Bubbles

It seems last night Trump was elected to become the next president of the USA.  I was wrong. About a lot of things it seems, but mostly about other people, some of which are good friends. I am sad about this.

I think the anxiety and fear being felt by many is probably overblown. It is the first time I’ve ever personally cared about a political election though, mostly because of what electing someone like Trump represents regarding the importance of integrity in a person. But alas, a vast segment of the American population has spoken and my personal thoughts on it are inconsequential. I wish they were less inconsequential to my friends though. Especially the ones that voted for Trump.

I would like to express many thoughts, points, and counter points. I have wanted to repeatedly over the past few months, especially on social media.  But I have refrained. I haven’t refrained out of fear or shyness. I feel quite strongly about some of the topics of late, and I believe taking a stand on some things in life is important. I refrained because most people aren’t interested in what other people think, especially if not in agreement. People generally talk with an intent to be heard, not with an intent to listen. And I think few really want to work through complex issues or be independent in their thinking anyways. Cognitive bias is powerful force, and it leaves little room for objective discussion.

I also believe there is little point in arguing a topic with someone when there is not a shared reality to work from.  For example, if one person believes 2+2 is 4, but another person believes 2+2 is 5, then there’s little reason for them to argue about 2+3. Fundamental logic should transcend language, feelings, and personal interpretations.   But I have noticed this type of missing basis in many arguments I’ve witnessed lately, especially those with any underpinnings of science, statistics, or economics.

Discussion would also be easier if people could acknowledge that many strongly felt beliefs should be represented as probabilities, not absolutes.  That’s not an alpha mentality though.

The reasons so many people insist on viewing the world as black-and-white are not clear to me, but my guess is that it’s because human nature tends to be self-centered. It could also be due to illogical fallacies, and ignorance of how fallacies work by the people using them. Or maybe they are not ignorant and just don’t care if it pushes forward an agenda they already believe in. I don’t know.

At least a few of my friends, if they would’ve bother reading up to this point, would likely have slapped with me an elitist label of some sort by now.  I would find that ironic, but whatever.

If there is one thought that arises above all others for me from this election though, especially with regards to media, is that people, myself included, should be careful about living too much in their own bubbles.

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