Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Black and White Thinking; The Definition is Gray.

Once in Awhile, I am Inspired by my New Friend Man of Wonder and he has been Inspiring me in Relation to that Black and White Idea, mostly because that is Stated as the Main Theme in his Blog.  I'm Finding that the Concept of Black and White can be Understood in Quite a Number of Ways.  Some of them are Negative and Some are Positive.  I Realized this, as I was Writing Responses to Man of Wonder on his Blog, and then Later, as I thought of a Response to him on my Own Blog, that I've Decided not to Post Until Now.  Here is what I was Thinking of Writing to him below the Next Post Down,  Why do People Believe What they do?....

"There is just Something about Sloppy Thinking, Boy Wonder, that just Seems to Stir Anger within us, in the Flesh.  1)So Many People Out There just do not Know what is Black and White and What is Not.  2)Some Call what is Gray, Black or White and 3)some Call what is Black, White and what is White, Black."

Now to Show you What I Mean by the Different Meanings of the Black and White Concept, in the Context of the First Sentence Above, in which Black and White is Mentioned, it Means that which is Simple and Obvious, as well as Absolute and in the Context of the Second Sentence after that, the First Usage or the Words Black and White is about what is Confused and/or Relative being Called Obvious and/or Absolute and the Second Usage of them Refers to what is Right (White) and Wrong (Black).

Now Read that Paragraph again and see what you get out of it.

Now, for those of you who are Caught up in the Gray (that is Confusion), Some Things are Indeed Black and White (Clear and Obvious, as well as Absolute, or the Same for Everyone), but not Everything is Black and White.  Some Things are not Clear Cut and Obvious and also not Absolute, for Some Things are Gray (Relative) to a Person and/or Situation.

As to the Definition of Black and White as Nothing More than Simple, rather than Complex, Yes, we can "Over Complicate" with Irrelevant Details, yet we can also "Over Simplify", by Assuming that Everything Works According to Our Own Perception on Things or Our Own Point of View, while not Realizing that not Everyone is the Same and that the Way we are Viewing Things May be Beneficial to Oneself, but not to the Other Person (Relative, Rather than Absolute).  Perhaps it would be better not to be quite so Dogmatic in out Thinking.

You See, Black and White can Mean a Lot of Things and some of them are Negative and some of them are Not.  For Example, when Black and White Means Basic and Simple, this is not Necessarily a Negative, but when Black and White Means According to MY Point of View, or "My Way or the High Way", this is a Negative.

Also, When I Say that some of Life is Gray, at Least Part of What this Means is that Sometimes Things are not As they Seem.  Or Put another Way, Things are Foggy and Confused, Not as Easy to Understand as they Seem, or there is "more there than at first Meets the Eye" and this could also Mean that some things are Relative, rather than Absolute.

Now, as a Review of a Few of the Links that I had Referred to in an Earlier Post,  these Links; (Thoughts on Standing Beside a Bomb in a Crowded SquareBlack and White Thinking doesn't Work in a Gray World); Place the Idea of Black and White Thinking in a Very Negative Light.  The First of these Links Actually Places Black and White Thinking Right Along Side of Extremism and the Second just Explains why Black and White Thinking, as Described in the Article, does not Work in the Real World.  Both of these Links Came from a Post at Dave Millers Blog, The War on Extremism.  I Agree with what is Said in these Linked Articles.  The Problem, though, is this...

If Sometimes Black and White Thinking is Understood According to the Given Linked Articles, than Later when someone Uses the Same Terminology to Describe what is Simple, rather than complex, then the One Who Means Only Simple, and not Complex, will not be Judged Fairly for what he or she Says if the Readers are thinking instead about some of the more Negative Definitions of the Terms, Black and White.

There Obviously is a Negative Form of Black and White Thinking, yet this Concept has been Used in so Many Different Ways that Perhaps we Need to be Clear in Our Definitions before Throwing such Words Around.


The Griper said...

a very absolute middle of the road perception and understanding of the meaning.

the only question that remains is how someone who disagrees with you would perceive and understand it.

BB-Idaho said...

So, let us say it is 40 degrees at the airport:
an Eskimo deplanes and observes "Gee, it's hot"
A Sudanese just in from the Sahara complains "Gosh,
its cold". The temperature
is a simple fact... perception of it may be
black or white? And from
the perspectives of their two backgrounds-both may be true?

Silverfiddle said...

I think some people live to further complicate things, and they are a plague on public discourse and understanding

Lista said...

Since I have Reviewed Every Possible Definition that I Know of and have not Really Taken a Position on which one is Correct, there can be no Disagreement when there is no Position Expressed. A Person Could Add a New Definition that I have Overlooked, yet even that would not be a Disagreement. Instead, I would Welcome it.

The Temperature is an Absolute Number and is therefore, Black and White. The Perception of it Depends on the Person and is therefore, more Vague, Relative or Gray.

What you are Saying may be True and Yet it is also True that Some People Live to Simplify to the Point at Which Their Own Point of View is all that Stands and Everything Else is a "Complication".

Let me Put it This way. We could either "Simplify" by doing it my Way, or we could "Simplify" and do it your Way, yet the Only Way to be Fair is for us to Find a Way to Compromise and that is just Plain more "Complicated" and yet that's just the Way it is.

The Griper said...

or there is third option, lista. do it your way first. and if that doesn't work out then we do it my way. then if neither way work out we search for a third way of doing it. this way there is no need for compromise.

Lista said...

Typical Response from someone who Thinks that Compromise is the Worse of all Evils. Since Compromise is what Makes for Good Relationships, this is a Rather Sad Position to Take.

I Hope Man of Wonder Drops by so that he Can See how you have just Expressed a Typical Example of Black and White Thinking, in the Form of All One Way or the Other and there is no In Between. Thanks for Illustrating it for me.

The Griper said...

then i'll just await for your friend to respond before i say any more on the issue. but i'll say this too. i see no reason to give another response at the moment since it is clear that you have already dismissed my option as not being worthy of being discussed.

Lista said...

Hi Griper,
You and I aren't Getting Along Very Well Right now, are we?

It's just that I disagree with you on such a Large Number of Things that it is hard at Times to Interact with you. I'm sorry for my Humanness. Your Last Comment was Indeed a Classic Example of Black and White Thinking, though, and you Know that I do not Agree with your Type of Black and White Thinking, so what more is there to Discuss?

We've had this Discussion, Griper, Over and Over and Over Again. I Already Know your Opinion and you Know Mine. I'm Willing to Keep Talking about it for the Sake of the Others, yet if you Decide to just Drop it, that would be Perfectly Fine as well.

Lista said...

You are the One who has Pointed out how the Absolute and the Relative can Exist at the Same Time. That is a Perfect Example of How Some Things are Black and White (Absolute) and some are Gray (Relative). Thanks. Your Comment was Great!

Another Example of this that I like is when Two People from Different Places on the Globe are on the Phone Arguing about whether or not the Sun is Rising or Setting, yet Both of them are Right because the Sun is, In Fact, Both Setting and Rising at the Some Time, Depending on where you are on the Globe, so that Fact is Relative, yet the Absolute is that the Earth Rotates and Circles the Sun.

Thanks for Dropping by, Buddy. Don't be Discouraged by my Interactions with The Griper. We've got some History between us, yet I'm sure that you and I are going to have some Interesting Discussions. You may be a Libertarian, but you are a Different Person then the Libertarians who have come before you, so I will not Hold your Libertarianism against you.

BB-Idaho said...

Sometimes there are so many variables that even mathematicians are reduced to statistics, chaos theory and fuzzy logic ...
I sometimes think when we classify our/others politics, the b/w approach
is insufficient. I know that I agree with some conservative and libertarian positions, but since I disagree with most, I voluntarily avoid that 'camp'. Add in the many 'flavers' of conservatism and liberalism, it makes sense that many consider themselves simply old gray

Lista said...

Well BB,
I Still Believe in Compromise, which is to some a Dirty Word. This is the Main Reason, Really, that I Consider myself Gray, whether than Black and White, because another Definition of the Phrase is Clinging to One Extreme or the Other and Avoiding Middle Ground, thus the Aversion to Compromise.

I Guess this Also Relates to the Simplicity vs. Complexity Idea because Extremes are Straight Forward and Simple, yet the Middle Requires Complicated Compromises, yet the Extremes Tend to Benefit Part of the Population Ahead of the Other and therefore are not the Best Plan.

Lista said...

Hi Griper,
For some Reason Man of Wonder has Deleted his Blog. He Appears to be having Trouble Again Deciding Rather or not he Really Wants to Blog or not. I was just Getting Ready to Leave a Comment on it too. And not Only that, but I had just Finished Earlier Adding a Link to his Blog on my Blog Roll. Oh shoot!!

I also want to Apologize again for Feeling Frustrated with you. I do not Know how Long the Frustration is Going to Last. All I Know is that I Get Really Tired when I have a List of Things that I Want to Respond to on Various Different Blogs and they all Seem to have to do with Some Stupid Accusation that Someone has Made of me or some Argument that doesn't Make even the Slightest Bit of Sense.

So you see, this doesn't Entirely have to do Only with you. I'm Getting it Right now from Several Sources and Unfortunately, it does not Take much to Make me Feel Stressed.

You can Say a Prayer for me if you would Like, but it May not be a Good Idea to Challenge me to Think Right Now, Until I Can Catch my Breath Again.