The Irony of Thriving on Complexity

 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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21 September 2019 13:26
 

With information and decision overload starting to saturate the tired little minds of our social counterparts, we’ll continue to hear things like “you think too much,” or, “that’s too much thinking for me.” Take a beat when people makes these types of comments to you. You’ll probably notice that you’ll hear it most when you’re offering a counterpoint or asking a question not riddled by political digestions or digital delusions. How dare thee?

Human decency and critical thinking used to transcend managerial structures and the social contract, but since people were already subconsciously accustom to the insecurity of being programmed to compartmentalize their daily subscriptions, they’re not noticing that the newness of this particular paradigm shift will bring them deeper into a persona they never really knew enough not to like. The walking dead think that you think too much.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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21 September 2019 14:16
 

This sort of goes to the video that bb posted about Gunn and the other thinking part of the brain (can’t remember his name).  It takes effort to activate that part of the brain.  One-liners are easier.  It all boils down to laziness, or perhaps not having the time to really think.  Everyone should take up chess just for the discipline. It forces you to consider all the angles.

 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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21 September 2019 15:26
 
Jb8989 - 21 September 2019 01:26 PM

With information and decision overload starting to saturate the tired little minds of our social counterparts, we’ll continue to hear things like “you think too much,” or, “that’s too much thinking for me.” Take a beat when people makes these types of comments to you. You’ll probably notice that you’ll hear it most when you’re offering a counterpoint or asking a question not riddled by political digestions or digital delusions. How dare thee?

Human decency and critical thinking used to transcend managerial structures and the social contract, but since people were already subconsciously accustom to the insecurity of being programmed to compartmentalize their daily subscriptions, they’re not noticing that the newness of this particular paradigm shift will bring them deeper into a persona they never really knew enough not to like. The walking dead think that you think too much.

TLDR

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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21 September 2019 17:46
 
Jb8989 - 21 September 2019 01:26 PM

With information and decision overload starting to saturate the tired little minds of our social counterparts, we’ll continue to hear things like “you think too much,” or, “that’s too much thinking for me.” Take a beat when people makes these types of comments to you. You’ll probably notice that you’ll hear it most when you’re offering a counterpoint or asking a question not riddled by political digestions or digital delusions. How dare thee?

Human decency and critical thinking used to transcend managerial structures and the social contract, but since people were already subconsciously accustom to the insecurity of being programmed to compartmentalize their daily subscriptions, they’re not noticing that the newness of this particular paradigm shift will bring them deeper into a persona they never really knew enough not to like. The walking dead think that you think too much.

Just so y’know, those of us with tired little minds tend to shut off or get annoyed if those counterpoints and questions are loaded with vagueries and words like compartmentalize and paradigm.  It’s just too much for us.  However, we instinctually recognize when we’re being talked down to so go into self-defense mode.

Yeah, we can all engage in critical thinking and can be held responsible if we choose not to do so.  But sometimes a lack of ability to explain one’s position in ‘educated’ terms does not necessarily mean that it has not been thought out or that it is ‘wrong’.  Just sayin’.

[ Edited: 21 September 2019 17:49 by Jan_CAN]
 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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30 September 2019 14:02
 

I’m not a Marxist or any other kind of social theorist but I do sometimes entertain the idea that institutions and ideologies have their own unique adaptive arcs and pathologies.

Specific to this point, I feel like the bombardment of information and concepts isn’t entirely an accident of history. Advertising, for example uses information overload and choice paralysis quite deliberately. Political speeches frequently digress at a rapid pace for the purpose of obfuscating an inconvenient point. Contemporary apologetics is practically composed of this tactic. Cold reading, divination and similar techniques rely upon our inability to carefully distinguish noise from signal. Worst of all, well meaning people (including me) can frequently be overheard employing such tactics out of compulsive habit and childhood indoctrination.

Were we more rational, on balance in the past? I sorta doubt it. The parameters move around a bit with population flux and technology but I think our weaknesses are pretty consistent.

I will certainly agree that we should get back to an efficient focus on concept and principle and away from the rhetoric of tribe. We should think more.

 
Jb8989
 
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25 October 2019 18:15
 
EN - 21 September 2019 02:16 PM

This sort of goes to the video that bb posted about Gunn and the other thinking part of the brain (can’t remember his name).  It takes effort to activate that part of the brain.  One-liners are easier.  It all boils down to laziness, or perhaps not having the time to really think.  Everyone should take up chess just for the discipline. It forces you to consider all the angles.

I like how Nhoj has been referring to endurance instead of laziness. I’d say that we all have different levels of intellectual endurance for varying topics depending on whether we find them emotionally easy or difficult to engage.

 
 
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25 October 2019 18:27
 
Jan_CAN - 21 September 2019 05:46 PM

Just so y’know, those of us with tired little minds tend to shut off or get annoyed if those counterpoints and questions are loaded with vagueries and words like compartmentalize and paradigm.  It’s just too much for us.  However, we instinctually recognize when we’re being talked down to so go into self-defense mode.

One person’s “too much” is another’s too little, and instincts by nature can be socially reprogrammed to be deceptive. Sometimes big words just work, simplicity isn’t the goal, and offense is unintentionally dolled out. I’d say my bad, but I don’t want to seem apologetic, so I’ll just say that I love you. And I mean it.

Jan_CAN - 21 September 2019 05:46 PM

Yeah, we can all engage in critical thinking and can be held responsible if we choose not to do so.  But sometimes a lack of ability to explain one’s position in ‘educated’ terms does not necessarily mean that it has not been thought out or that it is ‘wrong’.  Just sayin’.

You’ll never need to defend yourself to me. I’ve read you enough to know where your heart is. Go back on offense please. There’s already too many people in this world playing defense. We need more scorers, less swatters.

 

 
 
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25 October 2019 18:38
 
Brick Bungalow - 30 September 2019 02:02 PM

Were we more rational, on balance in the past? I sorta doubt it. The parameters move around a bit with population flux and technology but I think our weaknesses are pretty consistent.

Everything before and after the above quote I more or less just straight up agree. But regarding the quote, I think that we went from modern times to post modern times while ushering in the internet; which brought in this new mental expectation for instant gratification that brought everybody one step closer to their predisposed convictions, which is simultaneously one step further from the need to vet our own thoughts and emotions in our own heads on our own time. Regular ole’ reflection went digital. Efforts are now both easier and emptier.

[ Edited: 25 October 2019 18:40 by Jb8989]
 
 
Twissel
 
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25 October 2019 22:58
 

my take:

fear of complexity is a fear of making fatal mistakes, which in turn is a sign of anxiety and risk aversion.
People are too scared to do something that will cost them their livelihood, and making no mistakes is easier when the world is run by simple rules, when there is a black-and-white, an us-and-them divide.

being comfortable with complexity requires a perceived level of socio-economic security, and it is easy to shake that sense through scare-tactics.

 
 
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26 October 2019 18:11
 
Twissel - 25 October 2019 10:58 PM

my take:

fear of complexity is a fear of making fatal mistakes, which in turn is a sign of anxiety and risk aversion.
People are too scared to do something that will cost them their livelihood, and making no mistakes is easier when the world is run by simple rules, when there is a black-and-white, an us-and-them divide.

being comfortable with complexity requires a perceived level of socio-economic security, and it is easy to shake that sense through scare-tactics.

Things should be able to be distilled down to terms that even Jan can understand regardless of the subject matter. But when they can’t, money has been objectified. We took a peice of paper and ascribed so much value to it that we forgot about the fact that we made it up. If shake-able only insofar as its neglectable, which isn’t possible.

 
 
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27 October 2019 00:21
 
Jb8989 - 26 October 2019 06:11 PM
Twissel - 25 October 2019 10:58 PM

my take:

fear of complexity is a fear of making fatal mistakes, which in turn is a sign of anxiety and risk aversion.
People are too scared to do something that will cost them their livelihood, and making no mistakes is easier when the world is run by simple rules, when there is a black-and-white, an us-and-them divide.

being comfortable with complexity requires a perceived level of socio-economic security, and it is easy to shake that sense through scare-tactics.

Things should be able to be distilled down to terms that even Jan can understand regardless of the subject matter. But when they can’t, money has been objectified. We took a peice of paper and ascribed so much value to it that we forgot about the fact that we made it up. If shake-able only insofar as its neglectable, which isn’t possible.

disagree.

The reason why complex ideas can be put in simple terms is because all the participants in the discussion have the same background knowledge, so large chunks on the argument can be refereed to instead of having to be explained: people with a certain level of erudition speak their own kind of language.
Even if you can manage to boil something down to the concepts, that doesn’t make it necessarily convincing: if the concept is too alien, it will be rejected even if it is logically sound.

The underlying problem is a divergence in the level and kind of education the average American receives: people can’t share ideas because they lack an underlying common framework to do so.

 
 
Jb8989
 
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27 October 2019 16:18
 
Twissel - 27 October 2019 12:21 AM
Jb8989 - 26 October 2019 06:11 PM
Twissel - 25 October 2019 10:58 PM

my take:

fear of complexity is a fear of making fatal mistakes, which in turn is a sign of anxiety and risk aversion.
People are too scared to do something that will cost them their livelihood, and making no mistakes is easier when the world is run by simple rules, when there is a black-and-white, an us-and-them divide.

being comfortable with complexity requires a perceived level of socio-economic security, and it is easy to shake that sense through scare-tactics.

Things should be able to be distilled down to terms that even Jan can understand regardless of the subject matter. But when they can’t, money has been objectified. We took a peice of paper and ascribed so much value to it that we forgot about the fact that we made it up. If shake-able only insofar as its neglectable, which isn’t possible.

disagree.

The reason why complex ideas can be put in simple terms is because all the participants in the discussion have the same background knowledge, so large chunks on the argument can be refereed to instead of having to be explained: people with a certain level of erudition speak their own kind of language.
Even if you can manage to boil something down to the concepts, that doesn’t make it necessarily convincing: if the concept is too alien, it will be rejected even if it is logically sound.

The underlying problem is a divergence in the level and kind of education the average American receives: people can’t share ideas because they lack an underlying common framework to do so.

I agree. I’m reminded of the distinction between concepts and language. A complex concept can be simplified only so much. For example, I’m currently working on a project that involves a couple sub categories of intellectual property that involve a merger of complex legal standards with even more complex chemistry standardization models. Some of my colleagues have a knack for explaining it at a bar during happy hour with a layman in a way that he could walk away not only getting it, but knowing enough to carry a lay conversation about it if he wanted.  However, at a certain point - after a few poignant questions - to truly understand the subject matter beyond the concept, you have to not only know the language, but also the deeper levels of subject matter. Maybe one issue nowadays is that everybody thinks they’re a fucking professional. Simplified articles fill people’s void for wanting to feel like a specialist and now they’re equipped with tweety-bird platforms to show off their glibness couched in education.