‘Tis the Season

“Buy, Baby, Buy” (No, that’s not Buy Buy Baby©)

We are fast approaching the 2018 holiday season, when for decades the emphasis in America has been increasingly more on shopping than on thanksgiving, reflection, contemplation, and relationships.

It’s been a slow evolution, if not erosion.  And we are all guilty of complicity one way or another, even if we justify it by thinking it’s about buying so that we can give.  (That comment has more to do with consumer purchases.  In the corporate world year-end purchasing often has more to do with the end of the capital budget year, in which case it’s more like buying so we can receive (and not lose the funds)).

A timely article in The Goods on Vox triggered my thoughts and bon mots that follow, since I, too, had spent a number of years on the marketing side of business and am no doubt “guilty” of pursuing some of these “approaches” (i.e., tactics).

First, recognize that “it’s not so much tricking shoppers as it is laying out a trail of breadcrumbs to lead them to believe they’re scoring time-sensitive deals.  These strategies are especially evident during the holidays, but companies also use them periodically throughout the year.”

Therefore, the thought for what follows is, “Buyer Be Aware!

And then respond appropriately.

Of a number of “techniques” listed in the article, there are a few that are missing.

Hallmark Holidays

This is the slow, intentional development of what are known as Hallmark Holidays.  These were the creation of and popularization of special “Card” days, first such as Mother’s Day, and then Father’s Day, followed later by Grandparents Day, Sweetest Day, Boss’s Day, and Secretary’s Day.

The Hallmark Corporation maintains that it “can’t take credit for creating holidays” (that would be due more to the sheep-like cultural response to an external stimulus of a public who wishes to avoid unnecessary guilt-trips).  The benefit to manufacturers of greeting cards, however, is clear.

The Disney “Magic”

I think one of the earliest intentional marketing “brandings” was labeling Disneyland the Magic Kingdom.  It worked.  The place was magic not only for kids with vivid imaginations but parents who experienced the magic of their kids being over-the-top enthralled.

Of course, like all magic, what we didn’t realize was what we didn’t see, the slight of hand that made it all possible by increasing the magical experience. And what Disney perfected, the Disney “Magic” that is not mentioned in the article as being seasonal, actually comes in two flavors.

The first flavor is the Disney “Slight of Queue.” This dates back to the late 1950s when the original Disneyland opened.  Certain rides were very popular but no matter the time of day, the waiting line always seemed remarkably “reasonable” and so you would get the family into the line.  While the line moved reasonably fast, you quickly discovered that it entered into a building, unseen from the outside, and snaked back and forth until it emerged at the entrance booth.  Wait times could actually be over 45 minutes, but once in line, you were captive. Especially if you had little kids expecting that ride.  This is now more or less a standard in most entertainment parks.

The second one should be called the Disney “Slight of Exit.” This is more recent, but involves the exiting of people from a venue by snaking them through the gift shop (the direct route to the Exit is not exactly a straight line).  Museums use this to great advantage.

Now to the holiday list from the article.

“Christmas Creep”

We all recognize “Christmas Creep.”  That’s when, well before it’s chilly out, “stores start blaring Christmas music over the loudspeakers.  Black Friday isn’t until the end of November, yet retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart are starting to mark down prices — and notify shoppers about them — as early as November 1.  Target ran a “Black Friday” deal on November 1, and Newegg ran one on November 2.  Lowe’s has declared, paradoxically, that the entire month of November is “Black Friday.” (Avoiding any backlash that might come from calling it “Black November.”  But, to be fair, remember Lowe’s is currently closing stores and trying to avoid the “Sears Syndrome.”)

Sales that are tied to a specific “Named” day

The slow evolution of consumerism, impulse buying, and our general craving for a good deal has led to the creation of countless shopping days that have basically become national holidays.  No longer is there just a Black Friday — now, there’s Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Green Monday, and Super Saturday, “all trying to capitalize on our collective case of the shoppies” (that’s the article author’s label, not yet medically recognized).

While Black Friday is the biggest US shopping (and headache) day of the year, these other “holidays” procure huge sales too.  Last year, Cyber Monday turned into the largest online shopping day in American history, hitting a record $6.6 billion.  Added to these are Amazon’s Prime Day and, in China, Alibaba’s Singles Day.  The latter, which occurred on 11/11 (the reason it is named “Singles” is due to the “1’s”), eclipsed Prime Day by netting over $30 billion in sales.

The driving force of course is that, while the last two months are just 2/12ths of the year (16.7%, not eliminating holidays), they produce nearly 30% of a retail companies sales.

Herd mentality and the Fear Of Losing Out play a strong psychological role in our buying.

Putting credit in your store account

This is a variation on time-limited coupons (only 3% of which, statistically, are ever used), in-store time-limited discounts, and loyalty programs.  This tactic, however, involves crediting customers store accounts with some amount of purchase dollars.

This is actually a much savvier method for a company to ensure a shopper will spend money than offering a discount.  “If you offer a heavy promotion, the shopper will be trained to buy things on sale,” (Blog: this was the bane of J.C. Penney).  Further, “giving someone a credit instead maintains the sanctity of a brand’s price and value.  Plus, it lets the brand put a cap on their discount.  A brand will make more money off you if they give you $25 to spend, as opposed to someone like J. Crew (Blog: or J.C. Penney), which marks things down to 30 percent to appeal to shoppers.”

Use it or lose it, even if it’s not actually there.  The expiration date creates a sense of urgency.

Buy one, get one free

BOGO is a tactic we are all familiar with (especially in America).  It works because “the most significant effect” on customers is that it convinces us we’re getting something for free.

It also works well during the holidays since we’re buying for others and think we’re getting something for ourselves to boot.

“Studies have found that BOGO is the promotion shoppers like most and the one that gets us to spend the most money.  But watchdog shopping blogs have pointed out that products promoted through BOGO are often the things stores are trying to get rid of.  Shoppers who’ve done the math have also found that BOGO items are actually overpriced, so in reality, BOGO means, ‘buy two at the regular price.’  “

The bottom line is that stores know shoppers aren’t thinking too hard about the value (and certainly not the math) since they’re in deal-hunting mode, and so they often fall prey to BOGO sales.

Selling things in smaller sizes

The holiday season is a time for “gifts,” so what could be more practical and appropriate than a Gift Set?  Besides, these sets proliferate like rabbits and are most often placed on aisle end caps or check out lines where they cannot be missed, especially in beauty departments.  The advice to shoppers is to research the price of the larger sizes, as customers are often duped into buying overpriced smaller bottles and thinking they’re scoring a deal because they come in sets.

In other words, look at, or figure out, the “price per ounce” or whatever unit of sale is being used.  This is now by law common in grocery stores for price comparison for different sale quantities, but isn’t in the beauty or other areas.  It is shocking to see two different sale quantities of a product, side-by-side in an aisle, with price-per-ounce differences of $6/oz for the “large” size and $45/oz for the “convenient” size.

Free gift with purchase

This is another common but not recent Beauty Department approach (i.e., tactic).  Department stores have been offering little makeup bags and beauty samples to customers who hit a certain spending threshold — they know it’s practically a no-fail tactic to get shoppers to spend more.

This strategy “taps into the human desire to win,” since there’s a reward factor to spending money (this may be a unique American cultural effect).  The gift often entices shoppers to drop extra dollars — you could spend $50 OR spend $80 and get something for free!

It works for me, too.  Not in the beauty department, but in the hardware store.  The corporate “cash discount” (time-limited) coupon applies only if you purchase at least $25.  You don’t know how painful it is to stop at a $15 purchase and let that $5 coupon die a slow, pitiful, lonely death.

It all started with…

Discounts, of course.  Sometimes stores used these to move discontinued merchandise (their rationale, basically, was “sell it or lose it,” referring to their wholesale capital investment.  Better to “discount” and sell it near cost than to write it off.)  “Going Out of Business” sales also fall into this category (even the off-price businesses that have been “Going Out of Business” for over 10 years).

Alternatively, they might use an “introductory” price with a new product the manufacturer wished to promote (here the manufacturer absorbs the “lost sales margin”).

Speaking directly to American cultural shopping psychology is a very old story (and, yes, it is misogynistic, sexist, and stupid. But bear with me, I won’t be finished yet).  The story concerns the woman who comes home from shopping and tells her husband, “Honey, I saved $250 shopping today!”  “How’s that?” he replied.  “I bought a $500 dress on sale for $250.”

The story’s counterpart deserves to be told.  My wife and I recently spoke about personal finances to a women’s group in central Pennsylvania.  We specifically addressed the need, particularly as couples, to carefully identify and agree upon the differences between wants and needs and to set agreed upon priorities.

One woman asked the question, “How do you handle a case where the husband bought something he wanted when there were still important family needs?”

As I am often prone to doing, I spontaneously generated a more specific and vivid example, I thought, to help make the question more real. I replied, “You mean, for instance, the husband came home and said, “Honey, you’ll never guess.  I saved $1000 today when I bought a new Remington over-and-under 12 gauge shotgun for my collection!”

The woman actually leapt off of her chair and screamed, “That’s what happened!  How did you know?!”

There, now I’m done.

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My, That’s Interesting!

“Be willing to step outside your comfort zone once in a while; take the risks in life that seem worth taking.  The ride might not be as predictable if you’d just planted your feet and stayed put, but it will be a heck of a lot more interesting.” – Edward Whitacre, Jr.

That’s a connection very few people make, connecting “interesting” with “risk.”  It is, however, a valuable truism, and one worth exploring.

Most of us feel “interesting” is a bit like adding a touch of whipped cream to a healthy serving of apple cobbler – it’s still mostly about the apple cobbler.

Pursuing “interesting” a bit further might not seem an interesting exercise until you come across an article entitled, “What does it mean to be ‘interesting?’ “ (Lorraine Besser, in Fastcompany, reprinted from Aeon), a very worthwhile and, wait for it, interesting read.  This triggered a number of deeper thoughts that seemed worth sharing.  Following a well-trod path, quotes from her article are indented.

Most of us know and value pleasant experiences.  We savor the taste of a freshly picked strawberry (Blog: or apple cobbler).  We laugh more than an event warrants, just because laughing feels good.  We might argue about the degree to which such pleasant experiences are valuable, and the extent to which they ought to shape our lives, but we can’t deny their value.

One of the reasons we search out pleasant experiences is because much of our lives can be focused on adding value to someone or something else.  Once in a while it’s nice to be on the receiving end, even if short lived.

What we probably don’t consciously realize is that those experiences land very close to the center of our Special Bubbles, the very center of who we are.  They tend to reinforce that center, to reinforce our picture of our “world” (i.e., Special Bubble) and of ourselves.  In a way these are our Confirmation biases physically playing out.

So pleasant experiences are necessarily valuable, but are there also valuable experiences that are not necessarily pleasant?  It seems there are.  Often, we have experiences that captivate us, that we cherish even though they are not entirely pleasant.  We read a novel that leads us to feel both horror and awe.  We binge watch a TV show that explores the shocking course of moral corruption of someone who could be your neighbor, friend, even your spouse.  The experience is both painful and horrifying, but we can’t turn it off.

These experiences seem intuitively valuable in the same way that pleasant experiences are intuitively valuable. But they are not valuable because they are pleasant – rather, they are valuable by virtue of being interesting.

Rather than just being confirming, these experiences become interesting.  The explanation follows,

What does it mean for an experience to be interesting?  First, to say that something is interesting is to describe what the experience feels like to the person undergoing it. This is the phenomenological quality of the experience. When we study the phenomenology of something, we examine what it feels like, from the inside, to experience that thing.

In other words, how is our core being reacting to the interesting experience?  This is an experience that doesn’t exactly resonate pleasantly with the center of who we are, but pushes towards the edge of our Bubble.  Perhaps not strongly challenging us, certainly not to revulsion, but pushing up against our Bubble in a challenging but not quite offensive way.  It’s interesting.

Trying new foods comes to mind, and the author further explores this type of experience among others we commonly encounter – books, a sunset, and often other people.  A key point is,

… we aren’t describing the thing itself, but rather our experience of it. … The interesting is just like this.  It is a feature of our experiential reaction, of our engagement.

While wrapping our head around the interesting might be challenging, it is important to acknowledge the value intrinsic to interesting experiences.  Recognizing it as valuable validates those who choose to pursue the interesting, and also opens up a new dimension of value that can enrich our lives.

The point here is that, visually speaking, we’ve got both feet firmly in the midst of our Bubble but are leaning against an edge. We can choose to stretch the edge of our Bubble a bit and embrace the experience and the newness it provides, or we can step back without feeling unduly threatened.

For most of us, however, cutting close to the edge is uncomfortable, even threatening.  We regard anything that is outside our Bubble through the filter (defense?) of Fundamental Principle 6 (Missing Information):

 

 

Choosing to stretch our Bubble and embrace both the growth and added value that comes with the new experience is itself a tremendous added value,

For many of us, though, interesting experiences are more rewarding than pleasurable experiences, insofar as their intrinsic value is a product of multifaceted aspects of our engagement.  Interesting experiences spark the mind in a way that stimulates and lingers.  They can also be easy to come by – sometimes just a sense of curiosity is needed to make an activity interesting.  Look around, feel the pull, and cherish the interesting.

Below the surface is another truism,

When we embrace the interesting and stretch our Bubbles, we influence others to do the same; when we reject what’s outside our Bubble and throw up our defenses, we influence others to do the same.

Don’t just cherish, but embrace the interesting.

Posted in 00: Bubbles, 02: Value Added, A Definition, 06: Incomplete Information, 08: Observing, Listening, Learning, 11: Growth | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Music – Expressing What Cannot Be Said

“If Music is a Place — then Jazz is the City, Folk is the Wilderness, Rock is the Road, Classical is a Temple.” ― Vera Nazarian

Realistically speaking, my exposure to music began in an odd way.  In the late 1940s my parents had a “radio and recording record player” which survived into the 1960s when I went off to college.  Its uniqueness involved a turntable with two arms: one for playback of 33 1/3 rpm records, and another heavier arm which was used with blank discs to cut a direct recording of a “live event.”  Since it was the size of a large piece of furniture, the “live event” usually consisted of a group of friends reading lines from a short script of a murder mystery or comedy piece.  It had to be short because the disc got full very quickly.  It took a great deal of effort to set the system up, much rehearsal time for the group to get their lines right, and it only made one disc.  It rapidly gave way to charades.

But its other capability lasted for years. My mother would play music often, enjoying the sounds of Glenn Miller’s orchestra (I still have the original 33 1/3 recordings), and “The Chocolate Soldier,” which I learned was a 1941 film and light opera (but at my age then, not my thing, love story with soprano warbling).

My breakthrough, or revelation, came at age 11 after we visited the Grand Canyon and rode the mules down to Phantom Ranch (yes, I was underage, but close enough to being 12).  Soon after getting home I came across a 45 rpm set of the Grand Canyon Suite.  Never heard of it, never heard of the composer, but, clearly, I had to have it. It was eye opening, evoking visual memories of the Canyon and the ride down to the Colorado River and the Ranch. And the thunderstorms.  And my father getting bit by one of the mules.

The five sides of that three record set remained a favorite.  My only set, played repeatedly.  Until the day I left the records sitting on the little 45 rpm player in the sun, and the heat softened, distorted and ruined one of the discs.  S**t.

The bonus revelation was the sixth side. That was Aaron Copland’s El Salon Mexico.  With that music came visions that were not memories.  I was hooked.

So when our local grocery store ran a promotion for Classical Music, spend something like $25 and get the week’s 33 1/3 classical disc for free (or $1, I forget which), I joined my mother for the weekly grocery run and politicked for the newest promotion disc.

I built a reasonable collection.  I learned that there was a lot of stuff out there, greatly extending my concept of what “classical” meant, but that “promotional grocery store offerings,” while being pretty good, were stripped of the names of the conductor and orchestra (that’s why they were free or $1 rather than the going $4-$5. This was a long time ago).

I also discovered that certain pieces were very calming and soothing and very beneficial when I had to study, much more beneficial than others (e.g., one’s first exposure to 12 tone music, or any rock and roll).  So my having a background of classical music became a cherished norm.  Oddly enough, it greatly aided my ability to focus under certain circumstances (such as now, as I am writing this).

So it was with a certain joy that this past week I received a Quartz Obsession piece on Listening to music at work.  Ever since Muzak became a “thing” (i.e., elevator music), there’s been music at work. (In 1953 Muzak was wired into the White House; perhaps that’s what started some things…).

This at least reaffirmed for us that all music is not created equal.  One size does not fit all (especially in the elevator), but for each of us there are no doubt specific, task-targeted benefits.  Some like their music for “relaxation,” while others mentioned “concentration.”  On the low end of the spectrum were those who mentioned “enjoyment.”

Interestingly, 63% of doctors and nurses indicate they listen to music in the operating room.  This was not a surprise to me as I had direct evidence of this (no, not when I was under the knife, but when someone else was.  I once was calling a consultant and was patched through into his operating room.  Needless to say, I made that conversation very short).

Even more interesting is that 49% of doctors indicate they listen to rock in the operating room.  (I am sorry, but if I ever need brain surgery, I want a doctor who does not claim multitasking as a strong point while listening to rock while I’m under the knife.)

I’m not just sayin’ this.  Research reported in the article shows that while music helps with repetitive tasks that require focus and not much higher-level cognitive attention (i.e., not my brain surgery), listening to music is indeed multi-tasking and any cognitive resources expended on listening to or understanding lyrics won’t be available for the work.

Also mentioned is research that indicated, “Complex managerial tasks are probably best performed in silence.”  (For the good order, I did not play music or use Muzak when managing; only at home when trying to recover from said managing).

A further insight is that, “The outcome of relaxation, reflection, and pausing won’t be captured in minute-to-minute productivity metrics.  In moments of extreme focus, our attention beams outward, toward the problem, rather than insights.”

It’s clear that, if we are going to listen to music most of the time, we should match our tunes to our tasks, create our playlists to be task specific.

On the outward focus, my oldest son used to listen to “Eye of the Tiger” before every wrestling match; he does triathlons now and no doubt has his select playlist.  Most athletes prepare with their own personal playlist.

The inner focus is what resonates deeply with me (there is an intended pun here); a resonance that seems to involve holding two things in the mind at the same time.  “For a cognitive boost, pick music that doesn’t have lyrics, especially if your task is word-related.”

Ironically, there is indeed an apparent connection with puns, at least according to a recent article by Ephrat Livni in Quartz,

“Despite its bad reputation, punning is, in fact, among the highest displays of wit.  Indeed, puns point to the essence of all true wit—the ability to hold in the mind two different ideas about the same thing at the same time,” (James Geary, author of Wit’s End, quoted in the Livni’s article).

While I’d also like to believe A. D. Posey, “The power of classical music turns my words into fire,” what happens for me is that classical music settles subconsciously while simultaneously opening up pathways that permit words and thoughts to mix together smoothly and more effectively.

At least that’s what I think.  The output may be judged more harshly.

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Life in the Time of Postmodernism

“(It) may be the most loathed concept ever to have emerged from academia” – Aaron Hanlon

A right nice recommendation, one might say.  Even the title of this recent article from Quartz, “Everyone hates postmodernism – but that doesn’t make it wrong,” paints a nasty picture.  Perhaps a deeper look might be in order, especially in light of my post just days earlier on the General and Special Bubble Theories.

The Quartz article by Ephrat Livni (@el72champs) warrants a complete reading, but in the interest of speed and time, I will just quote some relevant passages, adding some commentary and noting which lengthier portions of the essay merit some attention.

Postmodernism – What is this?

Livni bluntly summarizes it as “the messy and bewildering philosophy that emerged in the late 20thcentury – which considered everything relative and the meaning of all language subject to debate – (and) led to the breakdown of reality, according to its critics.”  Aaron Hanlon’s perspective (above) follows immediately thereafter. They have a valid point.

Postmodernism1, generally speaking, is

Defined by an attitude of skepticism, irony, or rejection toward the overarching beliefs and ideologies of modernism, most often calling into question various assumptions of Enlightenment rationality (Blog: basically the fundamentals of Western civilization we’ve all been taught).

Common targets of postmodern criticisms include the notions of objective reality, morality, truth, human naturereasonlanguage, and social progress.

Postmodern thinkers frequently call attention to the “contingent” or “socially-conditioned” nature of knowledge and value systems, viewing them as the results of particular political, historical, or cultural (societal) attitudes and hierarchies.  (Blog: in other words, Regression to the Cultural Mean).

Accordingly, postmodern thought is broadly characterized by its tendencies to self-referentiality (Blog: i.e., naval contemplation), epistemological and moral relativism, pluralism, subjectivism, and irreverence.

In other words, the rejection of any and all existing cohesive and overarching group values and their foundations.  The vacuum thus created then begs to be filled by the only remaining seemingly important entity: the individual.  You.  Solipsism (“What About Me?!?”) on steroids.

The frightening truth is that, when thoughtfully considered and as Livni states, postmodernism is not wrong.

It’s just that it is incomplete.  And no one would realize it unless they understood The General and Special Bubble Theories.

Some observations from the article follow (indented), along with my thoughts.  The article itself is well worth a full read, if for no other reason than to better understand what’s happening in the world.

“How is it that we can share a common reality, yet experience it so differently from one another?”

That is THE question.  It is a puzzling question if one assumes we all share one common reality, and that reality is the only one.  In this case, it makes sense to regard one’s own perception of “reality” as “truth,” and everyone else’s as incomplete, erroneous, or just plain false. This is a prime example of our innate Either/Or way of thinking being reinforced by the acceptance of a simple but incorrect assumption.

However, becoming aware that there is one common physical “reality” (the General Bubble) and that each of us individually experiences his/her own cognitive “reality” (their Special Bubbles, embedded within the common General Bubble) helps answer the question.

There is then the possibility of multiple and incomplete perspectives, whether overlapping or not.  As a consequence, we should move into the more complex and challenging growth mode of And/And thinking and learning to accept the limitations of Incomplete Information.  Alas, most of us are unwilling or unable to try this.

The article continues,

“But postmodernists didn’t create the new fractured reality; they merely described it.  The French academics of the 1970s, particularly Jean Baudrillard and Jean-Francois Lyotard, saw the flaws in modernist thought – that old-timey Enlightenment-era notion that we all shared values, approved the same truths, and agreed on the facts.

Instead, they acknowledged that reality is complicated. They recognized the changes happening in the late 20thcentury – the erosion of authority, the ascendance of individual perspective – and developed the vocabulary to describe it.

This relativist view … is as close to a description of reality as we can muster …”

Trying to describe a multi-Bubble reality starting with the assumption that there is only One reality (and not even a Bubble at that) would of course be difficult and unnerve everybody.  However, this option seems to be the only one considered to date by all concerned, with inevitable inconsistencies showing up,

“But after two world wars and the collapse of colonialism, budding postmodernists saw that the assumption of inevitable human progress (due to science and technology) was false.

Likewise, the concept of universal truths no longer applied in transforming societies where language didn’t mean the same thing to everyone.

They searched for ways to describe an emerging world with a din of voices and viewpoints, in which biases based upon backgrounds and experiences dictated alternate realities and undercut the supposed shared vision of what is right and good.”

If one means by inevitable human progress a rising tide that lifts all boats uniformly, then indeed there is an issue.  Historically, all boats haven’t risen the same amount, but they have risen.  And historically, the thinking is that if my boat hasn’t risen the same as your boat, I’m going to grumble, especially if the expectation is equal outcomes as opposed to equal opportunity.

Another eye-opener was postmodernists concluding that all truths and values weren’t universal, especially where languages differed (and therefore expressed things differently) and “shared values” differed even on a local basis.

If the basic assumption is that there is only One common reality, this becomes an issue.  Either/Or thinking leads to a downward spiral: either there are shared fundamental values and truths, or there are not.  Since we experience many differing values, the conclusion must follow that there are not any fundamental shared values or truths.

“… this also conceals the fact that there is no shared reality; actually there isn’t a single thing that can be called this American life.”

While historically there have always been individualistic thinking and self-interested behaviors, these have mostly been fairly contained and subdued by a general belief and attempted adherence to broader common values and truths geared for the greater good.

With the advent of postmodernism, however, there arose a philosophy that justified the unleashing of the dogs of hell: full frontal self-justified individualism and associated behaviors.

In essence, this is the perfect (but unrecognized) description of the outcome of Special Bubbles.

However, the concept of Special Bubbles does not require the abandonment of shared values and truths purposed for the greater good, but that seems to be the single conclusion derived from the assumption “One Bubble for All.”

The utilitarian concept of the greater good does allow for the fact that some people will not immediately benefit – but the expectation of equal outcomes precludes that. Utilitarianism does not preclude additional approaches to address those outside the greater good.  Our education system attempts to lift all boats, but also includes specialized tracks, both remedial and accelerated.

The result of this One Bubble for All, and All for One Bubble approach is that instead of working to grow our reality based on the facts we continue to experience, we flipped to generating facts to fit the “reality” we are comfortable with.

A very interesting and timely example from the article is the following,

“Take an incident that arose at Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings in the Senate this September. The judge’s former law clerk, Zina Bash, sat behind him.  On the first day, some viewers accused her of making a white power sign while resting her hand on her arm.  (To people unfamiliar with the sign, this just looks like an “ok” symbol.)”

I am unfamiliar with this interpretation of a common sign, much less to the brouhaha and Twitter storm that erupted around it.  The incident as related in the article is worth the read to see what some people are willing to distort in order to coerce “truth” to fit their limited Special Bubbles.

“Reality, then, is a kind of literary fiction which we all create based upon our experiences and the (Incomplete) information we encounter.”

Through a glass darkly, and even looking deeper, one can see the literary fiction (Special Bubble) that results when we only consider our own limited experiences and information, choosing to ignore all that is Missing.

This does not mean our Special Bubble is wrong, just decidedly incomplete.  And we are unwilling to accept that.

Final example,

“In The Atlantic’s October issue, editor Jeffrey Goldberg admits that this is “a moment in which truths that seemed self-evident are in doubt.”  He writes that US democracy is in crisis, but cites the nation’s founding fathers and constitutional principles as a source of hope. Americans at one point held certain truths to be self-evident, or so wrote the powerful white men who drafted the Constitution.

But when you look at the facts, matters were complicated even back in the day.  No one asked the slaves in the US about their values or their definition of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  The powerful were indifferent to women’s rights, too.  Our shared values were espoused by people out of touch with many of us. …

That doesn’t mean we should trash the Constitution. But it does highlight the fact that the relativism of postmodernism existed before the vocabulary for its discussion formed. …”

Lots of thoughts here.

I think most of us still hold to the belief and common value that certain truths are self-evident.  We could talk of truths that are self-evident in the physical General Bubble (things such as gravity, Newton’s Laws, sun rise, sun set; things that cannot be denied to us), but I think it is self-evident that these are not the self-evident truths meant by the founding fathers.

We are more focused on truths in our cognitive Special Bubbles; truths that could be subject to availability and variability depending upon outside forces (events, and in particular, other people), and internal forces (opportunity, motivation).

These truths are still self-evident; they just might not be uniformly achieved.  Equal outcome isn’t in the Constitution; equal opportunity is.

The rising tide has lifted a lot of boats.  We have the world’s strongest economy (although it is still subject to storms2), and enjoy a world of freedom and opportunity the envy of the rest of the world (but also stormy).  Our focus on human rights around the world is example of our still holding to certain unalienable self-evident truths and values. And continued belief in these truths, values, and opportunities is why more people still want to come here than we want to go elsewhere.

Don’t blame the tide because not all the boats float.  (Yes, we have to accept that there will always be bad actors, some of whom scuttle boats; there certainly must be ways of dealing with these.  But the solution is neither to stem the tide nor to continuously replace all the ill-attended boats).

Yep, don’t blame the Constitution (too easy), or conclude from a plethora of “truths” and “values” that there are no fundamental ones (mindboggling, but still easy).

We have to remember that we were not born with shared values; they are not innate.  We were taught these by Regression to the Cultural Mean within the families and cultures in which we lived.

Remove these fundamental truths and values and you deny the existence of any bedrock to build upon. Building upon bedrock to withstand wind and storm is not a new idea or new value.

[Tent Rocks, NM: Still standing after windblown sand storms and flash floods]

We need to understand the bedrock upon which we built (“shared values”) and continue building upon that.

One bedrock foundation is that democracy was to have an educated populace who could read (and understand and thus make informed decisions).  We worked (and still work) to achieve that.  Now we have a populace that can read, but the majority of whom only read (and write on) Twitter and Facebook.

Where it once took months, weeks, or days for information to become available, what passes for information is now available instantaneously via the internet, and any processing it to reach understanding is ignored. This is Confirmation Bias run amok, and a major factor in people reinforcing their own Special Bubbles.

Only a few risk the chance to enlarge their Bubble, and not only grow themselves but contribute to the rising tide that, overall, can contribute to humanity’s progress.

Science celebrates people who intentionally notice, pursue and discover Missing Information, and thereby fill holes in our understanding of the world.

The bane of (incomplete) postmodernism is that it provides justification for people to live in their reinforced Special Bubbles and encourages them to pillory other Special Bubbles who may not yet have noticed or discovered Missing Information, and then to “Borkthem ostensibly for intentionally ignoring it.  The ultimate irony: postmodern thinking that has succumbed to postmodern thinking.

The plea that resonates through The Righteous Mind is, while recognizing we live in Special Bubbles, to stretch them by intentionally engaging in dialogues with others.

And to become the calm that steadies the inevitable storm.

Notes:

Wikipedia.  I generally tell my students that Wikipedia is a great place to start (preliminary research), but a lousy place to finish (as a referenced source).  I violate that philosophy here for brevity (sic), and admit to using the only two paragraphs of information in the larger article that were not specifically accompanied by an explicit call for further editing and clarification – which is needed: both for the article, and postmodernism.

Thoughts on Capitalism will be the subject of a future post.

Bork (Oxford English Dictionary), verb: To obstruct (someone, especially a candidate for public office) by systematically defaming or vilifying them. Origin –1980s: from the name of Robert Bork (1927–2012), an American judge whose nomination to the Supreme Court (1987) was rejected following unfavorable publicity for his allegedly extreme views.

 

 

Posted in 00: Bubbles, 06: Incomplete Information, 11: Growth, 13: Values & Self, 16: Culture, Lessons from History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Truth Isn’t Truth

“This is going to become a bad meme.“ – Chuck Todd (NBC interview)

A bad meme, indeed.  It’s bigger, way bigger than that.  On the good side, the meme throws a spotlight on the fact that we really do live in a Bubble, and most people are clueless about it.

The Bubble idea has become more bothersome in the last few decades, so I invested what I hope is an adequate amount of time to dig into this and come up with a better understanding about what “Living in a Bubble” really means.

Hang on.  This might not be pretty.  It’s been a journey, and it’s revealed a number of things.

Then again, it might be pretty awesome, at least for some.  You see, it’s not just Bubble: fundamentally it’s many Bubbles.  Many Bubbles for each of us, alone or in groups; it’s not just a “worldview.”

Where to begin?  (This might not seem like a difficult question, but as you will see, it is. As a consequence, I’ve chosen once again to begin where I typically begin: in the Middle.  And to keep it short.  If you want any additional chatty details, they will follow on Pages 2 and 3.)

In the middle of what?  As it turns out, the Middle is actually right here, right Now.  The “What” is what we’re actually looking into.  So, let us begin.

Terra Firma

You and I got up this morning and stepped out into, or rather onto, good old Terra Firma, “dry, solid earth.”  We take this rock solid foundation for granted, along with a number of other things that we sense and experience.  In doing this, we take comfort in knowing that we are just joining a long line of people throughout history that have done the same thing.

The idea of “solid matter” gained through our sense of touch is one of the earliest concepts developed by man through both our “common sense” and common senses.  This idea eventually led early in history to a definition of Substance (i.e., matter) as that which is extended in space and persistent in time.1

This working definition is so useful that it still forms the foundation of virtually every science course taught.  It was (and still is) a very good starting point (and, for most of us, a finishing point).  After all, if I drop it on my foot and it’s still there after I hop around in pain, it must be solid matter, generally speaking.

The problem is, it’s incomplete if not wrong.  It works for the physical “Bubble” we live in, but does not describe All That There Is, the rest of Reality.  Really.

Proof of Bubble

When the theories of Relativity (on the Mind-Boggling scale, Page 2) and Quantum Mechanics (on the Minuscule scale, Page 3) were proposed, most of us said, “Meh.”  After all, please note carefully: we choose to ignore what we think doesn’t affect us. We throw up a Wall.

It doesn’t change Reality.  Both Relativity and Quantum Mechanics invade our comfortable physical Bubble every day.  The GPS systems we so heavily rely upon depend on Relativity and the variability of time and would not work otherwise (Page 2), and research uses Scanning Tunneling Microscopes daily, based upon the Quantum Mechanical phenomenon of electrons tunneling through barriers they should not tunnel through (Page 3).

We use these phenomena, we count on them, but we can’t explain them let alone understand them.  It doesn’t change Reality; it just changes our “reality.”  That reality is a Bubble.  And that Bubble becomes a Fundamental Principle.

Taking Liberty

I am going to take a great liberty here and try, with a bit of irony and a lot of dependence upon Pages 2 and 3, to build on the shoulders of giants, Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger, and Ernst Mach, and propose the big Bubble of the world that we live in as The General Bubble Theory:

The world we live in, affecting us all together, is the physical General Bubble, consisting of an unimaginable number of wave-groups, manifesting themselves as perceived particles, people, places, and things, plus our overall perception of space as Euclidian and time as “absolute.”  (Ok, you probably should glance through Pages 2 and 3).

On the other hand, the limitations in our individual senses, what we can experience directly and therefore process and interpret, leads to The Special Bubble Theory:

We each perceive and inhabit a unique cognitive Special Bubble, developed from our specific genes (from others), particular environment (including others), unique experiences (involving others), and choices (both ours and others).  We are probably trying to stay comfortable within it, and potentially get uncomfortable outside of it.

In reaction to all the other Special Bubbles (people, groups, cultures) we experience, and depending upon our personality and temperament, we may seek to expand our Special Bubble, carefully maintain it as it is, or actively seek to shrink it for protection.

Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind) describes the expansion of his own Bubble during his studies in another culture, India.  We experienced the same when we lived in The Netherlands and in Romania.  Recognition of stuff outside one’s own Bubble coupled with a discerning openness to experience it can lead to growth of self as well as one’s Bubble.  A potentially growing Bubble has a strong but thin, flexible, transparent skin.  It’s part and parcel of a continuous learning mindset, an attitude of seeking opportunities for creating added value: a Positive Sum mindset, something culturally reinforced.

The desire to carefully maintain one’s Bubble (a Conservation of Bubble?) manifests itself as an attitude that leads to a chosen behavior:

If I don’t know it, it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t exist;
If I don’t understand it, it’s wrong.

This attitude is the unwillingness to deal with the possibility of Missing Information, or the direct rejection of it.  It is the ageless choosing to ignore what we think doesn’t affect us.  It is the attitude J. S. Mill addresses:

“First, if any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true.  To deny this is to assume our own infallibility (italics mine).  Secondly, though the silenced opinion be an error, it may, and very commonly does, contain a portion of truth; and since the general or prevailing opinion on any subject is rarely or never the whole truth, it is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied.”
― John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859)

This idea of the existence of Missing Information and Bubbles is not new, just forgotten or willfully ignored.

The predominance of people with this mindset is probably a major contributor to our current partisanship and our newfound Politics of Comfort. The world is perceived as being Zero Sum and every effort must be made to hold one’s ground. New stuff or understanding is uncomfortable because one’s Bubble skin has become thicker, stiffer, and clouded. Instead of a Bubble it has become more like a silo (the same process often identified in organizations).

Those who are actively attempting to shrink their Bubble probably perceive themselves in crisis mode and are primarily looking for survival, to eliminate threats.  The world is Negative Sum, abounding with Takers.  Defense is the primary action, and fortressing the norm by reinforcing the thick wall of the Bubble by putting Another Brick in the Wall.

The crisis very often leads to attempting to Fix the Blame by hurling missiles of their limited truth over the walls.

The attempt to claim that Truth Isn’t Truth (ignoring the Missing Information outside their Bubble and falling directly into the trap identified by J. S. Mill’s first point).  They risk converting their Bubble into a coffin, or a sarcophagus.

Much conspiracy theory follows this path (Flat Earthers come to mind), as well as the thinking of many groups (people groups, special interest groups, political and religious organizations).

Relative Reality


(image credit: Politico)

We live in Bubbles: one big one, the General Bubble for which we have no choice, and an unlimited number of Special Bubbles (ours and others), for which we can exercise some choice.

To boot, we each have multiple Special Microbubbles depending upon our interests and disinterests, strengths and weaknesses.  We react differently to crises, either seeking to fix the blame or choosing to fix the problem through recognizing opportunities.

Our collection of Special Microbubbles isn’t necessarily a perfect sphere.  We may seek to expand some of our Microbubbles in our strengths, and stabilize or shrink others in our weaknesses; some may even risk the opposite.  Regardless, the whole thing probably looks more like Special Foam.

We assemble our personal little Special Microbubbles (interests) to create our Special Bubble, then engage within bigger special interest Bubbles (our Dunbar groups and social neighborhoods, collections of people, different for different interests), and then interact with (or try not to) all the other Special Bubbles (people) we come in contact with, or hear or read about.

Can we call those other Special Bubbles (partisans) we prefer not to care about, Special Froth?  (Yes, but only if we live in a Negative Sum world (Bubble), and only care about withdrawing and defending.)

I think this whole concept, from which so many of the other Fundamental Principles evolve, deserves special status; it needs to be recognized as Fundamental Principle 0.

We can choose to withdraw, tread water, or grow, depending upon how we choose to hold ourselves accountable: to self, to group, or to a greater good, higher values, or even a higher authority.

Your health, and that of others, society, cultures, and nations depend upon stretching our Special Bubbles to make them larger.

Think Positive.

Notes:
1History of Science, W. C. Dampier, p295.

Posted in 00: Bubbles, 04: Games People Play, 06: Incomplete Information, 07: Getting It, Lessons from History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

English!?

“Critical writing is thinking about your writing while you’re thinking about what you’re writing in order to make sure what you’re writing reflects what you’re thinking.”

One of the issues with writing is trying to make sure you are actually communicating the message you were thinking.

This is easier done than said.

The reason for this is that with writing one has the time to set things aside and reread them later.  This proofing, theoretically, provides one time to ponder one’s words and see if they really convey what you once thought they were conveying.  If not, edit.

Unfortunately, one does not have that opportunity when speaking.  The editing process (brain) should be engaged before one speaks.  Otherwise, you end up with the following rationalizing, self-defensive and justifying pontification:

“I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant” (attributed to Alan Greenspan, former Fed chairman, and in a slight variation to Robert McCluskey, the children’s book author, and, silently, to every one of us at one time or another).

There are times, however, when proofing focuses so much on meaning that it misses the visual clues, or, in the following, what’s hidden behind the word’s unintended camouflage.  (This is why it is good to have another pair of eyes proof one’s work.)

We speak here of Homographs, Heteronyms, and Homonyms.  And probably Homophones, too.

A homograph is a word that shares the same written form as another word, but has a different meaning.

Heteronyms, while written the same, when spoken can be distinguished by different pronunciations.

A homonym has both the same written form and pronunciation.  (Due to this unique combination, someone decided that they didn’t need a unique designation, but could also be referred to as homographs and homophones.  Thanks.)

A recent email came across my desk that gave me some fun, and enlightening, reading (even though it could still have used some additional proofing).  The email had not really gone viral but appeared to move more like a herd of grazing cattle. Here, for entertainment or confusion, are some examples we can take for granted everyday.  (Ok, some of them were a bit contrived).

  • The bandage was wound around his wound.
  • The farm was used to produce produce.
  • The town dump was so full it had to refuse more refuse.
  • They had to polish their new Polish furniture.
  • He could lead if he got the lead out.
  • The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  • Since there is no time like the present, she thought it was time to present her present.
  • The bass painted a bass on the head of the bass drum.
  • The dove dove into the bushes.
  • I did not object to the object in question.
  • The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  • There was a row on the boat about how to row.
  • The chair was too close to the door to close it.
  • A buck does funny things when does are near.
  • To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  • How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
  • He couldn’t bear to bear the bear back into the woods.
  • After the row, she moped around on her moped.
  • She shed a tear upon seeing a tear in the painting.

Consider further,

  • There is no egg in eggplant,
  • No ham in hamburger, and
  • Neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
  • English muffins were not invented in England,
  • Nor French fries in France.
  • Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads are meats that aren’t sweet.
  • Quicksand works slowly.
  • Boxing rings are square, and
  • A guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And really ponder these, because eventually you will have to explain it to your kids,

  • Writers write, but fingers do not fing.
  • Grocers do not groce, and hammers do not ham.
  • You can made amends, but not one amend…
  • If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth?
  • If one goose, two geese, why not one moose, two meese?
  • If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
  • If teachers taught, why don’t preachers praught?
  • If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
  • We ship by truck, but send cargo by ship.
  • Our noses run, and our feet smell.
  • Why is a slim chance and a fat chance the same?
  • But a wise man and a wise guy are the opposite?
  • We recite at a play, and play at a recital.
  • Our houses burn up when they burn down.
  • We fill in a form by filling it out.
  • Our alarms go off when they go on.
  • When the stars are out they are visible, but when the lights are out they are not.

And, to keep you awake at night,

  • Why doesn’t Buick rhyme with quick?
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The Way We Think (3): The Conservative Disadvantage

One of the most interesting insights from diving into Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) (1) was reading about the reactions of the research team while they were dealing with the results from their research and viewing these results in light of the mounds of research results from other studies.

The five academic people on the team were all politically liberal psychologists and social scientists, and yet they corporately discovered they all shared a similar concern about the way that their liberal academic field approached the study of political psychology.

It strongly appeared that the goal of so much previously published research was to explain what was wrong with conservatives! (2)

What apparently helped stir up their concerns was graphically summarizing their new results,

Figure 8.2, The Righteous Mind: Importance of each (original) MFT Foundation versus political philosophy

The conclusion was that conservatives possess Moral Matrices (Values) that display concerns more evenly balanced among the original five foundations studied (see note below), while liberals based their Moral Matrices (and thus their subsequent attitudes and behaviors) on just two, the Care and Fairness foundations.  Conservatives trigger and respond to the full range of intuitions described by Moral Foundations Theory, including appeals to Loyalty (patriotism), Authority (respect for persons in positions of authority as well as traditions), and to the Sanctity foundation (holding some things sacred; primarily but not limited to religion).  The results do not significantly vary over time or in different cultures studied.

Interestingly, when the subjects in the research chose the labels “liberal” or “conservative” they were not just choosing to endorse different values on questionnaires.  Their reaction times were also studied, and within the first half-second after hearing a statement, their partisan brains were already reacting differently.  Their intuitive reactions caused them to lean one way or the other before they began to reason and to search for different (blog: i.e., confirming) kinds of evidence and reach different conclusions.  Their intuitions came first; their strategic reasoning came second. (3)

Further research was done into political and religious speeches (where one would expect to find verbal evidence of underlying MFT foundations) and the texts evaluated.  Liberal political speeches made almost exclusive use of Care and Fairness terminology while conservative speeches were more balanced across all five foundations.  In a 2008 speech, President Obama used only Care and Fairness terminology, and Fairness here most often meant equality of outcomes. (4)  On the religious side, Unitarian sermons made greater use of Care and Fairness terminology, while Southern Baptist sermons made greater use of Loyalty, Authority, and Sanctity terminology. (5)

Distressingly, when the study’s overall results were presented to numerous liberal political groups in an attempt to provide an understanding why liberals fail to connect with social conservatives and the religious right, the responses were wholly negative.  In fact, many liberals could not see any set of values not solely based on the Care and Fairness foundations as anything other than a “moral abomination,” and a society built on such values was something to be combatted, not respected. (6)

It is easy to see the roots of societal polarization here, but there is something else going on, something that has been going on for generations and of which the development of MFT has only recently provided a clearer picture.

First, let’s be clear, much of what liberal progressives wish to accomplish are reasonable ideas and attempts for solutions to very real issues and problems.  There is, as we’ve already seen above, real concern to provide care for individuals and prevent further harm, and to spread these solutions as broadly as possible (equality of outcomes).

One such program is No Child Left Behind (since replaced).  The program has not accomplished what it was theoretically conceived to do and its failures in various areas are blamed on President Bush since the program was enacted during his administration.  Few people, and nearly no liberals, know or are willing to admit that the program was a liberal idea conceived and developed by Senator Ted Kennedy, a liberal Democrat from Massachusetts, and enacted almost wholly intact based upon his proposals.

The subsequent problems that arise are most often not with the proposed solutions, but with incomplete implementation and follow up due to a myopic ‘let’s get it done now and move onto something else’ practice.  This is a ‘let’s concentrate on solving a problem with a ‘solution’ and not worry about if the solution is structurally sound enough to work and last’ mentality (discussion about legislative feedback to address this appears here, towards the end).

I remember participating in this mode of thinking, as I was very liberal when I was much younger.  It was very easy to identify a problem and demand it be solved as if this were as easy as sending a wrongly prepared dish back to the chef or replacing a board in a computer.  However, as with any problem solver, wisdom and broader understanding comes with age; with politicians, apparently not so much.

This mindset is one of a Visionary, a dreamer of better times, and is not wrong.  Organizations and societies need them.  But this is not the mindset of a Doer, one who focuses at least as much on getting the problem solved so that it lasts and doesn’t adversely affect the health of other vital parts of the organization, culture, or nation.  It has been said that “Dreamers need Doers, but Doers don’t need Dreamers.”  First part is right, the second isn’t.

One good example of this is Brexit (a vision), the disjointed attempt (full of unanticipated consequences) by Britain to leave the European Union (also a vision), which is viewed by Britain as being loaded with unanticipated and unintended consequences,

In the Brexit referendum, 17.4 million people, or fifty-two per cent of voters, chose to take the country out of the E.U., a vast supranational project that had become a metaphor for a remote and unfair system for organizing people’s lives. (7)

Since the referendum, the central task in British politics has been to try to square two conflicting demands: to respect the democratic impulse of Brexit while limiting the economic consequences.  It is a version of the challenge posed by populist anger everywhere.  How far should governments go in tearing up systems that people say they dislike—the alienating structures of global capitalism and multilateral government—when the alternatives risk making populations poorer, and therefore presumably more furious than before? (7)

Second, there is no issue about the Care and Fairness foundations not being important. They are; one just can’t build a healthy society on these two alone. (8)  It’s more about all the MFT foundations that are structurally important to a healthy society, and not just American society (see above).

All of this leads us to a Repugnant Conclusion**, one of the something else’s going on and one that most everyone would rather choose to pretend doesn’t exist,

Progressive liberals are not wrong; they are not incorrect; but

They are simply incomplete and don’t recognize it.

The same must be said for fringe conservatives. For both extremes, it’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood of Fundamental Principle 7c:

They don’t know that they don’t know what they don’t know.  But think they do.

This becomes clearer when comparing the Moral Matrices for Liberals and Social Conservatives, as presented in The Righteous Mind (the comparison below now includes the subsequently identified sixth foundation, Liberty/Oppression),

(Also presented is a Moral Matrix for Libertarians, Figure 12.3, which is even more one-legged and foundationally challenged.)

It’s an uphill battle to overcome Gap Theory, search out and verify the usable Missing Information, and work towards a viable solution, all while politely acknowledging the rabid fringes’ right to be rabid.

The Conservative Disadvantage?  They have to juggle a bunch of Foundations all at the same time with a view to the best overall outcome.  This is like a doctor weighing the benefits and side effects of a new medication, taking into account possible contraindications with other existing medications.

It takes courage to cull the best from each side, to be a Conserviberal.  Or a Liberative.

*Note: the six ultimately identified foundations are: Care/Harm; Liberty/Oppression; Fairness/Cheating; Loyalty/Betrayal; Authority/subversion; and Sanctity/Degradation.  The Righteous Mind, p 357

**Note: The Repugnant Question is, “Have I done/not done something that’s contributed to the current situation?”
The Repugnant Conclusion is, “Yes, I have indeed done/not done something that’s contributed to the current situation!”

1The Righteous Mind, p 184-187
2The Righteous Mind, p 187
3The Righteous Mind, p 189
4The Righteous Mind, p 190
5The Righteous Mind, p 188
6The Righteous Mind, p 193
7Teresa May’s Impossible Choice, The New Yorker, (July 30, 2018)
8The Righteous Mind, p 193

 

Posted in 04: Games People Play, 06: Incomplete Information, 07: Getting It, 14: Behavior, 16: Culture, Gap Theory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment