Belief plus damage control

Posted on November 9, 2010

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Peter: “I remember when they asked President Bush if he could think  of any mistakes he’d made and he couldn’t – that’s pretty good damage control. In his new book he admits a few – with hindsight  – but says it’s too soon to judge him, he’ll be dead by the time historians make that decision. That’s pretty darn good damage control for one of the most unpopular presidents in history. ”

Jenny: ” As far as I can see no one in  authority  – in the banks or investment houses or the  government has admitted that they were responsible for the recent economic meltdown – come to think of it that amazing! – ‘ It’s not my fault’ is the name of the game.”

Professor Wiggly: “So let’s summarize how we manage uncertainty. Some here-and-now questions are so simple that even Republicans and Democrats can agree on the answer, for instance they can agree that the President spoke for 37 minutes – seeing is believing – but they can’t agree whether what he said was wise or foolish, or what he proposes will lead to a better future. They can’t agree about the imaginary bridges he builds into that uncertain  future. We can’t see, so we have to rely on blind beliefs – believing is seeing – and on damage control  – it’s not our fault -when our trusted imaginary bridges crashe, when the marriage fails, when the stock market crashes, when you get fired, etc. So we’re proposing that we have two kinds of reasoning: 1) reasoning based on reliable evidence or solving here and now problems, where seeing is believing, and 2) faith-based reasoning – imaginary bridges or theories – for traveling into the uncertain future, plus a bag of damage control strategies to protect our trusted beliefs and theories. “

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Posted in: Sciencing, Yer Thing