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Saturday, October 8, 2022

Imagine then

 Imagine, then, somebody getting most things wrong, but insisting on overthinking everything that is more or less simple, and yet sticking to dogmatic positions for more complex, nuanced matters. 

For example: insisting that something has single cause, when there are many causes, some stronger than others. It has to be either / or, all nature or all nurture, or whatever.  

For something that does have a simple, overwhelming cause, like the cause of a war being one nation invading the other, then trying to muddy the waters with all the other, supposedly nuanced reasons.  

Now, we could say that this is difficult. We don't know when to use our nuance, and when to stick to the simplest solution. It would be like the song says: "He knows when to hold them, knows when to fold them." A bad poker player would do the opposite of what is required in any given situation. Or, say, following a rule or principle. Generally, you would follow a rule (if it is good rule), but also know the appropriate time to bend or break the rule. Breaking the rule always would mean that the rule itself has no utility.  

I sometimes find myself on opposite sides of people who basically have the same politics as I do, because I want to nuance when they want to be dogmatic, and vice-versa.  


Leslie B. said...

I lost a bunch of friendly types over the turn to fascism in the Republican Party (they say it's nuanced) and over the RU invasion of UA (they say RU had legit reasons and US motives in support for UA may be self-interested, so UA doesn't deserve that support).

Sometimes I just don't know enough and I am "nuanced" b/c I have not really formed enough of an analysis to take a side like that

Jonathan said...

Usually, nuanced means knowing too much, or letting the excess expertise get in the way of the clarity of situation. Not knowing enough to have strong opinion is a bit different. Surely, you wouldn't want to decide in advance without enough information on something very complex.