March 24, 2017, 10:53 AM ET [22 Comments]
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The Coyotes lost.
They scored the first goal, then they let in the next three.
Let us talk instead of modern society.
I used to think the greatest threat facing us was global warming. Then I learned actually it was income disparity, because income disparity is what prevents us from properly fighting global warming.
That was a position I held for most of my adult life. But recently, it's become clear that the biggest problem that we face is that people don't change their minds when presented with proof that they are wrong.
Now, I have no idea when or why people started to build their identities around whether or not they were Liberals or Conservatives but I do know one thing: It happened and there's really no going back.
People aren't just going to wake up and suddenly be less biased.
This happened for a collection of reasons, but mostly it's because our media institutions are completely decimated. The death of print coupled with years of chasing ratings and then clicks have left us so misinformed that we are a danger to ourselves.
We kind of need investigative journalism in the same way we need cops and firemen. Nothing has ever been more clear to me. We are the people and our most fundamental need is a functioning, trustworthy media.
We all used to have access to only a few channels and a few newspapers and magazines. We worked with the same set of facts - we knew that to get the job to tell people the news required a great deal of hard work and intelligence. But nowadays, anyone anywhere can get their opinions out and no one knows who or what to trust.
It's partly corporate news. It's partly the internet. It's partly the number of entertainment options. Partly our love of individualism, bad education system, there's a thousand ___ reasons.
Somehow we educate more people than ever. We have access to all of world history, and all recorded facts on our fancy pocket-rectangles that we can't keep our faces out of.
And we're the dumbest we've ever been.
I used to teach a communications class at a local college. One of the things we did on the first day was just talk about ways to learn and communicate better. We'd do this list which I think could be helpful to people who read hockey blogs for some reason.
1. It's OK to be wrong.
This is a big problem. We are really harsh on people when they're wrong. If people are afraid to take the risk of looking stupid, a lot of good thinking gets missed. A lot of bad thinking gets passed off as OK.
We are programmed starting in Kindergarten that we should be afraid to be wrong. They ask you to put your hand up if you know t he answer and you quickly learn you don't like to be wrong. The kids that aren't good at school, and are never going to be, learn to feel dumb for not knowing things.
We are so insecure about being wrong we developed into a gotcha society where the biggest thrill is catching a blogger saying something dumb. If it's OK to be wrong it's OK to change your mind. We should all get a lot more comfortable with the fact that we're idiots who will be wrong about things every day.
2. Ask a lot of Questions
Studies show that kids ask hundreds of questions per day when they're really young, but that constant negative reinforcement makes this go away almost entirely by adolescence.
People should not be afraid to be wrong, and if they weren't, they'd ask more questions.
3. Ask for help
Asking for and receiving the benefit of other people's thoughts and skills is the key difference between being successful and being a loser.
People of average testable intelligence typically are more successful in life than so-called smart people because smart people don't ask for as much help.
4. Be willing to change your mind
We act like this is the greatest weakness but you live on a giant round rock hurling through space and spinning in circles, and being less stubborn will improve your life. It's a guarantee.
The willingness to change your mind and adjust your views as you learn new information is what separates you from being in a cult.
You should definitely take steps to prove you're not in a cult.
The only thing that separates a smart person from an idiot is the ability to learn something new and adjust your previously held positions.
People worry about being seen as a hypocrite if they change their mind on something.
But if that's how you classify a hypocrite, then we're all hypocrites.
The main thing to do is that if you see or hear someone who says you're wrong, and that person isn't an obvious moron, you should at least consider changing your mind.
5. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a 'hater'
It's quite possible the concept of feeling good about yourself no matter what someone else says has ruined our society.
Instead of assuming everyone who disagrees with you is out to get you, you would be better off taking all criticism seriously, even if it hurts your feelings.
You shouldn't take every little thing to heart, but you gotta be on the lookout for patterns!! We can't take everything in an unsubtle all/nothing way. If you are criticized it might be for real reasons and not because people are out to get you.
At the same time, if you should distrust anything that is telling you what you want to hear.
It is fundamentally idiotic to think that you can divide all people into two groups. Also, no matter who started it, at a certain point you just have deal with what's happening.
And what is happening is that because people are so misinformed (on a macro-level) and because the internet has trashed the system where normal citizens get informed by journalists responsible for holding politicians accountable, that the people have started to just listen to whatever happens to suit them, and as a result both mainstream parties have ventured closer to their extremes and farther away from moderate positions.
No matter what your political beliefs are, you have to be concerned that facts no longer seem to matter.