The phenomenon of Binary Thinking - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

Wandering the information superhighway, he came upon the last refuge of civilization, PoFo, the only forum on the internet ...

All sociological topics not appropriate or suited to other areas of the board.
Forum rules: No one line posts please.
#15170200
"No one-line posts"?
I am not sure if this is a problem here.

Binary thinking, also known as dichotomous thinking, happens when even complex concepts, ideas, and problems are overly simplified into being one side or another. The gray area in the middle is ignored or goes unnoticed. Binary thinking helps us feel a sense of certainty.
Last edited by Stevex on 01 May 2021 04:34, edited 1 time in total.
#15170236
I think it's fair to say that I've been trying to combat binary thinking ever since I first fell down the rabbit hole and arrived in PoFoland in 2008, although I wasn't introduced to it's description as such until fairly recently.

In my line of work (mental health) we talk about 'black & white', or, 'all or nothing', thinking, but it's the same thing.

Our world is too complex for us to understand it completely, or perhaps even substantially, so in pretty much all aspects of our lives we unconsciously try to simplify it. We can all come to a substantial (though never truly complete) understanding of particular, relatively small parts of our world, but no-one can grasp the whole thing. So for example, to choose something hopefully non-contentious, if you're interested in cars you will see other cars as you drive along rather differently from someone who is not interested in cars. You are both exposed to the same data entering your brain, but your brains will interpret that data differently. As I drive along (or more commonly ride, as although I like cars I prefer motorcycles) I see Ford, Citroen, Audi, VW...ooohh look! a Ferrari! ( :lol: ), whereas in contrast someone else just sees 'a red one'.

There's nothing we can do about it, per se...other than to recognise the phenomenon and wherever possible allow for it. I envy my wife, who is very 'green-fingered' and knows her flora and fauna, so when I look out onto the countryside (thankfully we live in the countryside) all I see is blobs of green stuff, whereas she sees hawthorn, blackthorn, cedar, cherry, primrose, briar rose, bramble etc, etc. Her experience of our environment is therefore richer and more rewarding than mine, but like every other human's, my brain is full of other stuff and I don't have the time or the capacity to start painstakingly learning a whole new body of knowledge. But at least I know and acknowledge what I don't know.

However in politics in particular, binary thought is toxic and dangerous, particularly if we allow ourselves to believe that what we don't know doesn't matter or isn't worth knowing.

But politics actually encourages that kind of thinking. Anthropology shows us that however much we have learned over millennia to moderate, modify and control the instincts that helped our pre-human forbears evolve into modern humans, the strength of those core instincts has been undiminished and the tribal instinct is strong. One of the best ways to galvanise, motivate and unify one's own tribe is to have a clear 'enemy' tribe, because in tandem with our group, tribal instinct is each individual's own survival instinct. So in politics, if you don't think like 'us'...you must be 'one of them' (the enemy).

To reprise, "There's nothing we can do about it, per se...other than to recognise the phenomenon and wherever possible allow for it. "

Unfortunately, for no less complex reasons, we generally don't allow for it because most people don't - or won't - recognise it. As I said, the reasons are complex but one reason is because of how our 'democracies' are arranged. Both the US and the UK political systems are binary by design- you can choose between Republican or Democrat, we can choose between Conservative or Labour. Both systems create an illusion of multi-party democracy and have a host of minor parties, but ultimately (save from the very occasional hung parliament in our case) it will come down to that old, mythical chestnut - a choice between 'left' or 'right'.

The psychological power of that is so great that anyone swept up and bewitched by either of the dominant ideologies will believe that the left-right divide is no myth, but a universal and eternal truth.

But it's neither universal or eternal. It's a cognitive convenience used to simplify the bewlidering complexities of human interaction and coexistence or, as I've heard it called elsewhere, 'lazy shorthand' to determine into which box one places an 'x'.

:hmm:
#15170266
Cartertonian wrote:
Our world is too complex for us to understand it completely, or perhaps even substantially, so in pretty much all aspects of our lives we unconsciously try to simplify it.


"We" use heuristics as a shortcut.

Cartertonian wrote: We can all come to a substantial (though never truly complete) understanding of particular, relatively small parts of our world, but no-one can grasp the whole thing.


Some/many people can't overcome/resolve the discomfort of Cognitive Dissonance and will resort to binary thinking.

Cartertonian wrote: and I don't have the time or the capacity to start painstakingly learning a whole new body of knowledge. But at least I know and acknowledge what I don't know.


There are 2 types of people in the world. <sic>
Those who are aware of their limitations, and those who are not.
Refer to: Dunning-Kruger Effect.

Cartertonian wrote:However in politics in particular, binary thought is toxic and dangerous, particularly if we allow ourselves to believe that what we don't know doesn't matter or isn't worth knowing.

But politics actually encourages that kind of thinking. Anthropology shows us that however much we have learned over millennia to moderate, modify and control the instincts that helped our pre-human forbears evolve into modern humans, the strength of those core instincts has been undiminished and the tribal instinct is strong.


While the Triune Theory may be outdated, it is still useful, imo.

Cartertonian wrote:One of the best ways to galvanise, motivate and unify one's own tribe is to have a clear 'enemy' tribe,


Refer to: The Holocaust.

Cartertonian wrote:because in tandem with our group, tribal instinct is each individual's own survival instinct. So in politics, if you don't think like 'us'...you must be 'one of them' (the enemy).


Many/most people are governed primarily by their base instincts.

Cartertonian wrote:To reprise, "There's nothing we can do about it, per se...other than to recognise the phenomenon and wherever possible allow for it. "


Yet, there are at least 2 people on this website, that have the insight to profoundly realise the effect of Tribalism. :D

Cartertonian wrote:Unfortunately, for no less complex reasons, we generally don't allow for it because most people don't - or won't - recognise it. As I said, the reasons are complex but one reason is because of how our 'democracies' are arranged. Both the US and the UK political systems are binary by design-


In my experience, I have the impression that Binary Politics is more a left-wing phenomenon, at least consciously.

Cartertonian wrote:you can choose between Republican or Democrat, we can choose between Conservative or Labour. Both systems create an illusion of multi-party democracy and have a host of minor parties, but ultimately (save from the very occasional hung parliament in our case) it will come down to that old, mythical chestnut - a choice between 'left' or 'right'.


I have studied left-wing Hyperpartisanship in some detail, and have come to the conclusion that Binary Politics has been deliberately and consciously weaponised, possibly as a result of Saul Alinskian tactics.
Do you believe it is just as conscious on the right of politics?

Cartertonian wrote:The psychological power of that is so great that anyone swept up and bewitched by either of the dominant ideologies will believe that the left-right divide is no myth, but a universal and eternal truth.


As I have speculated in another thread, could part of the reason for this be the lack of intellectual capacity in many situations?
Or could it simply be a dearth of critical thinking skills?

Cartertonian wrote:But it's neither universal or eternal. It's a cognitive convenience used to simplify the bewlidering complexities of human interaction and coexistence or, as I've heard it called elsewhere, 'lazy shorthand' to determine into which box one places an 'x'.

:hmm:


Indeed.
#15170298
Stevex wrote:In my experience, I have the impression that Binary Politics is more a left-wing phenomenon, at least consciously.

...

I have studied left-wing Hyperpartisanship in some detail, and have come to the conclusion that Binary Politics has been deliberately and consciously weaponised, possibly as a result of Saul Alinskian tactics.
Do you believe it is just as conscious on the right of politics?


No, but then I don't subscribe to 'left/right' positioning. Those who are, shall we say, definitely not socialist/communist do not have the same collected and curated body of philsophy and ideological writing upon which to draw. And of course, those who are definitely not socialist/communist are by no means all on the right of politics.


As I have speculated in another thread, could part of the reason for this be the lack of intellectual capacity in many situations?
Or could it simply be a dearth of critical thinking skills?

I'm always wary of making assumptions about intellectual capacity. I do, however, think there is something in the lack of critical thinking skills. Taking myself as an example, I was educated to A level (not sure of the international equivalents, but in the UK it's the prerequisite for entry into university) and then did three years of nurse training, but it wasn't until I was thirty and stepped onto the bottom rung of the academic ladder by enrolling on a diploma in higher education that the penny began to drop, when our tutor explained to us that, "Just because something's written in a peer-reviewed journal, that doesn't mean it's right." I was so taken aback by that at the time that I still remember it vividly to this day. Up to that point, I really did think that if someone 'cleverer than me' had written something and had it published in a credible journal, it must be 'true'. ( :roll: ... :lol: ) Over two decades on and with a bachelors degree and two masters degrees, I now make myself unpopular with my doctoral supervisors by questioning everything! :lol:
#15170972
Cartertonian wrote:No, but then I don't subscribe to 'left/right' positioning. Those who are, shall we say, definitely not socialist/communist do not have the same collected and curated body of philsophy and ideological writing upon which to draw. And of course, those who are definitely not socialist/communist are by no means all on the right of politics.


A large part of the problem, based on years of personal observation of a specific group, seems to be the need of the progressive/liberal side of politics to follow a narrative, rather than look at each situation individualistically.
I haven't seen this tendency anywhere near as bad on the centrist political spectrum, nor even on the moderate conservative side.
Perhaps the 'study group' is simply dominated by the hardcore left-wing? This could explain a lot.

The alt. right, however, seems to be just as intolerant of compromise and also seems to embrace groupthink.


Cartertonian wrote:I'm always wary of making assumptions about intellectual capacity. I do, however, think there is something in the lack of critical thinking skills.


Consider some of the seeming permutations of the left-leaning study group mindest I have been interacting with for many years:
1. Those who are consciously embracing binarism with the knowledge of the political/philosophical ramifications of what they are doing. (Manipulators/Leaders)
2. Those who are consciously embracing binarism without the knowledge of the political/philosophical ramifications of what they are doing. (Followers)
3. Those who simply embrace groupthink. (The emotionally dependent)
4. Those who are seemingly autonomous.

In the "study group", there seem to be examples of people who embrace one of the 4.
I.E. Each permutation has an adherent(s).
Of course, this is my subjective assessment. ;)


Cartertonian wrote: Taking myself as an example, I was educated to A level (not sure of the international equivalents, but in the UK it's the prerequisite for entry into university) and then did three years of nurse training, but it wasn't until I was thirty and stepped onto the bottom rung of the academic ladder by enrolling on a diploma in higher education that the penny began to drop, when our tutor explained to us that, "Just because something's written in a peer-reviewed journal, that doesn't mean it's right." I was so taken aback by that at the time that I still remember it vividly to this day. Up to that point, I really did think that if someone 'cleverer than me' had written something and had it published in a credible journal, it must be 'true'. ( :roll: ... :lol: ) Over two decades on and with a bachelors degree and two masters degrees, I now make myself unpopular with my doctoral supervisors by questioning everything! :lol:


Impressive qualifications.
And, yes, people are all too influenced by apparent qualifications and are often seduced into embracing the Appeal to Authority Fallacy.
Hence the need for embracing a deeper understanding of critical thinking skills.
Hence the need to maintain a sceptical/scientific mindset.

Question: Is Binary Thinking dishonest in its over simplicity, with the understanding that the intellectual ability is a spectrum?
Is there a place for "Useful Idiots" in a political group?
#15170974
One point I would raise is that binaries or dichotomies are an inevitable part in the development of understanding a thing and as such are unavoidable.
The issue is of course how to resolve certain oppositions with a particular fact. In part because an endless continuum of particulars doesn’t advance understanding the essence of a subject. However some binaries aren’t conceptually significant in this regard I suspect and are perhaps superfluous.
But the point is that certain dichtonomies are unavoidable and for some impossible to resolve unless one subscribes to a particular view point of how to overcome it not through eclectricsm of assumed middle ground but to properly delinate the limits on which certain facts remain true and aren't generalized into absurdity.
Of course such a task is immensely difficult and many who attempt to sympathize may fall into an eclecticism where the facts are still external to one another as one identifies some similarity or difference and reckless joins or opposes things on the basis of this one abstracted quality ignoring the entire systems of thought.
The point being that an approach to simply adopt the middle ground can be just as unthinking and one-sided as choosing one side of a dichotomy and sometimes even worse as it can show an unawareness of the actual opposition within the dichotomy in need of resolution and assumes harmony.
The real issue for thinking is to actually understand the dichotomy and to not fall into endless skepticism denouncing things for their limitations but seeking to resolve them and advance understanding past what seems insurmountable.

Spoiler: show
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/story-concept.htm
f we are to investigate forms of consciousness we must begin with Descartes. Although it is very fashionable nowadays, or at least until very recently, to denounce René Descartes for having been guilty of dualism, it is very rare to find a writer who can really address the issues which Descartes was tackling and avoid mind/body dualism. Nowadays, we want to do away with all dichotomies, all forms of dualism. Things are never just black and white, good and bad, male and female; the edges are always blurred and there are always in-betweens, and to deny this in any domain of enquiry is deemed to be not only wrong but reactionary. No-one, it seems, dares to say with Descartes, that thought is something categorically different from matter.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/essays/essay4a.htm
That is the point that divided Fichte and Schelling from Kant; the intellectual culture of humanity cannot lie eternally like Buridan’s ass between two equally logical systems of ideas about the most important things in life. Mankind has, in practice, to act, to live; but it is impossible to act simultaneously in accordance with two opposing systems of recommendations. We are forced to choose one of them and then to act strictly in the spirit of its principles. Kant himself, it is true, demonstrated in his last works that the arguments of practical reason must all the same tip the scales in favour of one system or the other, although on a purely theoretical plane they are absolutely equal. But with him this theme only broke through as one of the trends of his thinking, while Fichte and Schelling transformed it into the starting point of all their meditations. Hence the slogan about victory, too, in the theoretical sphere. One of the clashing logical conceptions must still prevail over the other, its opposite, and for that it must be reinforced by arguments no longer of a purely logical, rather purely scholastic quality, but armed with practical (moral and aesthetic) advantages as well. Then it was assured of victory, and not simply of the right and the chance of waging an eternal academic dispute.

https://broodsphilosophy.wordpress.com/2006/12/20/hegel-change-and-contradiction/
Also in the SEP article the author writes…

However, here we can remind ourselves of Hegel’s idealism. Just about everyone agrees that contradictions within ideas are easier to swallow than contradictions in the external world.

I want give a further comment on this one too. It would be understatement to say that Hegel understands that one might seek to resolve the issue of those contradictions by locating notions in our Mind, and then saying that while contradiction will be necessary in the ‘realm of the Mind”, they don’t say anything about the external world (which would be thus left free of any contradictions). That is the Kantian solution, which Hegel contrasts with his own thus:

The Kantian solution, namely, through the so-called transcendental ideality of the world of perception, has no other result than to make the so-called conflict into something subjective, in which of course it remains still the same illusion, that is, is as unresolved, as before. Its genuine solution can only be this: two opposed determinations which belong necessarily to one and the same Notion cannot be valid each on its own in its one-sidedness; on the contrary,they are true only as sublated, only in the unity of their Notion.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/articles/school-learn.pdf
And the more sharply the “contradiction” is formulated, the more precisely indicated the “signs” to which this “unknown” must correspond, the criteria in accordance with which the search must be guided and attention directed. In this case a person’s thinking does not wander here and there in the hope of stumbling across a new fact, but purposefully seeks out that fact—the unique fact that will enable him to close the chain of reasoning.

Figuratively we can picture this mechanism of dialectical thinking as follows. It brings to mind a severed electric wire. At one end of the wire a positive charge has accumulated, at the other a negative charge. The tension between the two opposed charges can be released only by using some object to close the circuit. What kind of object? Let us experiment. We connect the ends of the wire with a piece of glass. Current does not flow; the tension remains. We try wood. The result is the same. But as soon as we place a piece of metal in the gap between the poles current flows and the tension is released.

The “tension of contradiction” in thinking is released in a similar fashion— by inserting a new fact into the chain of reasoning that has been “severed” by the contradiction. Not, of course, just any fact that happens to come to hand, but only the unique fact that “fits” the conditions of the task and connects or “mediates” the previously “unmediated” sides of the contradiction. It must be a fact that simultaneously “fits” the characteristics (lawful requirements) of both sides of the contradiction.

For side “A” it must be a “representative” of side “B” (that is, “not-A”), while for side “B” it must be a representative image of side “A” (which is, of course, “not-B”). Otherwise it could not be a “conductor” or “intermediary” between them, just as an interpreter between two people who speak different languages can only be a third person who speaks both languages. It must possess within itself, as parts of its “specific” character, the indicators of both “A” and “B”—that is, it must be a direct combination (unity) of different and opposite attributes.

Once we have found such a fact, the “contradiction” ceases to be “unmediated” and unresolved. For so long as we have not found it, the contradiction remains an unresolved “logical” contradiction and creates the very “tension of thought” that gives us no rest until the task is solved.

To acquire the culture of thinking means, therefore, to learn to “bear the tension of contradiction” and not try to avoid or fudge it and if that fails collapse into hysteria, rage, and irritation. On the contrary, we must always tackle a contradiction head on and try to reveal it in its “pure form” in order then to find its concrete, object-related, and obvious resolution in facts.

http://caute.ru/am/text/truth.htm
In Ilyenkov’s dialectical logic matters go differently. Fact here is regarded as a kind of key that unlocks the gates of truth. Search of the key fact, to a tag fitting the “lock” of contradiction, is a sole way of creating theory. Ilyenkov himself compares thought, having got into a real contradiction, with an open-circuit line. At one side positive charge is stored, and negative charge is at another side. We need to find a condition, owing to which the tension will be relieved. Let us close the circuit by a piece of glass or wood — current does not appear, the tension is keeping on. But once we do the same thing with a part of metal and... Objective contradiction is sublated by way of finding, within empirical history of the object, such a fact or condition X, which necessarily forced this object to emerge, come into being. The very Nature is acting so, “synthesizing” more and more novel entities and phenomena.

The dialectical thought retraces this evolution of the world, elucidating conditions of birth, in the throes of contradictions, of this or that new-fledged essence. Whereas the unsolved contradiction destroys thing. Why do things perish, if not in consequence of overwhelming contradictions? Contradiction is a form of birth as well as a form of death. It is both a midwife and an executioner of all existed things. That is what contradiction for — to join and merge the opposites. The ability to “withstand the tension of contradictions,” and to find concrete forms of resolving them, is considered by Ilyenkov as an indicator of intellectual culture, a “rate of wits,” so to say. A man who shuts his eyes to real contradictions, so as one falling into prostration or hysterics when meeting with such contradiction, by rights may be named as stupid.

The said is fair to the logicians, who claim to prohibit any contradictions within theoretical thought. They say that contradictions dwell only in speech, and real things are noncontradictory. Most curious is that this ban on contradictions in things themselves is declared on behalf of a science, which completely abstract itself away from the “material” content of judgements. Formal logic knows about the real things not more than arithmetic knows about the number of rabbits on the Earth. 7

This or that theory suffers defeat and falls into oblivion not because novel facts of experience falsify it (nowise — it is impossible), but owing to its inability to cope with contradictions so well as a rival theory does. “There is no refutation without a better theory,” as Lakatos said. But is it enough for theory to surpass rivals in predicting some novel facts to be regarded as a better theory?

For Ilyenkov, this is not enough. The “better theory” is required to be more concrete than a former one. It does not simply moves the worse theory to the background, but inherit and absorb it, turning it into the abstract moment or the particular case of their common object. Only if the “research programme” should succeed in assimilating its precursors and direct rivals, it acquires the last and final proof.

Generally, truth arises in overcoming of errors. If we did not just renounce an error, but have cleared up its reason, thereby we have converted the error into the truth. Into the absolute truth at that, for the given error has been cancelled, or rather “sublated,” for good and all.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/vygotsky/works/crisis/psycri07.htm
With an uncritical approach, everybody sees what he wants to see and not what is...
#15171047
Stevex wrote:@Wellsy

"All Democrats are good.
All republicans are bad."
I hardly think this is a helpful, reasonable or healthy binary. ;)

The context was "Politics". Are your comments confined to that?

Fair point, such a dichotomy it itself a pretty weak one in part because the judgement is a very weak and abstract one. That is one makes a qualitative judgement that flattens out the thing to simply good or bad.

I would say there has been some struggle to find essential dichotomies in a theory of politics, that is opposition which has an essential unity. The idea being that the sort of dichotomies sought in Marxism or dialectics have a real world connection or attraction that makes the dichotomy indispensable except through resolving it. But that isn’t the case in your dichotomy example, it is is a weak judgement and certainly a concerning one that does little more than rely kn emotive connotations.

In regards to your example, I consider it not strictly a logical issue but also a kind of interpersonal one where one collapses their trust down to a single entity.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Opinion-formation.pdf
This ‘tribalism’ is a societal pathology and is far from being a rational or necessary outcome of citizens forming commitments. The formation of ‘tribes’ has been called ‘politicisation’. To explain politicisation and the range of possible alternatives to tribalism, I will introduce the concept of ‘trust networks’ and in particular ‘expert-trust networks’.
By expert-trust network I mean a network of people, linked by relations in which a person A trusts that person B to give good advice with respect to question Q in which A evidently deems them have expertise. Each link is a expert-trust vector: A←B(Q). A church provides an expert-trust network for matters of faith; a university provides an expert-trust network for matters of science; a political party or movement provides an expert-trust network in matters of public political policy.

‘Politicisation’ means the collapsing of all networks into a single network of trust which leads to the phenomenon of tribalism, toxic to the rational and constructive formation of opinion and belief.


An issue here I suspect also is that there are real dichotomies reflected in decision making or options which has limitations.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/collaborative-ethics.htm
Under conditions where there is just one question to be decided and there is no dissent on the question to be posed, Majority is capable of producing a valid decision subject to provisos such as those outlined by Habermas in his Communicative Ethics. However, as Marquis de Condorcet showed 230 years ago and Amartya Sen has demonstrated quite exhaustively, majority voting is unable to consistently and reliably decide on realistic differences, which are invariably multi-dimensional and multivalent, between individual members of a collective.

An example of such a limitation in Australia was a referendum to become a republic. Most people agree with republicanism but it was undermined as the qualities of the republic put up in the referendum was purposely undesirable to the majority so people do not cote to change for a shit version that no one wanted.

I also see how some people might frame certain issues as purely legal, should abortion or something else be legal or illegal.
The issue I think this stems from is from a hands off liberalism deference to the state rather than any thought of politics developing out of the organization of civil society.
People really do experiencing being only given option A and B or some variation there of like a child whose mother says you can choose your PJs tonight but only from these two options.

A hard part being to even think beyond the framing of an issue but trying to lush it further. The issue being a difference of formal choice from even a multitude or a choice in changing the very conditions of the given choices.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ot/zizek.htm
This is what Lenin’s obsessive tirades against “formal” freedom are about, therein resides their “rational kernel” which is worth saving today: when he emphasizes that there is no “pure” democracy, that we should always ask who does a freedom under consideration serve, which is its role in the class struggle, his point is precisely to maintain the possibility of the TRUE radical choice. This is what the distinction between “formal” and “actual” freedom ultimately amounts to: “formal” freedom is the freedom of choice WITHIN the coordinates of the existing power relations, while “actual” freedom designates the site of an intervention which undermines these very coordinates. In short, Lenin’s point is not to limit freedom of choice, but to maintain the fundamental Choice — when Lenin asks about the role of a freedom within the class struggle, what he is asking is precisely: “Does this freedom contribute to or constrain the fundamental revolutionary Choice?”

Don’t have to agree with such politics of Lenin to agree with the sense that sometimes we can go screw you to peoples framed options and choose our own path. Is certainly interesting in movies/writing to see someone buck things like that.
But there is a question of how the limitation in such formal choice is perhaps a desired outcome in having people experience themselves as free, while of course never really challenging the boundaries of choice. A physical analogy would be like the elephant who is chained for so long that they no longer attempt to go beyond what was the limits of the chain even when it is taken off. They’re psychologically limited by the long term experience of being restricted that they no longer reach the limits.

And this is especially the case for those who aren’t made to question or doubt certain ideas.
We only really think when faced with the contradiction or a disruption of habit. So for instance if you do the same thing every morning but something is out of place, it’ll mess up your unconscious operations and you’ll have to stop and actually think, where did I out the coffee beans? Are they out?
But raising doubt when it comes to peoples singular identification with a political party and not necessarily just with political principles seems hard to achieve. I imagine one would have to really listen and learn what the persons attachment is if they have some beliefs that go further than this good and that bad. Then could try to work from their beliefs to the point it is contradicted by certain facts. But following the earlier link on opinion formation, no one will listen to you unless they specifically trust your opinion in that area. Which brings it back to an interpersonal relationship and not a strictly logical one as trust underpins belief and knowledge.
#15171647
Maybe binary thinking is partially a biological imperative. After all, the human body has binary components: right arm, left arm, right eye, left eye, right brain, left brain. We are already preconditioned to a binary system.
#15171704
Robert Urbanek wrote:Maybe binary thinking is partially a biological imperative. After all, the human body has binary components: right arm, left arm, right eye, left eye, right brain, left brain. We are already preconditioned to a binary system.

The problem with that analogy, Robert, is that the reason we have binary components is so that, for the whole to work efficiently, there has to be balance between the two. For a physiologically and psychologically normal human therefore, the biological imperative is to make left and right work together in a symbiotic relationship.

Using your analogy more usefully, the Reps and Dems (or in our case Tory and Labour) and their ardent supporters are like some unfortunate person who has suffered a stroke and has also gone blind in one eye and deaf in one ear on their affected side. :roll:
#15171917
Wellsy wrote:Fair point, such a dichotomy it itself a pretty weak one in part because the judgement is a very weak and abstract one. That is one makes a qualitative judgement that flattens out the thing to simply good or bad.


To me, this is a sign of anti-intellectualism.

Most people work from an emotional platform, and that suits the left of politics.
There used to be an old adage:
‘If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.’
Based on what I have seen in American politics it has evolved into:
‘If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no fist. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.’
The hard left now seems to embrace violence/intimidation more than compassion.

Decisions based on emotional, rather than rational considerations, is something I find concerning, yet societies are being brainwashed into embracing the concept:
'Morality is more important than the facts'.

(quote went missing)

Don't most people refer to trusted sources to some degree? I do, but I still maintain a critical/sceptical mindset regardless.

BTW, A strange quoting system on this website. I'm still learning the ropes.
#15171918
Wellsy wrote:
An example of such a limitation in Australia was a referendum to become a republic. Most people agree with republicanism but it was undermined as the qualities of the republic put up in the referendum was purposely undesirable to the majority so people do not cote to change for a shit version that no one wanted.



This is the problem with politics across the board. Lack of integrity and cynical manipulation.
#15171957
Unthinking Majority wrote:Humans like to simplify complex problems to make them easier to understand. But you lose a lot of necessary nuance that way. Is the world black and white, or shades of grey? Right vs wrong, good vs evil?


How can people have intelligent discussions to gain insight if the other side is simply engaging in obfuscation and hyperpartisanship?
And talk about masters of spin.
They will literally argue that black is white, the Siberian/Russian "beast from the east" is the result of global warming. Talk about confirmation bias and cyclopianism. :eek:

Obviously, I don't embrace the left side of politics (nor the heavy right), but I would like to have respectful interactions rather than face a defensive groupthink mentality.
Most of the people from the forum I came from are simply interested in one-up-man-ship.
I don't even bother trying to have a conversation with them these days, hence my being here. ;)
#15171963
Stevex wrote:How can people have intelligent discussions to gain insight if the other side is simply engaging in obfuscation and hyperpartisanship?
And talk about masters of spin.
They will literally argue that black is white, the Siberian/Russian "beast from the east" is the result of global warming. Talk about confirmation bias and cyclopianism. :eek:

Obviously, I don't embrace the left side of politics (nor the heavy right), but I would like to have respectful interactions rather than face a defensive groupthink mentality.
Most of the people from the forum I came from are simply interested in one-up-man-ship.
I don't even bother trying to have a conversation with them these days, hence my being here. ;)

Good to have you here. :)

People who identify strongly as on the left or right IMO have biases that deny certain parts of reality. This makes them all delusional in some way, and the further left or right you are the more delusional you are. The left and right, generally, are simply yin and yang, like male and female, night vs day, positive and negative. It's just physics.

I suppose this makes them inevitable and necessary to balance each other out. It's not surprising at all that the most successful countries in the world (Nordic countries) aren't communist or laissez-faire capitalist, but a healthy balance of both.

The only way then to get closest to mastering reality is to transcend both polarities as much as possible. The Chinese had this stuff figured out thousands of years ago:

In Ancient Chinese philosophy, yin and yang (/jɪn/ and /jɑːŋ, jæŋ/; Chinese: 陰陽 yīnyáng pronounced [ín jǎŋ], lit. "bright-black", "positive-negative") is a concept of dualism, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.[1] In Chinese cosmology, the universe creates itself out of a primary chaos of material energy, organized into the cycles of Yin and Yang and formed into objects and lives. Yin is the receptive and Yang the active principle, seen in all forms of change and difference such as the annual cycle (winter and summer), the landscape (north-facing shade and south-facing brightness), sexual coupling (female and male), the formation of both men and women as characters and sociopolitical history (disorder and order).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_and_yang
#15175745
Unthinking Majority wrote:
People who identify strongly as on the left or right IMO have biases that deny certain parts of reality. This makes them all delusional in some way, and the further left or right you are the more delusional you are.


I am disgusted by hyperpartisanship, groupthink and the bullying that accompanies them.
I prefer to focus on the truth, rather than mindlessly following an agenda presented by either side of the political divide.

What we do now is terrible, thanks largely to Rep[…]

There's absolutely no reason to ban it other than[…]

[b]ANARCHIST MEMES[/b] PART 1

ANARCHIST MEMES https://i.imgflip.[…]

Admin Edit: Rule 2 Violation I have seen prop[…]