dangerousmeta!, the original new mexican miscellany, offering eclectic linkage since 1999.

The word of this election season: “Imperviousness.”

I’ve never experienced such imperviousness to reason as I have these last few months. People I love, people I respect, acquaintances, strangers. People are entrenched, taking editorial media reports, political PR, interest-group marketing and immediately converting them to deeply-held belief without proof. If it sounds plausible and agrees with one’s preset opinions, then it’s ‘fact.’ A simple dry comment can elicit a friendship-breaking response. And it’s spread throughout the metacosm really, not just in political discourse. Beyond just a ‘litmus test’ - opinions are becoming guillotines for what used to be conversational classical argument. “My way or the highway.” The echo chambers of Facebook seem to be implicated here. The algorithms that continue to feed us what we ‘like’, rather than what we actually ought to see and understand. The morning email from Amazon, “Most Read from the Washington Post” — what a horrible, depressing way to start the day. Facebook Trends - all the news not fit to print. The new algorithms on Instagram, Twitter. All narrow, shoving us down a sales/marketing funnel. All keeping us ennervated, anxious ... ‘small’. I thank God for RSS and my aggregators every damned minute [little or no algorithmic targeting]. [RSS widens. Use it.]

I can certainly be impervious, but I’d like to believe I see it and recognize it, esp. when readers call me out. Many readers know of my willingness to push an argument out into books and spending time re-educating myself - postponing judgment and refusing to blog on the subject again until I know more. I try. I don’t see many others trying. The process of investigating a personal opinion can be confounding, maddening ... and amazingly rewarding. I thank my readers for this constantly. You all keep me functioning well. Reminding me to step away from the silicon!

Blogging used to be better. I look around at this present time, and ‘lose the will’. I know it’ll pass (I hope; ‘Trumpish imperviousness’ seems to have become a human virus). However the current philosophy of blog-as-soapbox instead of blog-as-conversation loses everything that is great about blogging, IMHO. I find it a sad shame. To me, simply engaging in a conversation implies mind-changing. I and you readers seem to be the minority here for believing this.

I’ll leave the last word with Oliver Cromwell: “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.” Something I keep in the back of my head every time I open my mouth, or press “submit” on a post.

07/12/16 • 07:34 AM • HistoryPersonalPolitics • (4) Comments


That needed to be said.  Well done.

Posted by Tom on 07/12/16 at 08:21 AM

Two examples of reader ‘redirection’ that I’m currently still working on:

1. Frequent reader Bill challenged me on Palestine/Israel years ago. I’m STILL researching that, and the more I read, the more I want to stay the hell away from making an ill-considered judgment. It is not a *simple* subject to discuss, and to do so with any thread of intelligence requires citing responsible sources of information. Next redesign, I want to find an easy method for footnoting.

2. Frequent reader Jeremiah challenged me on GM opposition. I’ve gone to dig into biology books to understand the rudiments of GM (been a while since Biology in college). I am posting things about GM lately because it seems glyphosate reactions are significantly more likely than GM ‘evil’. But I’m staying off the GM-is-always-bad track, which I’d been riding for a while. I’d gotten sloppy with sourcing, fat and happy in my ignorance. J pulled me up short, as was necessary.

Posted by Garret P Vreeland on 07/12/16 at 08:31 AM

Sheep versus goats…

Overly simplistic, but again: blind agreement or thoughtful discourse.

Posted by DanB on 07/12/16 at 12:19 PM

I can’t learn anything unless I shut up and listen…

Posted by Hal B. Rager on 07/12/16 at 02:45 PM


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