Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Is There Nothing People Won't Try To Spin?

      On one level, I get it.  We're the optimistic primates, who will try everything when confronted by adversity and figure out what works by seeing who survives. We're the species that understands the joke about the fellow who jumps off a very tall building, and when someone yells, "How's it going?" as he passes the halfway point, he shouts back, "Okay so far!"

     This is who we are at a very basic level.  It crops up over and over in our myths and our genetic history: we squeak our way through long odds and one of the reasons why is that we tend to make up our own version of reality and stick to it -- and the people whose version was too far askew, well, they encounter abrupt correction from the physical world and adapt, or they're not around later.

     But this trait, frustrating and admirable as it is, gets in the way of just looking at the evidence and not trying to hammer it into the pattern we want to see.  And yet that's the first step in understanding anything: seeing what's really there and no more, without preconceptions.

     It's hard work.  Peel away one layer of "It ought to be.." and "It's supposed to be.." and there is another one underneath.  But it's worthwhile work.

     Not everything is hype.  Not everything fits neatly on one "side" or another.  We would do well to remember it.

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