form of auto-pilot.  You're not really engaging with issues, but merely citing a factoid or two as a stepping off point to go right back into familiar frames, narratives, strategies, and responses.

      And yes, we all do it.

      Good morning! ::hugggggggggggggggs::

      •  Right. It's hard to get us off autopilot (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ESPECIALLY on issues that are central to us.

        Should I switch brands of ketchup?

        is an easier change than

        Should I start/stop believing in God?

        For most people

        Should I switch political parties?

        is somewhere in between.

        So, if our friend Bob says "You know, Heinz ketchup rocks!"  we may try it.

        But if our friend Bob says "You should become a Republican" we are likely to look at him oddly, and reject his advice.

    •  It's what DeBono called "The Intelligence Trap" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515, NCrissieB

      Smarter people have active and agile reasoning capabilities, so they can come up with very convincing rational arguments to support their preconceived ideas ("frames", if you wish).  The smarter the person, the more convicing the arguments, and the more powerful the trap...

      ~ Trendar.

      "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

      by Trendar on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 10:14:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I find myself saying this a lot, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Trendar, NCrissieB

    you can always tell how good a post on dkos is by the intelligence in the comments in reply.

    Can I put in my vote for more excellent posts like this, and less "republicants are dumb ololol" on the rec list?

    "The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times." - Justice A. Kennedy

    by pylonsound on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 08:19:09 AM PST

  •  Random scraps of mentation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box, NCrissieB

    Seeing Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich is an example of pattern over-detection, which has obvious survival value. It is better to sometimes supect the presence of a sabre-tooth tiger when none is there, than to fail to suspect it when one is there.

    Conservatism has obvious survival value too, but it's so obvious that we often don't see it. Everyone alive today has survived to this point, and that's not easy to do. Why change what has worked so far?

    Even sticking with an apparently lousy cognitive frame may have survival value. We are a social species, and deploy social strategies to survive. To be effective, most social strategies require both solidarity and consistency over time. The fact that a given frame doesn't seem to be working too well right now may not constitute a reason to abandon the frame (consistency over time). A soldier in the ranks follows the general's strategy (frame), and doesn't change strategies until the general orders it (solidarity).

    Rural populations tend to be more conservative than urban ones. This is not a coincidence. An urban center draws people and resources from a broad hinterland. The urban dweller sees a constant stream of new or unfamiliar people and things, and thrives based on ability to recognize advantage in novelty. A mistake is not fatal, because the stream is broad and fast enough to allow a quick recovery. For the rural dweller, there is very little change in the observed environment, and much less opportunity to switch to a new strategy if the current strategy fails. If everything depends on this year's harvest, you're going to do whatever worked last year, and regard innovations suggested by some kid just back from college with great suspicion. For the city dweller, if the harvest fails in one province, they'll just import their food from somewhere else for a while. Thus, rural people will have greater reluctance to switch from whatever strategy has gotten them this far.

    Another outstanding diary, NCB!

    •  All excellent observations! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I especially appreciate the note that adopting new frames is a cultural process, and we need to be aware that merely that a frame is "new" does not mean it is "better."  There's also a transactional cost inherent in changing frames: while we're shifting over, we're more prone to mistakes of frame selection and frame execution.  So even if the frame might yield better results once mastered, we might get worse results in the transition period.  And if we can't afford to ride out those losses until the better results kick in ... the change may not be worth its risks.

      That's what we'll explore in tomorrow's diary.

      Thank you for your excellent observations!

      Good morning! ::hugggggggggggggggggs::

      •  More on over-detection (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I meant to add, over-detection is advantageous only to a point. There is such as thing as over-over-detection, aka paranoia, which can lead to paralysis and/or inappropriate commitment of limited resources.

        Thanks for your kind words. I now look for your diaries every day (but I'm going to miss tomorrow, darn it).

  •  What I don't understand about change is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    why get rid of what helped and worked just because it is older.  Change is like many other things in that it can be beneficial or harmful.  Why do we toss out what was good in favor of the merely new? the elites...actually believe that society can be destroyed by anyone except those who lead them? - John Ralston Saul -

    by Silverbird on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 08:47:31 AM PST

    •  I don't think it is merely the novel or new (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      nor do I think it is indifference to tradition or what worked before......I consider it progress or innovation, or as in social progress, a more inclusive perspective.

      There is a lot to be said for a society that stagnates under the weight of traditions or in repeating over and over again what doesn't work.

      But then, I'm more of a change agent...I like the fact that we changed voting rights, expanded ideas about Civil Rights, put a man on the moon.....etc.

      Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.- BHO

      by valadon on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 11:56:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  change is the norm for the universe, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but even when change looks welcome, is brings along inknown or not yet seen effects.

        For instance, I remember not having television.  Then at age 7, our family got a TV.  We and I had plenty of fun watching early TV with the neighbors and enjoying all the early programs that were SO GREAT  (Show of Shows,  The Milton Berle Show,  Ed Sullivan, Kraft Theater, etc.)  I especially enjoyed the travel show to places I would never have seen otherwise (i.e., Khatmandu or Lake Victoria) and the nature programs.

        But as wonderful as that was and as much as it exposed me to things outside my own daily existence, which I have loved and enjoyed, I finally came to realize that it was a sad and irreplaceable loss to no longer have the family converstions and conversations with neighbors that used to take place between us before the arrival of TV.  Just the past weekend I attended a wake, and the small amount of information any of us cousins know about our family and its stories is tragic.  Someting gained, but something that now seems more important was lost -- a family's memory.

        That is why I bring up that change is for good and ill. the elites...actually believe that society can be destroyed by anyone except those who lead them? - John Ralston Saul -

        by Silverbird on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 12:53:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Our circumstances change. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Some frames are robust in the range of circumstances for which they'll work well.  Others aren't.  Most of political and social frames aren't quite as robust as is our attachment to them, so we tend to hold on to them - or at least to familiar ways of using them - when changing circumstances would suggest we need to take another look.

      That's why I tend to be leery of One Size Fits All, Once And For All Time solutions.

  •  I would be interested in the same analysis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box, NCrissieB

    applied to religion and the religious.  Maybe then I could understand why things are done the way they in spite of overwhelming evidence that the framing is misaligned.

    You can't support the GOP and the Constitution at the same time!

    by Arsenic on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 09:14:25 AM PST

    •  I discussed that some in the comments. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Fundamentalism, in any religion, is a very robust sort of framing, in the sense that it contains the explanations for its failures but does so in ways that are essentially tautological.  If you just "have enough faith," X will happen.  If X doesn't happen, then you didn't "have enough faith," however much you might have subjectively felt yourself to have.  That tautological explanation allows those who apply those frames to treat errors in frame selection as if they were errors in frame execution.  What's more, those errors of frame execution are strategy-independent; the solution isn't to seek a different strategy, even within the frame, but simply to "believe" more.

  •  Book recommendation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ms Citizen, NCrissieB

    if you're interested in another facet of brain/pattern study.

    This is Your Brain on Music, by Daniel Levitin

    Excellent read, lots of stuff on how the human mind learns & recognizes musical patterns, and tie-ins with evolution and neurology.

    Member, The Angry Left.

    by nosleep4u on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 10:14:26 AM PST

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