A narrow focus might reveal details, but a wider one reveals a more comprehensive perspective…and hidden issues

When we are very young, our parents, teachers and others tell us to look both ways before crossing the street — any street. The primary concern is motor vehicles, but anyone on anything with wheels also represents a potential danger. Looking both ways also represents a habit of observing a wider view. A narrow focus might reveal details, but a wider one reveals a more comprehensive perspective…and hidden issues.

There are many things going on around us — not just where we live…

Denial is a way of coping with change by not coping with it

“The world as a whole is neither prepared to slow down climate change, nor live with it.” This assertion is both absolutely true while also presenting a reality that is — or should be — quite troubling. It offers a future that is highly negative and seemingly irresolvable as a result of a quirk of human nature: procrastinating to avoid choices that represent change. Doing nothing is a form of denial. Certainly not a pragmatic approach.

Denial is a way of coping with change by not coping…

Too much of what passes for information and facts is little more than fabricated opinion

Despite being incorrect, fallacies usually give the appearance of being correct and thereby encourage us into committing to and accepting them. Begging the question is an informal fallacy that occurs when an argument’s premises assume the truth of the conclusion. Which is to say, an attempt to support a claim with a premise that itself restates or presupposes the claim.

A similar version to begging the question is the fallacy of circular reasoning. Circular reasoning is not a formal logical fallacy but a defect in…

The only certainty is uncertainty

I’ve noted many times that randomness is the functional reality of life on our planet — and in the universe. There’s no deity, no master plan, no one behind the curtain. At the same time, there is also the seeming normality common to everyday life, which we reasonably take for granted. Thus we live within a reality in which we simultaneously have the predictable and the unpredictable.

Predictable is defined as being foreseeable and easily anticipated, giving us a sense of certainty about most things most of the time. Within this expectation is the reasonable…

What is needed is a process of discriminating among different fringe ideas

My previous post was an overview of conspiracy theory and why those with certain psychological and personality traits are more likely to be drawn to these theories. I also noted that individuals who have strong beliefs in conspiracy theories are often drawn together because they share beliefs in specific theories that have complexity but lack substantiated details and facts. In worst case scenarios they may join together into acts of domestic terrorism, the largest of which was the January 6 2021 pro-Trump riot at the US Capitol.


Modern technology exposes far more individuals to the conspiracy theories of outliers, with negative results for societies

There are varieties of human psychological behavior that defy rationality and pragmatic process. Many are forms of mental illness, and some are variations of coping with life issues, but the one I find most troubling is conspiracy theory belief. Conspiracy theory is an outlier phenomenon that is shared by those in groups of varying kinds that trade in unsubstantiated beliefs that are devoid of facts but are often complex.

In particular, conspiracy theory is not falsifiable — in that any evidence against a…

Tribalism, at its core, is about political identity, and political identity is antithetical to democracy

Those who are interested in how politics functions in a democratic society will likely be familiar with the political pendulum effect that is common to a society’s electorate. Essentially, over time citizens become disenchanted with how governance, economics and quality of life have evolved over time, and come to believe that change is necessary. This “change” typically represents moving from somewhere between center-left to -right toward another location within that spectrum. A much smaller percentage will shift further left or right outside the moderate center.

Filing lawsuits to pursue non-existent voter fraud undermines democracy for citizens

Taking for granted that normalcy applies to politics is to assume that the famed 80–20 “rule” is always in play. That is, we expect the 80 percent — “normalcy” — will always prevail. This seems reasonable given that statistical odds do seem weighted toward a statistical norm. The problem is that when the 20 percent becomes the active reality, we have not prepared for it and are therefore at a loss for what to think. Even pragmatists face this reality.

Democracy exists because of the expectation that votes will…

Single issues are a myth. Every issue is relative to other issues.

My wife made a trip from California to Kansas (without me, thank you very much) because her mother was quite ill. She endured the realities of flying when there’s a pandemic, and she endured the realities of her family — most of whom were present during the latter part of her two week visit. With an upcoming election, it was inevitable that it would be a topic of conversation, during which she remained largely silent, except to ask her sister’s oldest son what he thought. …

Acquiescence is agreement or consent via silence or without objection/protest

By definition, acquiescence is passive acceptance or submission. In other words, agreement or consent via silence or without objection/protest. There are numerous reasons why acquiescence might be the default choice, including good old pragmatism. However…many things can come to pass (or don’t) that deserve more attention but it won’t happen when acquiescence is habitual. Reasonable people can and will agree and disagree on what matters most or does not, and why.

There’s always a wide range of issues and topics to choose from, of course, but only so much time…

Edward Bauman

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