WHY THE ART AND PRACTICE OF
CLEAR THINKING IS MISSING AMONG THE ISOLATIONIST HOBBITS
The Roots of Confusion Are Universal, but some people are more confused than others…
Jay B Gaskill
Our “hobbit” friends are the ‘nice people” who live in benign bubbles, enjoying their gardens and teatime (or their local equivalents). They expect bad news is best handled by audacious hope and persistent denial. They tend to think that if we don’t make trouble, none will come our way. They are children in adult clothing, homes and jobs who are protected from adult thinking by a set of “hobbit managers”. These are the opinion leaders who have persuaded their charges that the ideology of peace is the best way to achieve peace in fact. “Don’t worry, be happy: vote as we tell you and you will have ‘peace’.”
Hobbits tend to raise narcissistic children who develop “anger issues” and “self esteem” problems because facing the Real World without having been equipped with a robust moral code always creates a sense of resentment and betrayal. This is very confusing for the hobbit parents.
Assume that most of us enjoy undamaged brains and normally functioning minds. Yet, confusion remains a common fact of the human condition. Yes, I’m focusing on the current disordered thinking patterns among the loony situational pacifists who tend to see the jihad against us as a problem in the insufficient availability of mental health resources. But, truth be told, confusions are hardly confined to them.
Everyone seems confused. We are entitled to ask, WHY? Is the world really that hard to understand?
The two most common forms of confusion are about values and facts. Confusion always stems from conflicts in the former (“How can you say you love peace and then support the troops?”) and seeming disconnections in the latter (“California raised taxes on high earners and tax revenue dropped”).
Many ordinarily intelligent people tend to be thrown off balance by the drama of seemingly inconsistent values of apparent equal importance; the specter of values clashing in those recurring irreconcilable conflicts that Real Life never fails to provide is … confusing to them. This is because their minds were poorly trained. Anyone who expects to find harmony within a mix of distinct values, all of which are seen as “Good” will be confused by the Real World.. Their minds become confused because they are operating within a non-realistic paradigm: They were taught to see the world as if the overriding principle of all our life interactions were harmony.
But their minds have not identified the creative function of conflict; they are unable to discern any overriding principle that may be operating throughout the apparent chaos (like conflict engendered development); and they miss the essential fact of Life in the Real World – Evil is real and it is locked in an eternal struggle with the Good.
I hate it when it does that.
Almost everyone is confused at one time or other when presented with a situation that contains too many separate facts to integrate within the necessary time frame… or too few facts to come up with a well integrated reality model.
Examples of this variety of the “too much complexity” or “too much simplicity” confusion can be strung along an axis. At one end we experience the problem of navigating the chaotic info-swamp; at the other we get hung up trying to decode one of those impenetrable wisdom nuggets like a Heraclitus’ aphorism (e.g., “you can’t step into the same river twice”).
The key to clarity is always found in the EMT / ambulance model. We need an overriding priority, like “optimize your available time by using triage”, and we need to realize that time sometimes demands a decision NOW and WITHOUT ALL THE POSSIBLE INFORMATION.
The practical minds among us are rarely confused. Why is that?
Practical people have Common Sense. When they are sufficiently informed, they always tend to ask the right questions and draw optimal conclusions. When not, they tend to say “Oh well”, and then move on. Common Sense never gets hung up on the quest for perfection because a reasonable optimum beats an unreasonable obsession any day, any time. Common sense swaps a spare tire on the road and repairs it later. Common sense recognizes that when we are attacked by thugs, a therapeutic response to the attackers can wait until we “take care of business.”
When well informed, common sense fills in the blanks quite well thank you. Here are three aphoristic bumper stickers from the realm of Common Sense. I suspect that Heraclitus would approve…
IF WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER, WHAT WAS THE QUESTION? “PLEASE ATTACK ME AGAIN?”
IF SOMEBODY “LIED AND PEOPLE DIED”, WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM? SADDAM LIED, WE BELIEVED HIM AND SADDAM DIED. SO SORRY.
IF HOPE IS AUDACIOUS, WHAT IS COMMON SENSE, SLICED SALAMI? HOPE AS MUCH AS YOU WANT, BUT DON’T FORGET: YOUR HIND END IS LOCATED IN THE REAL WORLD.