Comment 62455

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:14:52

Great article. And great linked essay, from which I culled these two gems:

"Sure enough, a large number of psychological studies have shown that people respond to scientific or technical evidence in ways that justify their >preexisting beliefs."

"Given the power of our prior beliefs to skew how we respond to new information, one thing is becoming clear: If you want someone to accept new >evidence, make sure to present it to them in a context that doesn't trigger a defensive, emotional reaction."

Currently visiting relatives in the US, I've got examples of this stuff coming at me from every angle.

What's most difficult to process isn't that some of the notions are nothing short of harebrained (they are), but the vehemence with which people cling so tenaciously to what they've formed as their beliefs. Even though really, they haven't formed anything, they've merely glommed onto what makes them feel comfortable.

I'm not interested in political parties. (Mostly because the rhetoric, the jingoism invariably subsumes anything of value being presented...and that the entire 'political process' supersedes everything.) I'm interested in ideas that work. Naturally, this places me in direct opposition to those who cleave to the party mentality, regardless of what party or what issues we're talking about.

I've said it before on my site, but it bears repeating here: Scott London's site is a wonderful resource when it comes to the general topic of engagement, and this essay is a great place to start:

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