Friday, August 12, 2011

Concepts Foreign to the Extremes (A Partial List)

1) The law of unintended consequences. 2) The law/point of diminishing returns. 3) The fact that when you subsidize something, you generally tend to get more of it. 4) Nuance/complexity/vicissitudes. 5) Compromise. 6) The "double-edged sword". 7) Pragmatism. 8) Open-mindedness. 9) The fact that we don't have political enemies but political opponents. 10) Cognitive dissonance. 11) Doubt. 12) Dialectical thinking. 13) Humility. 14) The fact that hyperbole (Bush is Hitler, Obama is Hitler, etc.)/"true believing" can often be destructive. 15) Perspective-taking. 16) The need to NOT take oneself so seriously. 17) Self-deprecation. 18) The fact that unfettered spinning tends to make a person look moronic. 19) Contingency awareness/the limitations of human knowledge/multi-causality. 20) Friendships based upon things other than politics. 21) Impartiality (the fact that "your person" doesn't always win the debate)/the need to sometimes give credit where credit is due. 22) "Devil's Advocacy". 23) The keeping of one's "powder" dry/the need to sometimes "pick your battles" and/or know when to "fold". 24) Civility. 25) Respectfulness. 26) An awareness that you can sometimes learn from those who you disagree with. 27) Moral consistency/"a spade is a spade". 28) The fact that the good isn't always the enemy of the perfect. 29) Differentiating fact from opinion.

9 comments:

John Myste said...

Though most of these were good, some stand out:

Pragmatism

The fact that hyperbole (Bush is Hitler, Obama is Hitler, etc.)/"true believing" can often be destructive

The fact that unfettered spinning tends to make a person look moronic.

The keeping of one's "powder" dry/the need to sometimes "pick your battles" and/or know when to "fold".

The fact that the good isn't always the enemy of the perfect.

Impartiality (the fact that "your person" doesn't always win the debate)/


Oddly enough, this is the best post I have read in quite some time.

Jerry Critter said...

I would add,

There is a difference between fact and opinion.

The Heathen Republican said...

Wonderful list. Unfortunately, those on the extremes will read it and not see the problem.

John Myste said...

Or worse, they will read it and see a the problem in their ideologicalp opponents, but not in themselves.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Thank you, gentlemen. I very much enjoyed writing it.......Jerry, with your permission, I would like to add your suggestion as #29.

John Myste said...

To paraphrase what Mr. Critter said, your #29, Burr Deming of Fair and Unbalanced likes to quote this:

The late Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously expressed his own impatience with another case of policy dishonesty. "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion," he scolded an opponent, "but not his own facts."

The the quote was written in rebuttal of my own articles, it is still one of my favorite quotes.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Mr. Moynihan was a wonderful man, a nonpartisan legislator, and brilliant. Not a lot of present-day Washingtonians cut from that level of cloth, to be sure.

Jerry Critter said...

Permission granted!

w-dervish said...

I wish I were a higher-ordered person like Will. Unfortunately I'm not... so most of this post is completely incomprehensible to me.