Thursday, January 5, 2017
Our opinion of reality.
This is a good point, but I disagree.
I mean, what is reality anyway?
It's our brain's best approximation of the world around us based on its limited ability to interpret the data it receives from our limited physical senses.
Bear in mind also, that our brain literally ignores the existence of data it can't catagorize or understand.
My point is not to say that everyone's opinion is equally valid. It's that opinions are still opinions, and not facts.
The starting point for the two characters in the above cartoon should not be to assert their own opinion as fact in the first place.
And I wouldn't even go so far as to say that one of them must be correct.
Maybe they're both wrong.
Maybe it's a lower-case g.
And if figuring out the identity of a single alphanumeric character is this complicated once you account for the fact that your own perspective is limiting the data you receive, how much more likely is it that your interpretation of politics, the economy, and the nature of the universe is anything close to the actual truth?
We are all fond of saying to other people, "you just don't understand how the world works." But if they are reasonably functional adults, they probably understand pretty well how the world works. Their world. And if you can't see the world from their prospective because you're too intrenched in your own, that doesn't really make you the expert.
A young mother on foodstamps taking the bus to three part-time jobs shouldn't be expected to understand international trade. A father laid off from his third factory job this year doesn't know how Wall Street shareholders manipulate quarterly earnings reports for leverage over business owners.
You can stack up as many facts and statistics as it takes to prove the specific point you're trying to make, and then you can get upset when the person you're talking to accuses you of being out of touch with how the "real" world works (their world), but how many times are you willing to chase your tail in circles before you throw your hands up in exasperation and walk away?
What a different world it would be if we could give up the notion of facts entirely.
If everyone could come to the table and say, "this is my perspective. This is the world from my point of view. These are things that I struggle with on a daily basis and would like to fix."
We could work together to build a system that truly benefits everyone, at least in the places where our worlds intersect.