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robertogreco : opinions   23

not a contrarian | sara hendren
"From this series of questions to Zadie Smith [https://losarciniegas.blogspot.com/2018/01/zadie-smith-i-have-very-messy-and.html ] comes Teju Cole’s question:

Cole: You must be under some pressure to be agreeable, to agree with the right opinions. But I notice that you think through things, rather than just agreeing to them. How do you defend that space of independent thought?

Smith: I don’t think of myself as a contrarian. I’m useless at confrontation. But I also can’t stand dogma, lazy ideas, catchphrases, group-think, illogic, pathos disguised as logos, shoutiness, ad hominem attacks, bombast, liberal piety, conservative pomposity, ideologues, essentialists, technocrats, preachers, fanatics, cheerleaders or bullies. Like everybody, I am often guilty of some version of all of the above, but I do think the job of writing is to at least try and minimise that sort of thing as much as you can."
zadiesmith  tejucole  sarahendren  2018  confrontation  opinions  pressure  contrarians  contrarianism  thinking  dogma  laziness  catchphrases  groupthink  logic  pathos  logos  adhominenattacks  pomposity  ideology  essntialism  technocrats  preachers  preaching  fanaticism  cheerleading  bullying  writing  howwewrote  howwwethink 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Ten guidelines for nurturing a thriving democracy by Bertrand Russell
"In December 1951, British philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote a piece for the NY Times Magazine titled The Best Answer to Fanaticism — Liberalism with a subhead that says “Its calm search for truth, viewed as dangerous in many places, remains the hope of humanity.” At the end of the article, he offers a list of ten commandments for living in the spirit of liberalism:

1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

2. Do not think it worthwhile to produce belief by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.

3. Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed.

4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.

7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

9. Be scrupulously truthful, even when truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

Over the past few years, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to keep an open mind about many issues, particularly on those related to politics. Remaining curious and generous about new & different ideas, especially in public, is perhaps more challenging than it was in Russell’s time. We are bombarded on all sides by propaganda, conspiracy theories, and broadly discredited theories from the past pushed upon us by entertainment news outlets and social media algorithms — we’re under a constant denial-of-service attack on our ability to think and reason.

We can’t reasonably be expected to give serious consideration to ideas like “the Holocaust didn’t happen”, “the Earth is flat”, “the Newtown massacre was faked”, “let’s try slavery again”, “vaccines cause autism”, and “anthropogenic climate change is a myth” — the evidence just doesn’t support any of it — but playing constant defense against all this crap makes it difficult to have good & important discussions with those we might disagree with about things like education, the role of national borders in a extremely mobile world, how to address our changing climate, systemic racism & discrimination, gun violence, healthcare, and dozens of other important issues. Perhaps with Russell’s guidelines in mind, we can make some progress on that front."
bertrandrussell  rules  guidelines  howto  democracy  politics  fanaticism  liberalism  truth  thinking  criticalthinking  evidence  authority  opposition  opinions  happiness  curiosity 
june 2018 by robertogreco
Casey Gollan on Twitter: "Will never get over how Robert Bringhurst blockquotes the biggest ever truthbomb right at the beginning of The Elements of Typographic Style https://t.co/vNuRNEqmX6"
"—Everything written symbols can say has already passed by. They are like tracks left by animals. That is why the masters of meditation refuse to accept that writings are final. The aim is to reach true being by means of those tracks, those letters, those signs — but reality itself is not a sign, and it leaves no tracks. It doesn’t come to us by way of letters or words. We can go toward it, by following those words and letters back to what they came from. But so long as we are preoccupied with symbols, theories, and opinions, we fail to reach the principle.

—But when we give up symbols and opinions, aren’t we left in the utter nothingness of being?

—Yes."

- Kimura Kyūho, Kenjutsu Fushigi Hen [On the Mysteries of Swordsmanship], 1768
robertbringhurst  writing  symbols  theories  howewrite  meditation  kimurakyūho  finality  tracks  tracking  signs  reality  letters  words  canon  principles  principle  opinions  nothingness  being 
january 2017 by robertogreco
There is no “proof” here. I post evidence, and I... - People of Color in European Art History
“There is no “proof” here.

I post evidence, and I post informed interpretations of that evidence. I have my own interpretations as well, and I invite people to add theirs.

Since we seem to be at this point again, I wanted to reiterate that I do not “prove” things in the sense that people generally mean. This is also why I am not in the business of convincing the belligerently unconvinced. I am not emotionally invested in hand-holding people who believe I have photoshopped thousands of artworks to appear to support what I say (yes, that is a thing* ), for the same reason I am not emotionally invested in convincing people who go around saying “Evolution is only a THEORY!” that they are mistaken. I fail to see how that is my problem.

What I’m talking about in the above tweets and in this post are more or less the same thing; what frustrates me is that the lack of interdisciplinary cooperation leaves massive lacunas in our body of information regarding the topics covered at medievalpoc. In other words, science (usually) understands that “proof” is not a thing; unfortunately, many people in history and art history did not get the memo.

And in this din of miscommunication, people shove things where they don’t belong: assumptions that the race of people in ancient history can be “proven” with DNA testing, the misappropriation of Classical Demography to support entirely modern notions about human history, and laid over it all, the relentless assumption that history is a ubiquitous and temporal progress of humankind from “Worse” to “Better”.

We are not objective. That is just not how people work. And we’ve known this for decades; centuries; millennia. The pretense that we can somehow remove ourselves from our observations and find a universal and inhuman truth in them is a rather poisonous ideal that leads us ultimately to betray the truths we CAN know.

Injustice occurs when information is destroyed or purposely withheld from people in order to oppress them. To take something away from them, to cause them to be disenfranchised, to excuse terrible violence done to them. To make them seem less than human. And that is the reality of what has been done and is still being done to people of color. Histories, cultures, lineages, physical documents and works of art are suppressed, ignored, misrepresented, painted over, or completely destroyed in order to support the fictions of white supremacy.

People being so caught up in their own perspectives that they universalize these experiences is the reason I get so many messages that question why this project exists, because “everyone already knows [whatever]” , and the same amount of messages positing that every single thing here is some sort of elaborate ruse perpetrated for nefarious reasons.

What is touted as “objectivity” is nothing more than individuals projecting their own experiences, values, constructs of “self” and “other”, perspectives and opinions on everyone else. What we learn of logic, reason, philosophy, is often nothing more than the same ten white men who died centuries ago, and hold it up as the One True Way of understanding ourselves and the world. We teach the aesthetics of Immanuel Kant as if they come unfiltered through his perspective from some universal authority, and yet we completely ignore how they were shaped by his racism. there are countless examples, but over it all is the same internal illogic that ignores its own hypocrisy.

That is where we are at right now, and that is the point I am starting from. Claiming I am unaffected by these truths or that I am somehow outside of my own society or culture would be a lie. Each individual comes to the table of evidence with their own baggage, their own culture, their own individuality. Pretending that we don’t is much like pretending that these inequalities don’t exist; they do, and until we correct them, they will remain uncorrected.

___

* Mostly espoused by people who do not seem to understand that I post photographs of artwork, and that multiple photographs of the same artwork can look different. The original paintings or drawing themselves are not actually embedded somehow in your computer. My apologies if this comes as a shock.”
evidence  proof  science  objectivity  2015  truth  theory  information  knowing  perspective  truths  individuality  history  universality  miscommunication  communication  race  culture  constructs  othering  opinions  authority  hypocrisy  racism 
january 2015 by robertogreco
The Civility Wars - The New Yorker
"The language of civility has always been a code of sorts, a way of holding life’s quotidian messiness up against lofty, sometimes elitist ideals of proper behavior. Perhaps, in the most practical sense, we might agree that some basic understanding of civility is what compels us to hold doors open for strangers or to avoid cussing out the elderly. Over the past decade, however, civility has come to assume a more prescriptive dimension. At a time when our ideological divides feel wild and extreme, civility has become our polite-sounding call to fall back in line. Nowhere has this charge been sounded more forcefully than on college campuses."



"At its worst, concern for civility is a way to avoid having difficult conversations at all. Today, the greatest structural driver of the civility wars is the Internet, where these two versions of the word collide. In the comparatively decentralized space, we have become compelled to take everyone’s grievances seriously, even when those claims for civility and courteous debate have been made in bad faith. And, as the common ground between us seems to dwindle, it has become easier to fixate on incivility than to reckon with whatever ideas rude language might describe. Interestingly, the new civility troubles those across the political spectrum. For those on the right, civility is political correctness by a different name, while those on the left tend to see it as a way of silencing dissent. What unites these interpretations is a shared suspicion that the rules of civility exist to preserve our hierarchies.

Thanks to the Internet, we have become expert parsers of language, meaning, and authorial intent. We have grown obsessed with subtext. In other words, we live in very discursive times, when language seems to matter more than ever. Perhaps the return of civility, as those on the right and left have both argued, constitutes a renewal of the culture wars, where taste became an object of national debate. But it also seems like a natural result of the sheer amount of time we spend engaged in the textual worlds of the Internet. There is more to say and share than ever before. As we dive headlong into this world made of words, the temptation will always be to shout above the din."



"Over the past five years, the public relations firm Weber Shandwick has published “Civility in America,” an annual report indexing American attitudes on politics, the Internet, and our collective spiritual health. With each passing year, the surveys show, our incivility problem worsens. The evidence is everywhere: road rage, professional basketball players caught cussing on camera, cable news pundits, personal friendships disintegrating over a Facebook post on Obamacare.

These results should be unsurprising: there was a greatest generation but not a politest, a Gilded Age but no Era of Total Kindness. The problem with civility is the presumption that we were ever civil in the first place. This is why calls for genteel discourse from on high always feel like deeply nostalgic fantasies offered in bad faith. There should be nothing controversial about everyday kindness; civility as a kind of individual moral compass should remain a virtue. But civility as a type of discourse—as a high road that nobody ever actually walks—is the opposite. It is bullshit."
civility  behavior  power  hierarchy  statusquo  suppression  huahsu  stevensalaita  discourse  conversation  disagreement  highered  highereducation  opinions  2014 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Introducing Design Explosions — Design Explosions — Medium
"recently we noticed these bad habits in design critique:

• Brand cheerleading
“I love them” or “Well, at least they’re not company x, I hate them”

• Vague opinions stated as truth
“They nailed it” or “FAIL”

• A disregard for complexity or tradeoffs
“I could do better in two days” or “It’s easy, they should just-”

These phrases aren’t helping anyone. We want to approach written design critiques differently. This is the result.

Deep like Siracusa, helpful like Mr. Rogers"
criticism  design  complexity  2014  critique  simplicity  cheerleading  substance  fanboyis  fanboyism  opinions 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Students | Marian Bantjes
"Dear Students,

Over the past few years I have talked about you a lot to my fellow designy-friends. We encourage you, and we are proud as hell when you choose us as a subject for a project. But most of us can't take the questions. These range from the common, to the irrelevant (general questions on design practices that are broadcast to a wide array of designers), to the personal and/or interesting but which require a lot of time and thought to answer. Some questions ask our opinions on issues in design, and some, the very worst, smack of asking us to do your homework for you (you ask us questions, we fill them out, and there's your "report"). But the honest truth for all of the above is that we just don't have time to answer them, even when we want to.

So please take this suggestion. Pretend we're dead. Look at our work, read our books, read the articles and interviews we've all done, and watch the videos. Make notes and then form your own opinions on whatever it is you're thinking about us. You may find us feminine, feminist, egocentric, innovative, influential, systematic, iconoclastic or part of an overall movement ... whatever it is, formulate an idea about our work, annotate your sources to support your premises, collect the images that support your ideas (and for student projects you are welcome to use anything on this site), give credit where credit is due, and write your report.

What is my opinion on feminism in design / on the future of design / on the impact of technology / of plagiarism vs. homage? It doesn't matter. What is your opinion? This is what original thinking and research is about. Learn to form your own opinions and find the evidence to support them. You may come to a conclusion that we, the not-really-dead, find unusual, surprising or "wrong", but if you've got the evidence to support it (i.e. "I believe Bantjes' work is this, because of what she said here, here and here, and here's the image evidence to support it" rather than "I hate this; I like that."), I'm sure we'll find it interesting and it may even help us see ourselves as others see us.

And if your instructor gave you an assignment specifically to interview a designer, could you point them to this note, please?

Good luck on your projects, and I'd love to see what you come up with once it's finished.

Warm regards,
Marian Bantjes

And, as always: read The Questions commonly asked of me; answered."
marianbantjes  design  interviews  opinions  criticalthinking  classideas  via:austinkleon  research 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Why Must We Care « Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities
"What N+1 embraces is truth over opinion and escapism against engagement with others. What they forget, however, is that there are two fundamentally opposed routes to truth.

In one, the truthseeker turns away from the world of opinion. The world in which we live is a world of shadows and deceptions. Truth won’t be found in the marketplace of ideas, but on the mountaintop in the blinding light of the sun. Like Plato’s philosopher king, we must climb out of the cave and ascend to the heights. Alone, turned toward the heavens and the eternal truths that surf upon the sunrays, we open ourselves to the experience of truth.

A second view of truth is more mundane. The truthseeker stays firmly planted in the world of opinion and deception. Truth is a battle and it is fought with the weapons of words. Persuasion and rhetoric replace the light of the sun. The winner gains not insight but power. Truth doesn’t emerge from an experience; truth is the settled sentiment of the most persuasive opinion.

Both the mountain path and the road through the marketplace are paths to truth, but of different kinds. Philosophers and theologians may very well need to separate themselves from the world of opinion if they are to free themselves to experience truth. Philosophical truths, as Hannah Arendt argues, address “man in his singularity” and are thus “unpolitical by nature.” For her, philosophy and also philosophical truths are anti-political.

Politicians cannot concern themselves with absolute truths; they must embrace the life of the citizen and the currency of opinion rather than the truths of the philosopher. In politics, “no opinion is self-evident,” as Arendt understood. “In matters of opinion, but not in matters of [philosophical] truth, our thinking is discursive, running as it were, from place to place, from one part of the world to another, through all kinds of conflicting views, until it finally ascends from these particularities to some impartial generality.” In politics, truth may emerge, but it must go through the shadows that darken the marketplace.

What Arendt understands about political truths is that truths do indeed “circulate” in messy and often uncomfortable ways that the n+1 editorial board wishes to avoid. Political thought, Arendt argues, “is representative.” By that she means that it must sample as many different viewpoints and opinions as is possible. “I form an opinion by considering a given issue from different viewpoints, by making present to my mind the standpoints of those who are absent; that is, I represent them.” It is in hearing, imagining, and representing opposing and discordant views that one comes to test out his or her own views. It is not a matter of empathy, of feeling like someone else. It is rather an imaginative experiment in which I test my views against all comers. In this way, the enlarged mentality of imaginative thinking is the prerequisite for judgment."



"It is easy to deride political opinion and idolize truth. But that is to forget that “seen from the viewpoint of politics, truth has a despotic character.”

Political thinking requires that we resist both the desire to fight opinions with violence and the desire to flee from opinions altogether. Instead, we need to learn to think in and with others whose opinions we often hate. We must find in the melee of divergent and offending opinions the joy that exists in the experience of human plurality. We don’t need to love or agree with those we find offensive; but so long as they are talking instead of fighting, we should respect them and listen to them. Indeed, we should care about them and their beliefs. That is why the N+1 manifesto for not caring [http://nplusonemag.com/rage-machine ] is your weekend read."
truth  listening  opinion  opinions  messiness  hannaharendt  via:steelemaley  2014  philosophy  politics  understanding  coexistence  empathy  plurality  humanism  caring  relationships 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Chapter 1. Attitudes toward the United States | Pew Global Attitudes Project
Link points to section titled "Drone Strikes Widely Unpopular"

"In most of the nations polled, there continues to be extensive opposition to the American drone campaign against extremist leaders and organizations. In 31 nations, at least half disapprove of the U.S. conducting drone missile strikes targeting extremists in places such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. At least three-in-four hold this view in 15 countries from all corners of the world, including nations from the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

The only three countries where majorities support the drone campaign are Israel (64% approve), Kenya (56%), and the U.S. itself (61%). In the U.S., Republicans (69% approve) are especially likely to endorse this policy, although most independents (60%) and Democrats (59%) also approve.

Opinions on this issue are essentially divided in Australia, Canada and Germany. German support for U.S. drone attacks has actually risen slightly since last year – today, 45% approve, compared with 38% in 2012. Although most in France still oppose the drone strikes, support has also increased there, rising from 37% last year to 45% now.

Balance of Power39In France, Germany and Spain, there are sharp ideological divisions on this issue, with those on the political right far more supportive of U.S. drone strikes than those on the left side of the political spectrum.

Balance of Power38Views about drones also differ sharply along gender lines in many countries. For instance, in Japan, 41% of men approve of the drone attacks, compared with just 10% of women. Double digit gender gaps are also found in six of the eight EU nations polled, as well as Australia, Canada, the U.S., South Korea and Uganda."

[A chart is next to this text.]
drones  droneproject  2013  us  opinions  international  war  surveillance 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Meta is Murder. Writing and lesser things by Mills Baker. Look at the masterpiece, and not at the frame —....
Look at the masterpiece, and not at the frame — and not at the faces of other people looking at the frame.

"Vladimir Nabokov in his lectures on Russian literature, opposing the primary type of academic and popular criticism: what we might call the demographic-reactive type. The overwhelming majority of opinion derives less from any internal response to a work of art (or political idea or cultural trend) than from what sorts of reactions we imagine on other faces looking at the frame, as it were.

If we’re observant, we see that when we encounter something we have often hardly finished perceiving it when we begin to imagine how others might react, and how still others would react to that reaction, and only at last do we begin to react according to our own demographic allegiances or resentments. We carry our friends, but still more our enemies, with us in every judgment."
millsbaker  judgement  bias  criticism  2013  trends  self  allegiances  reactions  internet  opinions  opinion  frame  framing  selfhood  theself  performance  witoldgombrowicz  vladimirnabokov  swarming  flocking  hivemind 
march 2013 by robertogreco
The problem with "excluding" content - Braintag - Kenyatta Cheese
"The perfect Way is without difficulty,

Save that it avoids picking and choosing.

Only when you stop liking and disliking

Will all be clearly understood.

A split hair's difference,

And heaven and earth are set apart!

If you want to get the plain truth,

Be not concerned with right and wrong,

The conflict between right and wrong

Is the sickness of the mind."

[Here too: http://finalbossform.com/post/43727155049/the-perfect-way-is-without-difficulty-save-that ]
[See also: http://www.dharma-rain.org/StillPoint/archives/graphics7_8_03/hsin2ming.html ]
hsinghsingming  rightandwrong  liking  disliking  opinions  truth  conflict  kenyattacheese 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Bertrand Russell on the Ten Commandments of Teaching on Listgeeks
1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
2. Do not think it worthwhile to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory.
5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement.
9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

[Also here: http://www.math.uh.edu/~tomforde/Russell-Decalogue-2.html AND http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/05/02/a-liberal-decalogue-bertrand-russell/ ]
life  learning  thinking  truth  happiness  power  bertrandrussell  certainty  uncertainty  evidence  opposition  authority  opinions  dissent  passivity  passiveness  foolishness  inconvenience  via:tealtan 
may 2012 by robertogreco
A Sontag Sampler - NYTimes.com
["Art is Boring"]

"Maybe art has to be boring, now… We should not expect art to entertain or divert anymore. At least, not high art. Boredom is a function of attention. We are learning new modes of attention — say, favoring the ear more than the eye — but so long as we work within the old attention-frame we find X boring ... e.g. listening for sense rather than sound…

If we become bored, we should ask if we are operating in the right frame of attention."

["On Intelligence"]

"I don’t care about someone being intelligent; any situation between people, when they are really human with each other, produces “intelligence.”"

["Why I Write"]

"There is no one right way to experience what I’ve written.

I write — and talk — in order to find out what I think.

But that doesn’t mean “I” “really” “think” that. It only means that is my-thought-when-writing (or when- talking). If I’d written another day, or in another conversation, “I” might have “thought” differently."
attention  glvo  opinions  understanding  wisdom  life  sharing  conversation  humanism  intelligence  thinking  writing  obsession  love  art  boredom  susansontag  via:robinsonmeyer 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Event < opinion < idea < story · robinsloan · Storify
"Adam Sternbergh went on a tear with #bettereditor and #betterfreelancer tips today; you can find them all in his timeline and here too. It was these three that caught my eye. Together, they offer a crisp formulation that's applicable not just to magazine pitches but all kinds of writing—daily news, blog posts, tweets, you name it:

Maybe top #betterfreelancer tip: Know difference btw event, opinion, idea, and story. Those are listed in ascending order of likely appeal.

Event = "So and so has an album coming out." Opinion = "...and I love/hate it." (1/2) #betterfreelancer

Idea = "...and it's important b/c X." Story = "...which almost never happened b/c of battle with label." #betterfreelancer (2/2)"
2012  wonder  meaningmaking  meaning  engagement  experience  stories  storytelling  adamsternbergh  robinsloan  opinions  ideas  storify  events 
march 2012 by robertogreco
10 Questions for Daniel Kahneman - TIME
"We are normally blind about our own blindness. We're generally overconfident in our opinions & our impressions & judgments. We exaggerate how knowable the world is."

"There are domains in which expertise is not possible. Stock picking is a good example. & in long-term political strategic forecasting, it's been shown that experts are just not better than a dice-throwing monkey."

"What psychology & behavioral economics have shown is that people don't think very carefully. They're influenced by all sorts of superficial things in their decisionmaking…procrastinate and don't read the small print. You've got to create situations so they'll make better decisions for themselves."

"When you analyze happiness, it turns out that the way you spend your time is extremely important. Decisions that affect how much time you spend with people you like are going to have a very large effect on how happy you are--not necessarily satisfied with your life but happy. So yes, I've learned things."
decisionmaking  decisions  knowing  knowledge  psychology  politics  economics  predictablity  2011  danielkahneman  procrastination  personalfinance  happiness  time  cv  glvo  behavioraleconomics  behavior  judgement  opinions  confidence 
november 2011 by robertogreco
mini. Quiet Babylon | In Defence (but not Praise) of Fans
"I don’t remember where but I remember reading that pretty much everyone thinks of high school as being a place that was full of cliques but thinks as themselves as someone who kind of floated between them without really belonging to any one in particular…

The kind of people Cory celebrates here will always be my people. I will always have a soft spot for them, especially for the younger ones, constructing shells to keep the hateful, hateful world out. But there comes a point of growing, a point where you can look back at your own Martian’s distance from a Martian’s distance and you recognize that there too, there were empty habits or worse."
timmaly  corydoctorow  cliques  cosmopolitanism  opinions  selfimage  identity  normal  whatisnormal  adolescence  superiority  difference  pretension 
november 2010 by robertogreco
How many people have you upset today? - Walk in the park, look at the sky.
"The world is full of very average things made by people who don't want to upset anyone, or too eager to please their peers. I believe you have to have an opinion - choose daddy or chips, I really don't mind, just don't say "I don't really know". And when you have opinions and strongly held beliefs you've got to be prepared to get some flack - in fact that's part of the deal.You can't have the nice feedback without accepting that some people are going to hate what you do.

So when I see feedback like this, when something we're doing prompts people to get hot under the collar and take the time to write to us, I simply sit back, smile and think to myself "good, it's working"."
brendandawes  meaning  mediocrity  confrontation  opinions  controversy  risk  risktaking  tcsnmy  glvo  creativity  feedback 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next – Pew Research Center
"Generations, like people, have personalities, and Millennials – the American teens and twenty-somethings currently making the passage into adulthood – have begun to forge theirs: confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and receptive to new ideas and ways of living."

[Report here: http://pewsocialtrends.org/assets/pdf/millennials-confident-connected-open-to-change.pdf
Quiz here: http://pewresearch.org/millennials/quiz/ ]
millennials  research  pew  statistics  culture  youth  trends  generations  genx  geny  generationx  generationy  boomers  babyboomers  silentgeneration  demographic  opinions  attitudes  society 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Deborah Meier's Blog on Education: Learning: What and How?
"“misunderstandings” that occur between best teachers & best students (& mostly we have to contend w/ less than “best” of either) are where all the fun of learning actually takes place...begins at birth. Humans are not only born curious, but w/ capacity for rather rigorous mechanism for correcting mistakes. They build & rebuild their “theory” of world based on trial & error—over & over, w/ modifications & side paths, & adjustments & sometimes huge revisions! Sometimes this process stops—in face of too much uncertainty or not enough—& we fixate, obsessively, on theory that never gets revised even when faced w/ its “obvious” contradictions...I’ve more & more come to believe that this assumption—which academics call constructivism—that I hold about learning is much more controversial than I wish it were...I live so much w/in world that disagrees w/ me that sometimes I over-cling to that subset of people & institutions that are on my wavelength. Finding right balance is hard for me."
deborahmeier  wisdom  opinions  constructivism  belief  disagreement  learning  education  balance  teaching  curiosity  unschooling  deschooling  schooling  certainty  misunderstanding  tcsnmy  mistakes  correction  mindchanges  change  reform  assessment  mindchanging 
february 2010 by robertogreco
The psychological effects of recession - Brainiac
"In each case, a recession during one's impressionable years had a significant effect on political and economic attitudes. People with such an experience were more committed to redistribution, more inclined to attribute success to luck, and less likely to trust public institutions. In each case, having been through a severe recession accounted for 4 percent of the variation in attitudes. For the sake of comparison, in the case of income redistribution, that's about one-third of the effect of possessing a high school education--as opposed to a B.A. or B.S, the authors said. (People with college degrees are less amenable to income redistribution.) ... The paper was intended partly as a contribution to the theoretical debate on how opinions are formed. But it doesn't seem a stretch to conclude that the current economic crisis may have long-lasting political effects--or that American attitudes toward inequality may become somewhat more "European" in years to come."
recession  greatdepression  psychology  policy  politics  economics  change  age  generations  income  redistribution  class  wealth  opinions  crisis  2009 
december 2009 by robertogreco
“Willing to Be Disturbed” Margeret Wheatly [.pdf]
"As we work together to restore hope to the future, we need to include a new and strange ally—our willingness to be disturbed. Our willingness to have our beliefs and ideas challenged by what others think. No one person or perspective can give us the answers we need to the problems of today. Paradoxically, we can only find those answers by admitting we don’t know. We have to be willing to let go of our certainty and expect ourselves to be confused for a time. We weren’t trained to admit we don’t know. Most of us were taught to sound certain and confident, to state our opinion as if it were true. We haven’t been rewarded for being confused. Or for asking more questions rather than giving quick answers. We’ve also spent many years listening to others mainly to determine whether we agree with them or not. We don’t have time or interest to sit and listen to those who think differently than we do."

[via: http://weblogg-ed.com/2009/willing-to-be-disturbed/ ]
change  disruption  innovation  learning  confidence  knowledge  society  future  opinions  perspective  tcsnmy  curiosity  comfort  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  filetype:pdf  media:document 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Un-humble opinions - The Irish Times - Sat, Jun 20, 2009
"This goes some way towards explaining why a characteristic shared by many of these wrong-headed “experts” is an overweening self-confidence. All those brass-necked pundits whose self-assurance seems inversely proportional to their wisdom are merely the inevitable result of free markets, because selling certainty is easier than selling nuanced opinions that embrace complexity and doubt.

At first, this quirk of human psychology sounds like an interesting nugget of pop science, until you consider the cumulative cost of this cognitive error. If the result of this psychological quirk were restricted to football commentators embarrassing themselves before a Champions League final, no harm done. Unfortunately, the implications are rather more profound, and dangerous. ... The triumph of the competent over the confident, it would seem, is far from assured."
psychology  human  confidence  doubt  opinions  nuance  complexity  experts  certainty  competency 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Airbag - Cholesterol.
"Ah, if only more leaders were strong enough to consider a point of view that may not jibe with their own. Not just political leaders, all of them. I have worked for persons who didn't like the idea of debate in the workplace, even when it was conducted in the interest of delivering a smarter and better result. After a while my existence at these organizations became absolutely pointless and I quickly lost interest in the work and ultimately employment. Not because I feel the need to fight each and every little battle. It's just that we don't live long enough on this Earth to go through life jumping off bridges or drinking instant grape beverage each and every time we're asked to do so..."If two people think alike all the time, one of them is redundant."...The more you live and work around people who rarely present a different viewpoint, the softer your brain gets, the more complacent you become, and before you know it Wilford Bradley is the only one who makes any sense in the world."
leadership  organizations  debate  opinions  innovation  problemsolving  barackobama  work  life  management  complacency  politics  intelligence 
december 2008 by robertogreco

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