There Are Reasons Things Are The Way They Are: Not Very Good Ones, Half the Time

Posted on September 1, 2009 by

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Ever since the days of the hypercompetition embedded in a certain Los Angeles, all-boys high school, I’ve always been anxious and insecure about how smart I was. I always felt “not as good as…” or that “someone else would do it better.”

As we are lead to believe via schooling and popular media, the most recognized smart people were quite interchangeably the most objective, logical, rational people.  They were the people with the cold, hard facts.  We left emotions and other ooey gooey shit to the vaginas at other schools and the people in theatre and music.

If there was anything to avoid, it was to appear “emotional.”

To be called “emotional” is one of the ultimate insults in argumentation, because it immediately calls into question your ability to make any kind of fair decision.  Your decisions and any conclusion you make are now viewed as tainted and tinged with bias.  If you’re emotional, you’re probably hot-headed, in no condition to make any “fair” assessment, and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions and/or judgments.

Despite the endless stream of ignorant comments I could find at newspapers and message board communities about how certain populations are carelessly labeled “violent” as if it was a genetically inherited trait, I had generally put my faith in the idea that “the truth” and the facts, as if the truth was a lil homoncular moral ethical being that would eventually and pragmatically overcome the evil non-truths.

But then as I’ve explored more into the structure of scientific revolutions, and social cognition, I’ve found that the truth doesn’t really overcome non-truths, at least not in a timely manner. I’m thinking in particular about philosophers and scientists who have become more popular post-mortem rather than when they were actually living and saying their shit. It took 11 centuries before Andreas Vesalius overturned the predominant establishments in Western human anatomy and medicine. It took almost two millenia before it was discovered that there was more to geometry than simple plane-to-plane 2-D Euclidean Geometry.

The truth does not eventually speak for itself.

But that doesn’t stop most of us from telling the story of the the ‘truth’ as if it does.

The ‘truth’ always somehow ends up at the top of the seriation of events. Everything that has already passed was somehow an evolution or de-evolution or culmination into the “truth(s)” we experience in the here and now.

One of the popular things message boarders say to justify something in the status quo. ” There’s a reason it’s like that” as if whatever happens in its current state is somehow inherent and natural. It is a high-brow logicians’ way of saying “of course,” as if they anticipate everything because of superior logic abilities.

There’s a reason Scott Skiles benched Ben Gordon. There’s a reason that there has never been a Latina Supreme court justice. It slides down the slippery slope and becomes there’s a reason why blacks, Latinos fill up the prisons and not the colleges.

Yes, there are reasons things may be the way they are, but they don’t strike me as particularly “good” reasons.

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