Take a vacation from self-affirmation | Bleader

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Take a vacation from self-affirmation

Posted By on 07.04.06 at 01:14 PM

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Will Wilkinson at the libertarian Cato Institute reflects on this Scientific American essay on “confirmation bias” and how we mostly try to avoid taking our opponents seriously (except as deranged dingbats). And he makes a nice suggestion, even if it does suddenly go all puritan at the end:

“This Independence Day, why not pick up a political book you know you’ll disagree with. Or write a short essay giving the best argument you can think of for a position you find abhorrent. Or really listen to what your annoying brother-in-law thinks about the war at the family picnic. We could all be a little more rational, and a little more free, if only we really wanted to be. Dogmatic, whole-hearted commitment does feel good. But there is more to life than feeling good.”

Almost had me there.

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