Sometimes two people watching the same video see it as supporting opposite points of view. We seem to be quick to pick up on elements that support our biases but sometimes miss elements that can be interpreted to oppose them. This is a phenomenon I have written on before. Recently, I encountered another example.
I recently read Create Your Own Economy by Tyler Cowen. It is an interesting book touching on many subjects, including how the internet might be changing the culture, and on the neurological roots of aesthetic opinions. In it are two interesting quotes about autism-spectrum disorders on page thirty-three.
Sometimes the arguments people make cut both ways. What is especially amusing is when they seem completely oblivious to the irony of it.
It seems like everybody is picking on Obama for his remark during the third debate he made about the navy. Some point out that bayonets (and horses) are still used in our armed forces, while suggesting that Obama claimed they weren’t (he actually just claimed we used fewer). Others claim Obama was rude and condescending and that he suggested Romney was unaware things had changed since the days of chariots and spears, but I didn’t take his comments the same way.
During the Republican primary of 2007, shortly before Christmas, candidate Mike Huckabee released what on the surface appeared to be a campaign ad.
Obama insulted the Polish, some claim, when he referred to a Polish death camp while telling a tale of individual bravery. The Poles were quick to point out that it was a NAZI death camp that just happened to be within the borders of NAZI-occupied Poland. The implication that Obama was somehow perpetuating an erroneous belief that the Polish were somehow in on the attempted genocide, rather than simply representing geography, I find to be questionable. I speak of the death camps the same way, after all – by geography. I know they were all NAZI-managed, and I assume that everyone else knows this already as well.
One thing I have long had a hard time understanding is how two people of differing political persuasion can look at the same article and find it supporting their own point of view. Sometimes pundits that seem to clearly lean one way are accused of leaning the other way by others. When it comes to comedy, where the message is less explicit, and nothing is to be taken literally, this phenomenon is even more pronounced.
Does Mr. T promote incivility? An event several months ago got me thinking about what truly drives incivility. It’s not simply calling people names or shouting at them. It’s certainly not pointing out the flaws of your opponent in the context of a political campaign; this is expected. The problem has to do with thinking the worst of people.
People complain that our leaders in Washington can’t seem to get along well enough to get much done, but the real problem is what their rhetoric does to the rest of us.
Hi, I'm Dan. I like chocolate, hiking, and politics.