Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No Vacancy

The human brain deals with incoming information in essentially two ways. One is through assimilation. This is when incoming information matches with a person's preexisting mindset and is absorbed accordingly. The second is through accommodation. This is when the incoming information is at odds with the preexisting mindset and the information is so convincing that it causes the preexisting mindset to be altered...........................................................................................It is my fervent belief, folks, that the mind of the extremist/true-believer consistently only utilizes the former operation. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, gets assimilated. And, no, it doesn't matter if the incoming information seriously calls into question the preexisting mindset or not. The new information either affirms the preexisting mindset or it gets rejected out of hand. No accommodation is ever allowed.........................................................................................Now, there's obviously an emotional element working here as well. The extremist, folks, flat-out doesn't feel comfortable changing his or her point of view. It is simply too painful for the person. a) They like the comfort of a predictable universe in which one side can be championed, the other side, vilified. And b) they're simply too invested to change. To alter one's point of view would be tantamount to death. Unconvincible would probably be the best way to describe it.

9 comments:

w-dervish said...

An excerpt from the "Higher Ordered Person's Manifesto"?

You seem pretty unconvincible to me Will. Are you sure you aren't describing yourself?

Voltron said...

I agree completely Will.

Now, how do we finally get liberals to see the truth?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

No, wd, it's just a little Piagetan epistemology.......And as for little old me, a) I'm not an extremist, b) I have some liberal and some conservative positions, and c) I change my mind on things quite frequently.............Good question, Volt. Unfortunately, I was referring to conservatives, too, here - present company obviously excluded.

Rational Nation USA said...

Interesting post Will. I do believe you described most of mankind.

For the politically correct and sensitive that would be humankind.

w-dervish said...

Will: I change my mind on things quite frequently.

Some call that flip-flopping, and it's a terrible thing to be accused of. Remember when Kerry was for it before he was against it?

Good question, Volt. Unfortunately, I was referring to conservatives, too, here - present company obviously excluded.

Why would present company be excluded? I think what you describe fits Voltron to a "T".

dmarks said...

Will: Can you describe a major political/etc issue you have changed your mind on in a major way? I'm sure you have. You're no extremist. Just curious about examples.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

wd, there's a difference between changing your mind as a result of new information, a more persuasive argument, seeing things in a different light/from a fresh perspective, etc. and changing your mind strictly for political expediency (a la McCain, Romney, Kerry, etc.).......Of course Volt is an extremist (as in, "extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice"). He'd probably tell you himself that he's an extremist. I was just giving him a little wink-wink/nod-nod. It's something that buddies do, wd.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

The example that most comes to mind, dmarks, is actually something that I've changed my mind on TWICE. When Mr. Obama first started the drone attacks in Pakistan, I was against it (I thought that it would cause internal unrest within an already unstable nuclear nation). But then, when it seemed to be working well (working as in killing a lot of terrorists), I started to support them. Now I'm starting to oppose them again (the law of diminishing returns seemingly met).......Not that I was right on any of these occasions, mind you, but it is a pretty good example, I think.

Voltron said...

Sadly Will at this point I am considered an extremist. But there was a time in this country when I wouldn't have been. The split probably began after FDR.

I know it's a long read, but I urge you and anyone who cares about liberty to read "The Revolution Was" by Garet Garrett.