Sunday, June 07, 2020

Random Thoughts On Listening

When we have finished all this listening and we somehow have the same problems, can this be the last time we try this?  I am reminded of "Pontoon Boat," a story by Garrison Keillor from the 1990s, in which a committee of Lutheran pastors were going around Minnesota to gather information and discuss failing family farms. One of them says on the last day, just before they go under in the shallow lake "I don't know what we can do.  But I know we aren't doing enough.  And I think at least we are coming out of this conference with a renewed sense of purpose."  Perfect.

Choosing listening as a solution implies that there is some learning that needs to take place.  I don't think that's it.  Unlearning is what needs to happen.  People believe a number of myths that they are just sure are backed up by statistics somewhere.  Well, they have a point.  There are any number of misleading statistics that keep getting recirculated, mostly in the form of associations dressed up as causes. Conservatives have a couple of beauts. I will repeat my caution that the old adage that there are lies, damned lies, and statistics is based on a true story, but not accurate.  Statistics will tell you the truth if you shove them up against the wall and get them to tell you who their friends are.

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