Are You Not Nimble Enough to Allow One Conversation to Evolve Into Another?

I’ve always hated Twitter and when I’m done doing what I gotta do — I’m never goin’ back. Until then, I’m sending out a certain set of messages looking for intelligent life (fiercely independent thinkers who want to solve problems — not endlessly talk about them).

Think of my signals as a poor man’s SETI:

I’ve got an idea — and it’s got teeth.

Going by the galaxies filled with rock stars of reasoning across the social media universe — I should have no shortage of people eager to examine my idea and discuss how we could improve on it and proceed.

You tell me where those people are — and I’ll gladly send out my signals to them.

What about the professionals in the business of studying human behavior?

Elliot Aronson was chosen by his peers as one of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the twentieth century

— Amazon’s “About the Author”

Dr. Aronson put me in touch with his friend and fellow renowned psychologist, Dr. Phil Zimbardo — “a very smart guy with incredible energy,” he added.

Since Dr. Zimbardo is 90 years old — that’s saying something. For medical reasons, he’s unable to get involved, but in response to an email on the essence of my idea, he wrote:

Very Interesting and original

Even in his condition, he saw what so few of his colleagues can. They’re busy.

You’re all busy

Is the point to forever analyze irrational behavior and repeatedly rehash problems — or solve some? If it’s the latter, at some point wouldn’t you ask:

Is any of this working?

And what if your efforts (however sincere they may be) — are actually harming the very concerns you’re trying to address? Just by understanding that — you could adjust your approach in light of new information.


But you’re all so wrapped up within your wheelhouse — that you fail to understand the different dimensions of problems that derail your efforts outside of it.

It’s one thing to follow the formula when nobody knows what else to do. But when someone comes along with an idea so radically different, yet rooted in fundamentals — so sound and solid with a real shot at success:

How could you blow off what might work to stay busy on what won’t?

The solution to this problem is more truth, not less

No, it’s not

Most of America is under the illusion that increasing popularity in your purpose reflects impact.

Cognitive dissonance happens when one’s beliefs are no longer in alignment with reality

— The 2020s: A Decade of Cognitive Dissonance (blurb excerpt)

On what basis would you believe that another book, conference, project, study, report, podcast or organization — would make a dent in the systematic self-delusion driving this nation into the ground?

Conventional methods have repeatedly failed and won’t put a pinprick in today’s trench warfare between armies of unreachables. But integrate your methods into an unconventional framework for honest debate — and now you’ve got something.

If you don’t like being lumped into “armies of unreachables” — don’t be unreachable.

I’m in IT and my inbox gets flooded with auto-generated opportunities — along with receiving emails and calls from people with roles that just don’t jibe with my experience.

It would be unthinkable to be rude to recruiters who don’t deliver what aligns with my interests. I chose to put myself out there — so being bombarded by people doing their jobs just comes with the territory.

Same goes for social media

We all have something to say — and we made a choice to put ourselves out there. We also have a choice in how we handle what we receive. To be sure, in our Crap Is King culture — crap is coming your way most of the time. But when it comes to a complicated message about America’s decline over 30 years in the Gutter Games of Government.

Are you telling me you can’t discern between routine Tweets and this?

On the title and imagery alone . . .

I’d know this guy doesn’t do routine. And if someone’s got something of significance to say that no one else sees — do you really care how it came your way? Because it doesn’t register by failing to conform to the formula — it’s unworthy of consideration?

Never mind your formula isn’t working:

It’s as apples and oranges as it gets to compare my efforts against the transactional nature of news and social-media norms.

For instance, if I were to ask:

Who do you think is most responsible for overturning Roe v. Wade?

The answers would be predictable across-the-board. But try telling the Left that they brought it on themselves, and they refuse to consider that they even played a role in its demise.

As it brings into question their approach to everything else.

The Right rolls the same way

As they refuse to recognize how they unwittingly helped put Obama in office (thereby exacerbating much of the madness they’re rightly railing against on all this over-the-engineering of sensitivity).

It amazes me that some of the most brilliant minds in the world seem incapable of correlating how “unrelated” issues impact one another. The most harmful pollution on the planet is noise — narrative that drowns out sensible discussion.

You could blame those who amplify that deafening noise with delight — or be smart by not doing dumb things that drive the narrative in the first place.

It’s like committing unforced errors in tennis then blaming your opponent for capitalizing on them. And yeah, in politics they’re probably cheating in some way as well. But when you put stupidity on a silver platter, what do you expect in a culture that doesn’t play by the rules?

You could cry foul — or realize how you shouldn’t have made the mistake from the start.

A.K.A. learning

You can blame the Right till you’re blue in the face, but they didn’t write this — I did:

I don’t see what the problem is

— Typical Tweeter tapping earth-shattering insight

You don’t see — a lot!

Your track record is not what I would call astute — and the Right doesn’t have anything to write home about either.

By treating Bush like the Second Coming of Christ, they set the stage for the rise of the Rock Star they spent the next 8 years railing against.

I don’t understand the math in your methods:

You pay untold millions to political strategists — don’t these people do any cost-benefit analysis on the long-term impact of endless lying and ineptitude?

Yeah, yeah, yeah — you got your people on the courts, but at what cost?

But rather than learn

Both parties cling to their calcified convictions so they can make the same blunders all over again.

And again and again . . .

Like many alternatives, however, it was psychologically impossible. Character is fate, as the Greeks believed. Germans were schooled in winning objectives by force, unschooled in adjustment. They could not bring themselves to forgo aggrandizement even at the risk of defeat.

— Barbara Tuchman

Unschooled in Adjustment

The problems that plague America are interrelated — and anything short of addressing that is going nowhere.

Which means that what seems unrelated at first — may in fact be central to the story. Take a breath and let it sink in before you start slinging assumptions on things you don’t understand.

Or just block me and move along.

I didn’t want to bother you on the first place — I’m just looking for a caliber of individuals I can’t find. You may not be that caliber — but you could be if you chose to be.

it just takes work — and these things:

If you’re not interested in hearing me out and having meaningful conversation — we have nothing to talk about and I wish you well. 

But rather than even consider the possibility that there’s a larger conversation to be had: If it doesn’t instantly compute — you scorn what you can’t see because you didn’t bother to look.

And every time you pull that stunt — you further calcify habits that are at the other end of the spectrum from these.

Rather than assert that all opinions are equal, students in seminar learn to judge opinions on the basis of the reasons given for those opinions.

Nobody ever had to explain that to me. I’m sure you all feel the same:

And yet here we are

With all these non-partisan organizations touting their virtues so in sync with all that’s upright — I shouldn’t haven’t to be sending out signals to the cesspool of certitude on Twitter.

There’s a classic scene in Seinfeld that delightfully illustrates the divide between declarations of virtue and delivering on them:

I don’t think you do. If you did, I’d have a car. 

See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don’t know how to *hold* the reservation . . . and that’s really the most important part of the reservation — the *holding*

Anybody can just take ’em!

The Pro-Human Pledge: I believe in applying the same rules to everyone

I don’t believe you

From firsthand experience with one of your most famous advisors flagrantly violating everything FAIR stands for:

Why should I?

And since I predicted that voice of reason would outright reject it to protect his hero — how do you think my prediction would pan out for his fellow advisors who worship the same Professional Know-It-All (PKIA for short).

Let’s find out, shall we?

By the way: That advisor once called my writing “brilliant” and was “blown away” by this site and signed up. That’s a helluva lot of incentive for me to think these people are the “geniuses” their ever-growing audience thinks they are.

I don’t roll that way . . .

While I maintain a degree of respect for him — and I’m forever grateful for the inspiration he provided: If you’re part of the problem, I don’t care who are you — I’m calling you out.

And that’s

PKIA is worshipped as some kind of saint-like Sherlock Holmes — so the only pledge I’ve seen is blind allegiance to a man who’s not what he claims to be.

And lo and behold, he has a habit of toeing the party line. All of which flies in the face of the principles upon which he’s put on a pedestal.

What does it say to you that I had to come up with an alias for the figure in question — just so his crowd will consider his claims in isolation from his immaculate image?

Just as this cartoon captures what words cannot — so too does the implication behind the alias. What would you call someone who shoots their mouth off without addressing the evidence — but banks on their fabricated reputation to create the impression that they did?

Be it a pledge or beliefs in a bio — it’s all the same: You’re in the club of critical thinking and whatever virtues float your boat:

Because you claimed to be.

And those inside your circle who made the same claims — reinforce you as you reinforce them. So if someday the genuine article comes along (with an impeccable record of objective scrutiny that nails both parties to the wall):

You can write ’em off the second you perceive something that doesn’t suit you. Anything Goes on social media . . .

Or as I coined it . . .

Where you can promote principles in one breath and abandon them the next. And get away with it with ease — because you’ve got friends:

The individual believer must have social support. It is unlikely that one isolated believer could withstand the kind of disconfirming evidence we have specified. If, however, the believer is a member of a group of convinced persons who can support one another, we would expect the belief to be maintained and the believers to attempt to proselyte or to persuade nonmembers that the belief is correct.

These five conditions specify the circumstances under which increased proselyting would be expected to follow disconfirmation.

Right on cue | Never fails

But when I occasionally look at bios to see if there’s some kind of connection I can key in on — I’m hoping they deliver on their words.

I seek to treat everyone equally . . . I am open-minded . . I seek to understand . . . I pursue the objective truth through honest inquiry.

We’ll see

Apparently, “we’ll see” constitutes an “attack” these days. I’m the exact opposite — as I welcome anyone who’s trying to raise the bar. So when I saw someone who had “science-based” in their bio:

I figured centrifuge physics in the separation of uranium isotopes qualifies on matters of world-altering magnitude. But that’s me.

This rock star of reasoning has no such notion:

I wasn’t challenging her — I was challenging you:

As I thought maybe someone “science-based”:

Might actually listen to the science that PKIA flagrantly ignored to peddle partisan hackery on the biggest and most costly lie in modern history.

And since the guy she was listening to is the not-so-FAIR-minded fellow who praised my writing and website then blindly defended his hero:

It’s all connected

[PKIA] is a great man because of his books. I stand by that. you want to refute his books — go ahead. I’m listening.

— Voice of Reason

You confine his record to a box of beliefs that suit you — and stand by that.

How noble of you

So the rules of argument you espouse on a daily basis don’t apply to you and your ever-growing audience of dittoheads doing the same.

You called my writing “brilliant” in I Don’t Do Slogans on The Yellow Brick Road — and you’re “blown away” by my site: As long as I don’t challenge you to live up to the principles you preach when it comes at a price.

Got it!

And once again, the imagery and words within my Tweet made it abundantly clear that it’s far from routine.

“Demonstrably” — that word used to be mean something. But many things that once meant something, now mean nothing

That sounds like someone seeking a larger conversation we could have later if not now. But I guess that’s my “wee mind” talking.

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