Friday, March 11, 2011

Seeing The Obvious

I have mentioned Jonathan Haidt's research, mostly with approval before. His latest is worth a read. He is a true-blue Arts & Humanities Tribe academic - a social psychologist - who is neither conservative nor religious, but recognises that conservatives and religious folk are kept out of the academy through prejudices subtle and overt.

I was fully prepared to praise him with faint damns for seeing the obvious, but I missed seeing the obvious myself on other issues, yesterday and today.

Seeing the obvious is hard. If it is being obscured, it is hidden for a reason, and many folks have an interest in not seeing. I speak so often with a slight sneer about missing the obvious, but that is unfair. We don't see the fouls committed by the home team, we don't see that junior is a bully. In politics, the threats by our side are justified outrage, those by our opponents are criminal threats.

We know this but find it so hard to rise above it.
we have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
George Orwell

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