Wednesday, May 21, 2014

On humans believing things despite facts, and on de-friending friends online

I hope before I die to accept something I've known intellectually all my adult life: humans are crazy. But I'm human, so I'll probably keep thinking that reason matters.

The latest popular article on the subject, Why Do People Persist in Believing Things That Just Aren't True?, suggests scam artists are right: you simply can't reason with our species. If you want to change humans, you have to flatter or terrify us. But there is one bit of hope for a third way:
It’s only after ideology is put to the side that a message itself can change, so that it becomes decoupled from notions of self-perception.
That's why I keep hoping for Basic Income: there are conservatives, liberals, and socialists who support it.

Anyway, I'm tired of trying to reason with people online. On Facebook, I defriended two people who kept pushing their ideology in comments on my posts, then sent them this message:
Just wanted to say I hate that Facebook uses a friend metaphor for following people, because I'm not annoyed with you personally. I'm just tired of dogged disagreement based on ideology. I'll be perfectly happy to see you the next time we run into each other.
 In 1991, during the riots that followed the acquittals of the cops who beat him, Rodney King asked, "Can we all get along?" I'm not expecting an answer anytime soon.

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