Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bypassing the Brain, Straight to the Spleen

If you're someone who aims to maintain rationality and balance even when upsetting things are happening - if you don't want to be reverse-spun into the sort of stupidity and extremism that set you off in the first place - then you'll see things like this - which stoke your outrage and stroke your confirmation bias - and have the discipline to run it past your brain, where you'll recognize the hollowness and overreach:

Putting Moore in the Senate will not sacrifice the innocence of any children, duh. That's hysterical, empty nonsense. We don't need to keep him out of the Senate FOR THE CHILDREN (if he's still molesting - and there's no reason to assume he is - he can do so as easily in AL as in DC), we need to keep him out because his history of lawless predation and hypocrisy disqualifies him from leading the nation.

Statements like the above make our spleens pleasantly throb, in the same way that a given scummy hunk of Steve Bannon demagoguery resonates with his people. It completely bypasses the brain.

Don't let anyone bypass your brain. The brain is certainly not everything, but it's our only hope for maintaining rationality and balance in troubling times. The brain is what's missing on the other side. Don't be jerked into imitating them.

Will we human beings ever learn to react to extremism with enlightened moderation rather than with reciprocal extremism?

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