Good news for people who like good news

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In the long run, the arc bends toward justice and love wins. In the short run, things don’t often look quite so hopeful. But sometimes they do.

Here are some reasons to celebrate.

• “Rhode Island Becomes 10th Marriage Equality State.”

• “And Delaware Makes 11

Men demonstrate in support of women’s rights. And not just any men — fraternity brothers. And not just any fraternity brothers — Muslim fraternity brothers. And this happened in Texas.

• Maryland takes a big step toward offshore wind.

• And Cape Wind gives them some competition, winning billions in backing for offshore wind in Massachusetts.

(I’ll believe it when I see the turbines up and spinning. Based on America’s dismal track-record, I still doubt we’ll have any operating offshore wind farms until sea levels rise enough to swamp turbines now based on shore.)

Five evangelical pastors and a gay activist walk into a coffee shop

This is not a joke. Nor is that story a conclusive step in any particular direction. But it’s a good step, a good start, and good news.

• Bunk will give you a ride to the grocery store. To his grocery store, anyway.

Actor Wendell Pierce — who played Det. William “Bunk” Moreland on The Wire — started the Sterling Farms grocery chain to provide access to healthy, affordable food in underserved neighborhoods in New Orleans:

Pierce, along with his business partners, has been working to place markets and convenience stores in food deserts in his native New Orleans. Sterling Farms is not just putting nutritious, fresh food where there was none before — the people behind the business are working to figure out how to tackle the problem of food access from many different angles. One perk the stores offer is especially great — the chain gives free rides to those who spend more than $50.

• “Scientists find new key ingredient for anti-malaria drug

US scientists … said they had used baker’s yeast to make a key ingredient of malaria drugs, a feat that could iron out fluctuations in supply caused by sourcing the chemical from a Chinese herb.

One of the revolutions in malaria treatment in recent decades has been the advent of artemisinin drugs, whose active ingredient comes from a traditional Chinese herb, Artemisia annua.

But weather can affect harvests of the plant, causing shortages and price spikes.

This discovery could prevent those shortages and price spikes. Cool.

• “U.S. Infant Mortality Falling

Infant mortality in the U.S. has declined 12 percent since 2005 after holding steady for many years, according to data released … by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The infant mortality rate in 2011 was 6.05 deaths per every 1,000 live births, down from 6.87 in 2005, according to the report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Greensburg, Kansas, is coming back. The town was hit by a massive tornado six years ago, killing nine people and leaving nearly all of its 1,383 residents homeless. They resolved to rebuild — and to do it right by making Greensburg the greenest town in Kansas, a model of sustainable living. And it’s working.

The HPV vaccine seems to work — at least in places like Australia, where it’s actually used and not rejected, as it is by many here in America, by those who feel that our daughters will turn into slutty little sluts if we remove the sexual deterrent of preventable cancer.

• People can be pretty cool: “College Athlete Gives Up Final Event to Save Someone’s Life

• People can be pretty cool, cont’d.: “Tender moments caught on Russian dash cams” (via)

 

  • schismtracer

    Based on America’s dismal track-record, I still doubt we’ll have any
    operating offshore wind farms until sea levels rise enough to swamp
    turbines now based on shore.

    At which point, Republicans will still deny climate change could ever exist because the Bible says so and also it snowed that one time so there.

  • TheBrett

    I hope it does. Sometimes it doesn’t, as with the horrific nadir and “reclamation” after the Post-Civil War Reconstruction promised to bring out a new era of improvement and racial equality. But on gay marriage I think it’s finally looking bright.

    Good on the anti-malaria news. Malaria is one of the Great Scourges* of history, alongside Smallpox, Bubonic Plague, and AIDS. I’d love nothing more than to see it wiped out in the wild, but so far it’s been unsuccessful – a major push to eradicate it decades ago fell apart.

    * Charles Mann makes a good case in 1493 that it played a big role in the spread of slavery in the Americas.

  • TheBrett

    I think it’s more likely that they’ll deny that it’s human-caused, and when that’s no longer tenable, they’ll say there’s nothing we can do about it.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Based on America’s dismal track-record, I still doubt we’ll have any operating offshore wind farms until sea levels rise enough to swamp turbines now based on shore.

    While not offshore, I know that Washington state has gotten a lot more inland wind farms up in the last five years or so. They rise above the rolling plains of eastern Washington where the wind is more constant than the mountain-bracketed western half of the state. This supplements the already considerably cheap power we get from hydroelectric dams (which admittedly are very dependent on the local geography.)

    Stimulus money for green power? Sure, we are happy to take that. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.k.hetrick Dan Hetrick

    From the “five evangelical pastors and a gay activist walk into a coffee shop” article…I was amazed at some of the cognitive dissonance that the pastors exhibited. That they accepted that homosexuality was not a choice, but still a sin…that ALL sex outside of marriage was a sin, so, because LGBT people couldn’t get married (and shouldn’t), that, therefore, their sexual activity was sinful.

    I wish I could be as understanding as the person who wrote that article, but, damn, it’d be hard for me not to laugh in their face and/or slap them.

  • Baby_Raptor

    There’s just so much to unpack in there it makes my brain hurt.

    First off, if they accept that homosexuality is not a choice, then they would logically have to accept that God created people that way, yes? So they’re acknowledging that God created people to fail to adhere to his standards…And apparently are okay with that.

    And not only are they okay with it, they’re okay with compounding it. Because of the evangelicals’ collective sins (refusing to love, not obeying the government as told to, refusing to respect the fact that laws cannot be based on religious ideology, refusing to respect other peoples’ rights, the constant lies that are rampant in the anti-equality arguments), they were successful in the past and are attempting to continue being successful now in denying LGBTs the right to marry. So if you buy into the idea of sex outside marriage being a sin, they’re essentially forcing these people to sin via depriving them of the “correct place” for sex to happen.

    Add in the usual gall felt when people like this decide that they have some inherent right to dictate how others get to live their lives and it’s just one giant headache.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I’ve been arguing with people all day on whether or not a person can be Christian and gay, or even Christian and accept homosexuality.

    What saddens me is the fact that the vast majority of people I’ve been arguing with (who’ve been saying that both scenarios are impossible) are atheists, not conservative Christians.

    Once again, I find myself feeling more like a Christian than an atheist, even while having to remind them that I don’t believe in Christ at all. I just love my neighbor, inasmuch as my imperfections allow.

  • AnonaMiss

    I’m surprised at this. You’d think that “They’re not rational thinkers and are experts at cognitive dissonance, they can believe whatever they want” would make your point fair and square.

    For atheists-who-think-religious-people-are-irrational to argue that it’s impossible for said thought-to-be-irrational-people to hold certain beliefs because… it’s incompatible with their other beliefs… that just makes my brain twist in weird knots.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    I grew up not that far from Greensburg, and it’s been really interesting to watch it grow again. For a while, people believed that the former residents would just settle in to the communities that took them in (including my hometown, which was temporary home to a few hundred). The early efforts were focused on rebuilding the major structures, which would have been a major boondoggle if no one moved back. They built a really nice hospital that had no staff for a long time. But over the last year, you started to see houses pop up, and then shops, so in the end it all went according to plan. Nice to see that happen for a change.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    The sequence of climate change denial goes something like this:

    1.) It’s not happening.
    2.) It’s happening, but it’s not human-caused.
    3.) It’s human-caused, but it’s not serious.
    4.) It’s serious, but it’s not imminent.
    5.) It’s imminent, but it’s not fixable (or too costly to fix).

    Of course, these aren’t fully discrete – many people argue that there is no climate change, but the climate change that doesn’t exist is a natural occurrence. And some people (particularly libertarian “skeptics”) skip the first few and just argue that stopping/fixing climate change would be worse than letting it go on.

  • Alix

    Well, that, and it drastically oversimplifies Christianity. It’s not like any religion is a monolith.

    You can’t really talk about what “all Christians believe” anymore than you can talk about what “all atheists think”. There are a few commonalities, but they’re very few, and even a lot of things people think are fundamental to the definition aren’t necessarily so.

    This is why it bothers the hell out of me when atheists or pagans or other people try to tell Christians what Christianity really is, and vice versa. It’s one thing to argue against particular strains of Christianity, or particular people whose views are known, or how, say, certain predominant ideologies affect politics or whatever; it’s something else entirely to reduce the entire mass of Christians to what you* think Christianity is – whether you’re atheist, Christian, or other.

    *Generic you, not you, AnonaMiss.

    …FWIW, I’m not comfortable with the reduction of religious belief to irrationality, either. (It strikes me as oversimplified and, usually, condescending.) But then again, I’m religious so of course I’d say that, and I’m also a person who doesn’t think something being irrational is necessarily a bad thing. :/

    (My complicated thoughts, let me show you them.)

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Compartmentalize thinking, to use Altemeyer’s term. It prevents the cognitive dissonance that we would normally associate with these kinds of contradictions. It allows them to believe all these things sincerely without the ideas coming into contact and thus conflict. It is the source of the weaknesses in the argument that Baby_Raptor is talking about.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Unfortunately, I think there’s a significant tendency among some atheists, Pagans, and other ex- or non-Christians (certainly not all!) to conflate their greatest objections to Christianity with Christianity itself. Sometimes that’s appropriate, as when the objection is to an identifying feature of the religion; sometimes less so, as when the the objection is to people doing unfortunate but unnecessary things in the name of the religion.

    So if someone vehemently rejects Christianity over the gay-bashing that so many vocal Christians have claimed as a tribal marker, it makes sense for that someone to reject the notion of a gay Christian or even a non-gay-bashing Christian. The religion has been represented to them as requiring gay-bashing, after all. They may later meet a member of a church which is accepting of all people and realize that the religion comes in gay-friendly flavors too–or they may assert that the accepting church is Christian In Name Only.

    I’ve seen that logical progression at work in (a thankfully small number of) acquaintances who, upon learning that I’m an ex-Catholic Pagan, immediately assume that I share their opinion that all Catholics are homophobes/misogynists/child-molesters, and that I have righteously disowned my family just as they evidentally would have done were they me. The conversation tends not to go well after that. While my family have their flaws — some of which I have described here — you do not endear yourself to me by accusing them all, uniformly, sight-unseen, on the basis of one adjective, of crimes against humanity.

  • Alix

    I find myself feeling more like a Christian than an atheist, even while having to remind them that I don’t believe in Christ at all.

    I … keep feeling like I’m caught in the middle. My religion is a syncretism of Christianity and older Mediterranean/Near East syncretism, and … I don’t know. I am deeply uncomfortable with siding with anyone in these Christian vs. atheist debates, because in my experience both sides are either happy to lump me in with the other and slam me too, despite me explaining that I don’t fit there, or they’re happy to ignore my existence, and the existence of other people who don’t fit neatly on either side, and spray their criticisms so broadly it hits us anyway.

    And it ignores Christians who do care about social justice and work towards that, because somehow they can’t be Christian and compassionate people at the same time, and it ignores atheists who aren’t progressive, though admittedly the latter’s much less of a problem than the Christians who are anti-human decency and have disproportionate impact on policy. And generally I am very not okay with out-groupers defining the boundaries of the in-group, or dictating how people are allowed to define themselves. If that makes any sense.

    It’s like I’m being forced to choose between people who think I’m stupid or mentally ill, and therefore clearly a lesser being, on the one hand, and on the other hand people who think I’m willfully evil, deluded by Satan, or don’t exist on the other. And I … don’t even agree with mainstream Christianity on much at all, theologically, but it seems like the vast majority of groups in my area that do social-justice stuff and work towards the things I also want to work towards are Christians, and so it hurts to see them ignored and their contributions minimized in this debate.

    FWIW, the one place I’ve ever felt actually accepted in all my crazy heresy was a Christian church that met at fast-food places because they didn’t have a building. We disagreed on tons of stuff theologically, but they honestly never minded a heretic showing up for their service (I asked. Repeatedly.), and they were genuinely welcoming. We just had a lot of fun debates. (Goddammit, I miss them. :/)

    And omg, I need to learn to be concise. Sorry. :/

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I hope you feel more welcome here. I think you fit in just fine among us. ^^

    Conciseness is overrated, says the writer.

  • Alix

    Yeah. :/ And I understand how that happens.

    I’ve had similarly problematic conversations, and it gets compounded when the pagans in question find out that I still borrow some stuff from Christian beliefs, and yet identify primarily as pagan. You’d think I’d just identified myself as a devil-worshipper at a revival meeting.

    (What always gets me? The pagans who believe that “all gods are one” – except for the Christian deities. There are a multitude of expressions of the divine, as seen in the beautiful variety of human religions, all of which are equally valid, except Christianity, which is just a horrible perversion by patriarchal assholes hell-bent on murdering the wonderful and gentle pagan wise-women, dontcha know.)

  • Alix

    I lurk for a loooong time at sites, before I comment. It’s safe to say that if I’m actually delurked and participating, I feel pretty damn welcome. :)

    Thank you. Sometimes, even when you feel welcome, you just need to hear it, y’know? You just made my evening.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I know the feeling! I started following the blog for the Left Behind posts. I had read… everything up until somewhere near the end of the second book before I dared make a single post, and it took awhile before I started using a quasi-not-anonymous name.

    I’m glad it meets with your approval. I try and do the things that I know I like for others. I kind of have to follow the Golden Rule a bit literally at times since (not sure if you’re familiar with me?) I have APD, so empathizing doesn’t come naturally to me, to say the least.

  • Alix

    …That’s much more coherent than my response, which was “arglebargle” and “but you people are the ones defining marriage so it can’t include gay marriage!

  • gpike

    honestly in my experience, all humans are capable of making the same types of logical fallacies – even people who try to live by reason end up doing it. Being nonreligious isn’t a guarantee that someone won’t still be hypocritical or illogical about SOME things. That’s just part of being human, I think.

  • AnonaMiss

    Oh definitely. I was describing the way Sam’s argument-partners think, not the way I think. ^^

  • Alix

    all humans are capable of making the same types of logical fallacies – even people who try to live by reason

    Evo-psych bullshit comes to mind…

  • guest

    I’m in the process of writing an article which explains, among other things, that science, reason, etc. are ways to know things, not ways to make decisions. It’s sensible to accept the results of science, reasoning, etc. as input into decisions, but these thinking and knowing tools cannot make the decisions for you–ultimately decisions are based on our ethics and priorities. I realised while writing it that when we do use science to inform our decisions, e.g. climate science, we don’t actually mean ‘science
    tells us that we must do x’ but rather ‘science tells us y is very likely to be true, and our ethics dictate that if y is true we must do x.’

  • Alix

    Totally off-topic, but speaking of plague, I loved the introduction I got when I first arrived on campus (at my first college, wow, a decade ago):

    The glow over the mountain’s pretty – that’s a forest fire. Don’t go near the ground squirrels – they carry bubonic plague. And be careful leaving your dorm at night – bears sometimes wander through the campus.

    Welcome to Santa Fe. :P

  • Alix

    I … honestly sometimes think we over-value rationality. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think rationality and reason and logic and all are good, important, valuable, etc.

    But not everything is logical. Not everything is rational. We’re not entirely – or even mostly, really – rational. And I don’t see anything necessarily wrong with that, and sometimes trying to shoehorn things into a strictly rational framework fails hard. IMO.

    I am also a bit leery of it because, well. We have a long history in the West of splitting the world into rational/irrational, intellectual/emotional, male/female, right/wrong. And so weighting things too much on one end of the rational-irrational spectrum discomforts me, because it feels like we’re making the same mistake of privileging one kind of experience/reaction/worldview/mindset over another, and then there are complicated problems over how we decide which things/beliefs/etc. are “rational” or “irrational.”

    And then there’s the problem of the label “irrational” being used to dismiss, demean, and ignore people. “You’re too irrational/emotional – come back when you can be rational/logical/calm about things.” And, well, I should be able to express “this hurts me, this threatens me, this angers me” and have it be respected as the genuine experience of a real person, not dissected and dismissed for not being a logical argument.

    …complicated feelings, lemme tell ya.

  • Foelhe

    There’s a weird and frustrating tendency for people who value pure logic to act like emotion shouldn’t even be worthy of discussion. It’s almost funny, in a way, that people use logic to completely ignore anything they can’t perfectly quantify, even though ignoring something that clearly effects a lot of people, when you’re trying to deal with people, is one of the most illogical things you can do.

    I don’t know if I agree that rationality is overrated, but I think rationality should be about knowing what you want and how to get it, not some arbitrary standard all the thoughts you have need to pass through before you’ll deign to acknowledge them. If you want to be happy, and you have a belief that makes you happy but is totally irrational, the rational decision might be to let yourself be irrational. So… I don’t know if I’m disagreeing with you or not. Rationality is a way to reach the end goal, it’s not exactly a goal in itself.

  • Alix

    Rationality is a way to reach the end goal, it’s not exactly a goal in itself.

    I agree with that. I think my disagreement is with people who do seem to hold up Rationality as some end goal, or as the way to approach anything, as if no other approach could be valid.

    I mean, I’m not dissing rationality. I like rationality. But I also find value in irrational things, and, yeah, it doesn’t seem rational to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I adhered to that thinking for awhile when I first left Christianity. Part of it, at least for me, was that I was raised in a very fundie sect, where they taught these claims. That gets stuck in your head, and not everyone ends up hanging out at a place like Fred’s, where you end up learning that there are other views out there.

    Of course, they could just be trying for the typical innerant jerk argument.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I started reading the Left Behind posts back when Fred was at the other site, and posted under a different name. Then there was an incident where I made a complete ass of myself, and I stopped commenting and just lurked for quite sometime; until the move over here.

    I already had a Disqus account, so I just started posting under this name. In the intermediary I learned a fair bit about talking to people about things we don’t share an opinion of, and hopefully am better at the whole talking thing now.

    But, yeah. Lurking seems to be a really common trend.

  • http://twitter.com/AbelUndercity Abel Undercity

    5a.) And anyway it’s God’s wrath upon a sinful Earth so it’s your fault anyway, you damned un-RTC heathens, you.

  • http://twitter.com/WayofCats WayofCats

    Very true; and utterly counterintuitive to more independent thinkers, who persist in understanding that gears are SUPPOSED to mesh.

    Dr. Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians is based on a man’s life work studying the mental processes of Right Wingers. It’s a free, and fascinating, book.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Space Marine Becka

    The strangest argument I ever saw against Anthropogenic Climate Change was by a libertarian with a small l (They were British and we don’t have a Libertarian Party).

    It went something like this.

    * Nothing good ever comes of government regulation.
    * All economic and social good comes from complete deregulation and massive profits for huge corporations.
    * Anthropogenic Climate change would be a bad thing.
    * Anthropogenic Climate change would be the result of not regulating corporations.
    * Bad things can’t result from regulating corporations.
    * Therefore it can not exist.

    The clearest case I’ve ever personally seen of the tendancy of human beings to mistake ideology for evidence.

  • Foreigner

    Wouldn’t UKIP be our Libertarian Party?

  • http://vicwelle.wordpress.com victoria

    • “Rhode Island Becomes 10th Marriage Equality State.”

    • “And Delaware Makes 11”

    And tomorrow Minnesota is on track to make it an even dozen: http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/206985501.html

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Are you denying that being angry or upset can often lead to people making rash and bad decisions? I think I’ve already related the story of a teacher who, in a fit of pique, yelled at me in front of the entire class and then proceeded to have me suspended over a relatively minor verbal altercation with another student.

    In grade 7.

    People damn well can be irrational and it often is counterproductive to smooth social functioning.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    One perk the stores offer is especially great — the chain gives free rides to those who spend more than $50.

    This will be a huge moneysaver for people who can’t afford a car. When you have to fork out another $5 or $10 for a cab ride back home every shopping trip, it adds up. Props. :)

  • Carstonio

    Would it be hokey to say that the two smallest states are big on marriage equality?

  • Carstonio

    Illinios may be next after that. What does everyone her think the odds are of the Court overturning either Proposition 8 or DOMA or both? Roberts may be astute enough to recognize that history cold compare him to either Earl Warren or Roger Taney.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I … honestly sometimes think we over-value rationality.

    Rationality is masculine. Emotions are feminine. Therefore all the value attaches to the former to the exclusion of the latter.

    Cynical Ellie is cynical but also thinks ze’s right.

  • AnonaMiss

    Chicken and egg. Are emotions bad because feminine, or are emotions feminine because bad? (I lean towards the latter)

  • Dash1

    Well said! And I speak as one of those people who tends to think that rationality is the absolute best way to do everything, all the time.

    About which, as you and Foelhe have aptly pointed out in your last two comments, one may very well be wrong.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    That’s just yet another kind of tone argument. It’s basically saying, “Yes, I know we keep stepping on your foot, but until you can something nicely, we’re under no obligation to stop doing it.”

    In a way, this can even be tied to the “it’s better to do X than to be called X” behavior I’ve been trying to narrow down and codify. In this case, “it’s better to be hurtful than to be accused of being hurtful, so we feel the right to continue being hurtful until our pride and feelings are sufficiently assuaged by you bending over backwards to accommodate us. While we continue hurting you.”

    … I usually respond to these things by demonstrating exactly what a rude, emotional person I can be and how that contrasts with the rationality I was previously exemplifying. This typically begins with the words “Fuck your tone argument” and continues from there. ^_^

  • Dash1

    First, I am sorry you had that experience.

    As I read your account, though, it seems to me that the problem may not have been so much the mere fact that the teacher was angry but that s/he was refusing to acknowledge his/her anger. It’s the refusal to recognize that one is being angry and irrational that leads to doubling-down and trying to pretend that one’s (irrational) reaction was in fact perfectly rational and was therefore the consequence of what the other person did.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Space Marine Becka

    Possibly – UKIP is certainly our teaparty.

  • ReverendRef

    I have no idea what the odds on that would be. But don’t ask me for odds or to pick a horse — I had Gonzaga and Georgetown in the championship game of the NCAA tourney last month, and look how THAT turned out.

    Back on track . . . .I don’t know what the odds would be, but if what I’m starting to get at the office is any indication, the pro-hate groups will be ramping up their campaign. I’m starting to get “information packets” from the Oregon Family Council (the local arm of the Family Research Council) about how we need to protect marriage because our religious liberties are at stake yada yada yada. In all likelihood, OR will have a marriage equality issue on the ballot this fall, and I’m guessing we’ll be in for a long round of crap from this particular pro-hate group.

    I did have to laugh, though. Included in their packet was a Feedback Form so they could determine the anticipated level of involvement from “Pastors and Leaders.” One of the topics was: Address the marriage issue from the pulpit.

    I have been doing that. They probably don’t want to hear what I have to say, though.

    So I’ve been debating — do I send them a request to remove me from their mailing list, or do I keep getting their junk so I can be aware of exactly what kind of garbage they’re putting out?

  • Alix

    I think you’re right, too. :/

  • Alix

    No, I’m not denying that. I never have.

    But, well. I sometimes think part of the reason we’re so bad at handling our emotions is that we often demonize them. There are productive ways to handle anger and other unsettled emotions, but they usually involve not repressing them.

    I’m not saying “rationality can go to hell, let’s be merrily irrational together.” I’d never say that. I’m saying that rationality to the exclusion of anything else is deeply problematic.

    I’m sorry that happened to you. :/ But anger and suchlike aren’t themselves negative, in my opinion, and can be channeled into productive things. And I’d argue that learning to handle that means learning to handle the irrational, not forcing those emotions into a strictly rational framework.

    My dad was an abusive asshole who used a lot of the “you’re so emotional/irrational, and therefore you’re stupid/wrong and I must by default be right” stuff. So I may be … a touch oversensitive to the idea that feeling an emotion or accepting that emotions exist and should be expressed means that I’ve therefore somehow invalidated any experience I ever have and anything I’ll ever say.

    Edit: I’d also note that you seem to equate the irrational to only negative expressions of emotion. But things that aren’t rational include generally positive emotions like joy – hell, all emotions – and things like imagination, and intuition, and all the other mental processes we are not fully in control of.

    Trying to stamp out all irrationality in favor of pure rationality destroys a lot of valuable parts of the human being. This is largely why I object to forcing art into a strictly rational framework – it’s not, and making it wholly about the craft/mechanics destroys the intuitive side of it.

  • Alix

    It’s the refusal to recognize that one is being angry and irrational that leads to doubling-down and trying to pretend that one’s (irrational) reaction was in fact perfectly rational

    My dad in a nutshell, and a lot of other people I know. Mostly men, fwiw; most women I know are more likely to have been on the receiving end of the “you’re too emotional and therefore aren’t capable of thought” bullshit, and also tend to be more socialized to recognize and embrace their emotions, though I’ve certainly known plenty of people who didn’t fit that dichotomy.

    It seems to be a characteristic of a certain kind of jackass, that they are always right and everything they do is perfectly justified in their own head, and what do you mean they’re not being rational? Everything they do is justified! It’s you that’s irrational, never them.

    And in the meantime they’re reacting really badly to personality conflicts, or annoyances, or anger, or fear, and they don’t know how to handle any of it ’cause they can’t admit their reactions aren’t perfectly rooted in sublime logic.

  • Alix

    More saying that you need to give a perfectly airtight logical argument for why they should stop stepping on your foot, complete with how you know it’s really real harm in the first place. :/

    I … yeah. I’m pretty much at the point where if someone starts pulling this shit on me, I just walk away. If you (generic you) can’t accept “that hurts me, stop,” then nothing I say will convince you.

    While I’m at it, I ought to note that empathy and compassion are also irrational, though like any emotions/mental states it’s always possible to logically justify them. But justifying things rests on assumptions, and we tend to think that the assumptions we agree with are right, logical, rational, and justified, and the ones we don’t aren’t any of those things … but they’re all assumptions. And it bears noting that “rationality is always better” is an assumption.

  • Alix

    I suspect they’re so intertwined – the juxtaposition goes back at least to ancient Greece – that it’s really rather impossible to separate the strands now and figure which came first. :/ FWIW, I lean the same way you do, but there’s no way to know.


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