Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bertrand Russell said "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." How correct he was. I won't even say that he is "right" because I refuse to use right as a synonym for correct, and this takes me directly to my point. So-called right-wing conservatives are so certain that their views must prevail, that this is how our social and political culture has been pushed further and further to the "right". So-called liberals generally are more willing to allow doubts into conversations that a pattern of push-and-acquiesce has been established. The right pushes some point, and the left says "well, perhaps there is room for compromise" and then it's repeated again and again until the entire spectrum is moved to the right, leaving those at the left end, almost literally out on a limb. As a metric of this change, consider how Barry Goldwater was regarded by those on the left, as being radically to the right of the political spectrum, but now could be viewed as a moderate. This is true with regard to discussions not only of politics, but of science and our very survival.

1 comment:

Sherman Clarke said...

Sometimes this comparison wasn't so true but, really, I'm glad it is. Doubt is good for the brain.

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I've been a number of things over the years: husband, father, environmental technical specialist, college instructor, carpenter, volunteer firefighter and ambulance driver, student of Lakota and Japanese languages, technical writer, process engineer, research technician, IT technician, emergency dispatcher, etc.