Writer of web copy, meandering essays, short stories, and @sssimpli.
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That's one of the most interesting responses to what I wrote that I've read (so thank you). I agree completely about the shades of grey, and your example (crying) is dead-on (digression: that's the kind of torment that makes great fiction, whereas my black/ white doesn't).
When I write these things, I tend to employ a weird exaggerated technique to better outline my point. I think of it like the way I explained something to my daughter the other day, using two extremes to measure or evaluate those shades of grey. The example:
Suppose you want to find out if something is farther away from you than another object, and you know these two objects are the same size. To determine which one is farther away, you think of two extremes: imagine something a mile away, then imagine something an inch from your face. Which one is bigger?
Using that conclusion, you can determine which of the two objects is farther away by determining which one appears to be smaller. Reductionist, yes, but the technique works at times.
It doesn't work as well in cases like this, though; it just happens to be how I think. I depend on thoughtful people like you guys to illuminate the shades of grey.
@dfadeyev had some excellent comments on this post (via Twitter):
Nice post, but the thesis can be turned around too: where fundamentalism has a foundation, moral relativism has none, and so...
as a result those without a strong philosophy seek structure and identity in other things, such as materialism you mentioned...
In this way, powerful shifts in values are unavoidable, but it does not mean that you should give them up to avoid the loss...
Rather that you have the strength for the transition should it be proven right and just - i.e. strong opinions weakly held...
Which is to say: fundamentalism and radicalism are not inherently bad, what's bad are weak minds who cannot handle them.
I absolutely see your point, and the sense of entitlement you point out has, fairly or unfairly, been discussed at length, so I won't beat a dead horse. There's something to it (or we wouldn't be talking about it), but painting with such a broad brush based on personal experience is a dangerous logic game.
- Youtube videos are not play. iPhone games are not play.
I've battled with this with my own daughter. Of course, I make her put down the screen and go outside and play on occasion, but games and videos are play. Its just a different kind of play than we're used to. The phenomenon will probably hold true, too: kids play at what they're interested in, so those kids who play at games and videos are likely to incorporate that interest in their chosen career, to a certain extent. I'm certainly not saying it's good for them, or that they don't need to put the screens down (I'm a huge proponent of that), but I don't want to say that kids need to play differently because they're not playing the way I did or want them to.
Tha'ts an interesting response to the "Twitter is killing our attention spans" argument. Pros and cons to everything.
That's a good point. Some have said that that aids our writing ability, by forcing us to think about the implied perception of our words. I think, on some level, it's true. It's also, I think, why we're so eager for better video chat.
You're quite welcome. I think most people are judging, but that's not the problem. The problem is that we give too much weight to that judgement. I remember posting a tweet a few months ago, and not having heard from a user who I'd regularly conversed with for a couple of weeks after that. I suddenly recalled a tweet that I'd posted that could've been misconstrued, and wondered if I'd offended her with that tweet. It was a ridiculous notion, but my imagination got the better of me. Perhaps there was judgement, but 1) in this case, it was all in my imagination, and 2) if there was judgement, how did that affect me, really?
Also, this is related.