Category Archives: New Word

The Insufficiency Of Proof Postulate

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“Regarding human affairs, the expectation that you can heal someone’s inability to be open to new information is among the most foolish.”

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Recently, I’ve watched and listened as an otherwise intelligent person has descended into obstinate ridiculousness. The specific subject isn’t the issue.  (It’s not politics, though.)

It’s important to note that I don’t claim to be devoid of blind spots and outright ignorance. It’s human nature. I sometimes fall short but try to remind myself that opinions can and should change with new information. Facts, if verified, should not bend to opinion.

Because of the hysteria of the issue, my acquaintance has a new series of stories to tell me each day: new videos, facts, and opinions. Fairly early in the development of his obsession and the story, I had doubts as to the legitimacy of many of his claims. Because I’m naturally inquisitive, I noted the videos and claims he mentioned. I realized that simply telling him he was mistaken would not yield any change in his ideas. I listened over several days as he told me stories related to his new obsession. I did so without mocking him or challenging his assertions. (Which damn near killed me.)

Today, I brought a summation of the ‘great debunking.’ I had sources showing that the videos weren’t real – and for those that were, they were misattributions. Some of them were brilliantly done. As for the facts my acquaintance had amassed, none of them were entirely accurate, and most were outright fabrications designed to grab headlines.

After my acquaintance mentioned yet another ‘fact,’ I decided to forego handing him the summation and sources. Instead, I explained in less than thirty seconds that all the initial videos he’d recommended for me to watch were not actually what he thought they were. I briefly told him what the actual circumstance was and that the videos had been misattributed either due to ignorance on the part of the source or willful deceit for gaining viewers, readers, and dollars.

“What? No! You’re wrong, X.” His face had turned red.

“Listen, I’m not trying to put you on the spot. It’s just that this thing is easily explained,” I told him, trying to soften the blow and get him to accept the idea that he might have taken a wrong turn.

“That’s stupid. Of course it’s true,” he replied, getting ready to launch an ad hominem attack.

“Slow down. Look, here’s a link to a source you’ve said you trusted in the past.” I held up my phone and pressed the saved bookmark on the home screen of my phone.

Even by reading the headline on my acquaintance’s trusted news source, it was obvious that the video wasn’t ‘real.’

“See? I’ll send you the link so you can decide for yourself. Don’t stay mad at me. All of us get boxed in sometimes by our presumptions and ideas, me included.” I hoped that would appease him.

“Don’t send me that link. I know what I know and no amount of proof otherwise will sway me.” He looked at me, defensive and upset.

I let his own words hang in the air for a moment.

I know anti-vaxxers, flat-earthers, people who believe horoscopes, weirdos who insist Hillary killed people, and Illuminati. I’ve never given up hope that each person could let a demonstration of each idea reveal a new truth to them.

Today, though, that hope diminished a bit.

Welcome to 2020.

 

Isaac’s Raindrama Observation

 

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Noted sociologist Isaac (who needs only one name), coined the term ‘raindrama’ two years ago. He noted that the actual or impending presence of rain immediately connotes an intense dramatic feel to all human activity exposed to it. Conversely, his observation also ridicules anyone who hasn’t noticed this tendency in their own personal lives, citing it as evidence of willful obstinance.

Looking To The Left

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During my last visit to Crystal Bridges, all I could see in Carroll Cloar’s “Charlie Mae Practicing for the Baptizing” painting was Post Malone, inexplicably standing in a river.

I can’t unsee it, no matter how much I read about the painting.
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Contrary Opinion Rationality Rule:
How you respond to contradictory and reciprocal opinion offered without malice is one of the best indicators of your temperament and ability to think rationally. Emotional or disproportionate responses to an opinion so offered are indicators of cognitive dissonance or in recognition of the frailty inherent in the arguments you choose to employ.

“That’s what he was telling me, anyway, right before I hit him with a pillowcase full of rocks.” – X

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Social Media Exclusion Observation

If you say, “I can’t be on Facebook,” you have one of 4 problems: you despise seeing contrary opinion due to the precarious and unmeasured depth of your own, your view of the world is fundamentally unhappy, you aren’t pruning your social tree to weed out those motivated by values which demean, or you don’t strive to put out into the world that which you wish to reflect back.

Facebook gives you magnificent control to decide whose content you see. It gives you the ability to ignore, block, hide, or scroll past meaningless content. It can’t give you peace if you’re not generally peaceful in your heart. It can’t grant wisdom if you can’t use it for personal and heartfelt content that you value. It can’t make the people you chose to include in your social media circle speak and behave in a manner that you feel they should. You can’t either, for that matter. Stop trying to make people align with your internal idea of how they should mold their opinions. You have permission to release them to be friends in the real world without also needlessly struggling to reconcile them to your life on social media. Let’s face it – some people simply aren’t capable of silence or the solace the scrolling past without throwing a cup of mud into your face.

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A Lot of Pickles In That Handbag

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Forget the original lyrics. Here’s my take on current events. You’re welcome, X

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I wish that we had one species of venomous birds. People would pay a lot more attention outside, look up more often, and probably sound more natural as they scream.
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If you say, “That’s the last straw!” there is probably a liberal who is happy but gets the wrong idea.
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I wonder if Napoleon had gone by the name “Leon” if he’d been as aggressive as he was.
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I was going to order a personal pizza, but because I was going to eat it, I instead ordered an impersonal pizza – because it was nothing personal.
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I frequent a bar that offers free peanuts because I loathe indentured foodstuffs.
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I bought a ticket in the nosebleed section, not realizing that the usher would punch me in the face. Bravo, for accuracy.
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I got into a fight with a flock of chickens. It’s a lot of exercise bending and throwing punches that low. So, I winged it.
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Once someone points it out, it’s hard to not think about the fact that each time you paint the inside of your house, the interior gets incrementally smaller.
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The patent office sent me a letter to advise me that no one had patented the idea of aardvarks in leotards.
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X’s rule of news site commentary: If you post comments on a news site, especially in anger, you’ve demonstrated the opposite of whatever intelligence is.

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One disadvantage of being a twin is that you can never convince someone that you forgot your sibling’s birthday.
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For us old folks: In a very short time, 2060 will be closer than 1980.
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The world would be much more musical if people’s heads sounded like marimbas when you punch them. Especially at boxing matches.

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The Elder Observation: The world isn’t fundamentally different; your focus, attention, and energy, however, is more likely to be concentrated on the extremes, especially as you grow older. Choices in clothing, food, music, and opinion dwindle; use this tendency as a warning sign that you’ve grown rigid.

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I wrote a movie about a dyslexic hacker. Unfortunately, it was 789 minutes long.

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“Go Tell It On The Mountain” sounds like prank advice.

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It’s not relevant, but I wonder if Bigfoot’s cellphone plan has roaming charges.

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Thanks! Panache, wit, and an actual laugh – all without even opening the envelope. While I certainly appreciate anyone with the nerve, time, and interest to send me a card of any kind, I confess that I’m often surprised by the lack of reciprocity of my admittedly weird efforts to keep life interesting. When it comes, I gain a little hope that not everything I do falls on deaf ears, dim eyes, or uninterested v̶i̶c̶t̶i̶m̶s̶ people in my life.
Signed, The King.

Card-giving is a declining art form. It’s okay to kill tradition and even stick your tongue out while you’re doing it.

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While getting dressed for the formal event, I suddenly realized where the cliché “the ties that bind” originated.

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I can’t help but feel a little put out when the pastor announces that “almost everyone” should join him in song.

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Some doubt that Bigfoot is real. As for me, I doubt he’s a Baptist.

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