Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Social Emotional or Individual logical

The answer to which of these you fall under is yes.

Most can logically make decisions when they are alone. Few can make logical decisions that oppose the group, and almost none consistently.

We harbor both viewpoints within the same persona - each denying the other in turn. The rationalization process has us willingly accept information that we could with proper distance regard as foolish.

It is not so much that we don't desire to have an open mind, it is that we would have to be able to hold two contrary opinions at the same time - difficult even if both are true.

The classic demonstration is of a soldier in a foxhole being told to join the attack. He is safer if he just ducks his head and stays where he is. He is aware of the social context however. If everyone ducks their head there will be no battle - he knows that will not happen. If only some respond they will be defeated - and his side's defenses will decrease exposing him to more danger with a counter-attack. If everyone attacks - some will die, but overall his odds improve beyond the weakened attack. the combination results in most soldiers attacking most of the time.

When discussing politics most followers of the party line know their arguments are silly and emotional claptrap at best, any party line is. They chose to attack the other party with this silly tripe because it is the best trade off between admitting they are manipulated fools and accusing the other party of being manipulated fools. So they attack.

What if they gave an election and everyone stayed home? The same thing as if they gave a war and nobody came. Unfortunately it won't happen.

There is another option if you have a shade of dignity and are not a manipulated fool.


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