We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Making Mistakes and Being Wrong

1st October 2017

Freeberg nails it again.

I’ve occasionally noticed, when arguing with strangers on the Internet that I figure out are still in college or have only recently graduated (it isn’t tough), I can completely discombobulate them simply by admitting I’ve been wrong about something. Sometimes if I’m in an extra snarky mood I’ll tell them I make ten or more mistakes every day before they even think about getting out of bed, which in many cases is probably true. Trouble is, if this assault is fitting for the target, it’s difficult for the dialogue to proceed because it’s like introducing the concept of days-of-week to a barnyard animal, or depth to some kind of stencil-creature from a two-dimensional universe. Willing to admit you’ve ever been wrong about something? My professor didn’t teach me how to deal with this! What is this strange brew?

What’s really going on here is arrested development. No, that’s not a reference to a man in his fifties getting in Internet arguments with strangers…although that may apply too. No, I’m referring to the fastening of an identity, not so much to the specific assertion being made, but to the lofty goal of being right. Five-to-seven year olds argue this way: I’m smart-n-right, you’re wrong-n-dumb. They grow up, graduate high school, go to college which is supposed to be a proving ground for bold, diverse, innovative new ideas, and then graduate that. Still arguing the same way. I’m right you’re wrong, ALL the time…now what were we arguing about again? I forgot. But I’m still right.

It’s said that a conservative is a liberal who got mugged, well, it might be more accurate to say a conservative is a liberal who put in his time waiting in line at the DMV.

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