Why I Love Conversations & Detest Debates

Why is that psychometric tests seem to ask you to take a stand about who you are and then consistently defend it? Why is that psychology today still seems so intent on finding that critcal narrative which unravels a person’s mysteries.

At this point in my life, it seems to me that our everyday experiences continue to shape who we are and how we look at our world. It seems to me that there is no gradient in the curve of resilience that a personality has. It seems to me that something that stays with you when you are five can as easily stay with you when you are thirty.

I find myself to be so many person’s that it bewilders me. In terms of how I react, how I behave and even how I view the world, depending on how old I am, where I am or even who it is I am having a deep, satisfying coversation with. Sometimes I am hyper-intuitive and sometimes I prde myself in being objective. Sometimes I believe in sun-signs and sometimes I laugh at how people generalise. Sometimes I know myself and smile and sometimes I am shaking with fear and uncertainty. Why is that for so many questions in a psychometric test, if I wanted to be truly “honest”, I would ask for an option which says that “IT ALL DEPENDS!”. Of course I think I’m a kind person if I have helped out beggars in the past week and fretted over friends. But if I’ve been busy with work, stressed out and absent-minded for a while, of course I’ll convince myself that I am greedy, money minded, scheming, overworked, tiny, cog. If I’ve been getting promotions or I have just gotten married and everything was right with the world, I might feel that yes, the government is doing a good job, that I am a tidy person, that I love meeting new people, even if they asked me sixty times, just to make sure?

I think most qualitative and qualtitative research is a load of bunkum because too many people take it way too seriously, since they love to have a picture of something they can realte to. If it’s numbers and figures, thats reassuring “evidence” isn’t it? If it is a consensus map of metaphors and constructs, there could only way the customer thinks couldn’t there? I mean she said so herself, didn’t she. Metaphor Analysis goes on and on about how the way we think about our world makes us use metaphors and constructs that can give researchers clues about the way we subconciously think and feel. But why do we think the sub-concious is so rigid and clear-headed in the first place? If the conscious mind is so fragmented, unsure and whimsical, then why is it that we are convinced of the mythical, ancient powers of the sub-concious mind? Simply because it does not readily reveal itself? Or becuase it evolved “eariler”? Just because dreams have a powerful, mysterious and chaotic quality does not mean there is some uncryted code waiting to be unlocked by some biased, subjective analysis, marred by human error and judgement.

I agree that there have been tremdous strides in the social sciences. I agree that there is a lot that we have unravelled about the nature of the human mind and the Natural world. But I just wish in our everyday life, we would not be so sanguine that our visions and constuctions of these things is a picture we can trust and work with. I wish we stopped thinking that there have been people in the 20th century and even beofre who have made it simple to deal with each other, discovered “deep-deated motivations” and “insights”. Scientific progress and discovery can take us only so far. Why are we so afraid of the ambigous, the uncertain or blurred. Isn’t it time we stopped looking at science as if we are simply bound in by our senses alone? Why are we always rating, comparing, evaluating and judging. What haped to the Hippie Culture. Is Pluralism such a foul-mouthed word now?

That is not to say that a coarse system of democracy with it’s multiple factions and power equations is a philosophy I endorse. I do believe that for the most part, our everyday businesses and lives are best governed by a system with certain, modrately flexible codes which allow for a prospering of the basic rights of an individual, have checks & balances which allow for tangible welfare to it’s citizens and enforce norms which ensure the mental and physcal safety of those who adhere to the codes laid down.

Despite my mistrust of the democratic form of government, simply by merit of the fact that it allows for a system of dissent, as compared to other realised forms of governement, it seems to me, at this point to be the least menacing. It’s limitations of being a form of goverment which can easily flow into a system of anarchy and underutilized tenents are substantial enough for me to recognize, though for the most part, it is not the right answer. And this inner contradiction and conflict is exactly what is missing in so much of the discourse and thought I see around me today. Everyone is too convinced of his line of thought and has a pat answer for every possible situation, especially if pushed into a corner. Allowing for divergent answers, each valid in it’s own right is such a rare commodity. And I am not speaking of the transient American Empire and it’s views or actions. I speak of the very nature of dominant Western knowledge, enquiry and thought.

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