Friday, September 30, 2016

Nuance

I've graduated to Harvey Wallbangers.  That's a good drink.

I was pondering today in what nuance consists.  We lack it, clearly, in mainstream contemporary dialogue.  Academics "do" nuance, but often to the point where they say and believe nothing substantive or actionable, or even coherent.

It feels to me like it arises in feeling.  The "brain" likely is a difference maker, a black/white, A not-A creator.  Edward de Bono has this interesting ideas of catchment areas.  When rain falls on one side of a mountain or another, 2 drops might fall within a couple feet of one another, but that water wind up in two different rivers, many, many miles apart.  How do we bridge the crest of the mountain?  Indeed, how might we invert the mountain, to create reverse catchment areas, where agreement flows naturally?

That would likely be simple: eliminate all alternative inputs.  Given how patently indefensible Leftists positions are on their own issues--social justice, poverty remediation, reducing the role of power elites, working for global peace--they can only be sustained in a vacuum.

But that was not what I meant to say.

Nuance is a feeling.  It is the feeling you get when you chew something slowly, or sip your wine mindfully.  There are textures that emerge with time.  There are small difference, small feelings, small sensations that arise.

Cognitively, it feels like to me tense thinking leads to either/or thinking.  When the limbic system is activated--as it is in chronically tense, fearful people--then all ideas acquire a "glow" of either good or bad.  Academics who routinely preach the evils of "essentializing" will in a heartbeat essentialize Donald Trump, Republicans, the Religious Right, and any other sorts of people with whom they have no personal familiarity, since they don't tend to choose academic habitations.

They do, in other words, what they preach against.  Why?  They lack emotional skill.  They lack flexibility.  They lack self reflectiveness.  They lack, frankly, a better moral code, making their worn patchwork quilt their only option if they want to stay warm in a cold world.

Feeling rules the world.  Only those who cannot touch their own feelings deny this, and those people are ruled by feelings most of all, even if they passionately defend the primacy of logic.

My world, what I see daily, is both comical and tragic.  It is tragic when I feel what could be.  It is comical when I'm drunk.

See: that right there made me laugh.

I don't know who reads this, but I enjoy writing it.  I was thinking today that I have never been in a chat room.  I don't know what most people do on the internet, but for me, this is pretty much it.  I read, and I write.  It's my thing, and everybody needs a thing or two.

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