Tuesday, July 12, 2016

訟 Arguing (hexagram 6)

Yes or No.

Stay or Go.

Trump or Hillary.

The real problem with the system is that we try to distill from a complex, nuanced set of preexisting conditions a binary decision.  A or B.  Yes or No.

I think that this is because  the way that our language and the simplistic manner that the media portrays the issues in front of us.  I refer to this as the "Passive Voice" problem that Microsoft foisted on us in the 90's

The world isn't really like that.  The world is about setting it up so that no one is all that displeased or all that happy.  It isn't about getting your way and ideological purity, it is about compromise and living in a society where there is an almost certain chance that the guy sitting next to you doesn't agree with you about any number of issues.

Consider the following little spreadsheet outlining the past eight presidential elections

You have to look at these results in the way you would look at the results for the world around you. Lets use eleven people in this little thought experiment.  You and the other ten folks are working on a problem.  Four other people agree with you for a five.  Five people disagree with you.  Then there is old Jake over there who, as usual comes in from left field.

Now, if you knew all the people involved, and you valued them as people, you would sit down and try to work something out.  No one would be very happy with the end deal, but nearly everyone could live with it.  Jake would stay around because his view would probably be one of the reasons that you managed to get anything done at all.

But that isn't the way we do things as a country or a congress.  All the issues are polarized and not available for compromise.   Anything that is amenable to a compromise is held hostage to the political posturings needed to for bargaining chips in  the ongoing issues in the "polarized" column.

You see, there is no such thing as truth in the public forum.  Truth there is what every man wants it to be for himself.    Context is everything in the public forum.  When the events are reported, they are reported in a vacuum, nuggets picked delicately from the ore of real world experience to serve the needs of shaping public opinion.

This is the real problem with the state of the electoral system today.  The problems are structural (gerrymandering and safe seats), venal (the purchasing of politicians by actors actively opposing a government by the people, for the people),commercial (the castarati of the media), and ecclesiastical (the incessant pushing of the religious sphere into the political sphere).  The infection here is systemic and I, for one, would sincerely doubt that the rot can be expunged.

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