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People And Their Inability To Differeniate Levels On A Scale

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posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 09:26 PM
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Seemingly, people in general have very little quantitative differentiation skills. This means that they have little-to-no sense of or appreciation for scales, levels, or degrees. They can only see the polar ends, and draw radically over-generalized conclusions about anyone or anything that they perceive as tending towards a polar-end.

Basically, the standard mind works as such. You divide any given subject into two opposing extremes. You then define those extremes. You then label everything you see in relation to that subject as one of the two terms you have came up with, to describe the polar ends. You then have a long chain of associative connections with those words, that you automatically project onto that which you have associated with the extreme.

This is one of the problems in government now, for instance. The government can point to something we 'need,' or at least we have been convinced to believe that we need, and that makes it a blank check to spend unlimited money in that area. People agree that we need a particular thing, but when you try to explain that even if something is needed, that doesn't justify massive never-ending money towards it, the message is not registered. People have no concept of scales, and can only see it in terms of supporting it, which then means unlimited money can be put towards it, or being against it, which means abolishing it. It is as if I spent a million dollars a day on food. You then criticized me, saying I was being wasteful, and I said "I need food! What, you're saying I shouldn't eat??" This is a humorous and perhaps extreme example, but the principle holds.

Observe people, as they discuss and debate. Observe how passionately they defend one polar-end of an issue, and attack the other, and hardly seem to acknowledge the existence of a whole range of scales in-between their over-generalized and extreme polar ends.
edit on 4-9-2012 by TheJourney because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 09:31 PM
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Awesome thread.

I agree.

Opinion is framed and the desired outcomes are funnelled.

Western democracy.
edit on 4-9-2012 by freemarketsocialist because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 09:39 PM
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I've noticed this a lot more lately. It's quite frightening, to be honest. Every thing is black or white- no in between at all. I pretty much don't even want to talk to any one any more.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 09:45 PM
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You are correct.

I see this every day. And it is very disappointing.
I often find myself not bothering to engage in conversations that I know are just going to devolve into a mindless back and forth, with no productive end.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


Great post and I absolutely agree. Either you agree 100%, or you're one of them. If you try to take the middle ground and suggest anything less than the absolutes, you're attacked from both sides.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 10:04 PM
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It is a result of our programming or poor education.

Because really, almost everyone is in theory, capable of differentiation and critical thinking.

However as a result of our programming, we are more accustomed to taking a simplified over-generalized position. It is also the path of least resistance and the concept which requires the least amount of thinking.

Had we been trained since young age to be more careful in our deliberations, and to identify ideological extremes and to avoid falling prey to them, the situation may be entirely different.

Just a few thoughts...



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 10:05 PM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


I would add that those two "polar opposite" extremes oftentimes boil down to two sides of the same coin, from my perspective anyway.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 10:10 PM
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reply to post by watchitburn
 





You are correct. I see this every day. And it is very disappointing. I often find myself not bothering to engage in conversations that I know are just going to devolve into a mindless back and forth, with no productive end.


I've left several ATS threads for that very reason. Often it comes down to the debate between "skeptics/debunkers" and "believers" on any given subject. Neither one willing to consider the gradations in between.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 10:17 PM
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As with two extremes being somewhat misleading, do not allow this belief in two extremes being misleading become yet another extreme that misleads you.

Example:
Debate about 1) The clear sky appears blue in the day
2) The clear sky is not blue in appearance during the day

Clearly one extreme in the argument is factually true, that 1) the clear sky appears blue during the day.
Be careful to recognize that in some cases, one extreme is indeed reasonable and correct.

So even within the realm of differentiation between two extremes, we must be careful not to allow this mental process to become extreme because it can become misleading if not carefully guided.

So in the end it's a toss up, a mixed bag. Every situation is different.
Usually falling onto an extreme position is inaccurate or silly, but in other cases it is reasonable and logical.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 10:47 PM
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Observe people, as they discuss and debate. Observe how passionately they defend one polar-end of an issue, and attack the other, and hardly seem to acknowledge the existence of a whole range of scales in-between their over-generalized and extreme polar ends.


I noticed it happens quite a bit here, particularly in the first few replies to a post. There is a bandwagon effect that takes place, the original inent of the thread gets hijacked by bickering and nonsense arguments, the OP is on the ropes at the start. Not much motivation to start a thread.

This behavior is promoted in talk radio, too. It's frustrating to listen to.

Great observation and thread OP.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 11:08 PM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


Excellent Topic!
Clearly there are a great deal of Hasty Generalizations flying around these days.
This polarity you speak of has been pumped out by Newsprint, Radio,T.V. News,
Religion, Education, Science,Politics, Business,Finance(look at the Euro Debate),HeathMed, Etc.
24/7 Ad Nauseum for decades.

I am disconcerted to admit that I am quite guilty of this mindset as well.
Sometimes more, sometimes less I think (or Hope).
I commend you on bringing this topic to light, along with addressing the National/Global
Bi-Polar Disorder that we all appear to be suffering from. To one degree or another.
It appears to be systemic. I wonder if there are any "Outside" influences responsible?

Again, thanks for sharing you thoughts. Free Speech
S&F



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 11:15 PM
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We are often given polar perspectives to ponder on, nothing more.

If you don't have an interest in educating yourself on varying degrees of different perspectives, then you won't learn them, the schools don't teach them, and television doesn't promote it

Its as if everything must be kept a two sided rivalry.

We wouldn't want the people of different views uniting for a similar cause, while being vastly different now would we?

This line of thinking is indoctrination, and it is irrational, its the reason why there is so much division....and in my opinion its deliberately done.


edit on 4-9-2012 by kat2684 because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-9-2012 by kat2684 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 11:20 PM
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reply to post by Open2Truth
 


Without a doubt.
2nd Line.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 11:23 PM
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reply to post by N3k9Ni
 


Yeah Igor, i've noticed that too. Normal/Abnormal
Cheers


Great Avatar by the way



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 11:34 PM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 



Being a mature, long term British ex-pat American resident, I can assure you that this is very much a United States phenomenon.
People seem to be more 'moderate in their opinions', where I come from. Not so polarized.

This sense of polarization gets very trying on my intelligence, and makes me long for the more sensible approach of those of my homeland. who debate issues in a more reasonable fashion.

Ok, "go home", they may say. Yes I will, momentarily.....like next month!



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 11:48 PM
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reply to post by Wildmanimal
 


One of the devices I see being used, particularly in talk radio is sarcasm, or humor, to introduce their opinion as a mater of fact. We laugh in agreement and allow them to keep entertaining us with more outrageous remarks. We spit them out around the water cooler, never investigating their claims.



posted on Sep, 5 2012 @ 12:02 AM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


To summarize, if I may…There is more than Black and White? There is the grey in between?

I think that most people want to think that things are black and white. Polarizing opposites.

But I think that most people would also agree that not everything is like that.

Life is full of grey, on a day to day basis.



posted on Sep, 5 2012 @ 12:48 AM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


That's what 2000 years of Aristotelean logic will get us.



posted on Sep, 5 2012 @ 01:03 AM
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Great thread.

Another problem is that people think having an extreme opinion means you are more "serious" or "committed to the right thing." Nuance is seen as "middle-of-the-road" or "wishy-washy." People don't see that passionate committment to the truth usually leads to a nuanced opinion rather than a cartoonish extreme, and that there is nothing wishy-washy about it at all.

And its getting worse all the time.

Well, if you can't beat 'em, stand outside the system and profit, says I.





posted on Sep, 5 2012 @ 01:15 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


I agree with your thought process there.

Create the third paradigm while the others make themselve more and more irrelevent. All the while playing both sides.

Hell, it's already been created, but people are to divided to see it, much less do anything about it.



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