"Hell is other people"

Monkey Brain

Who are you?

Bari Weiss recently had Tim Urban on her podcast. It was a wide ranging discussion on many topics, many of which dealt with the human condition and could cause some people to reevaluate their priorities. How many years do you have left? Do the math and realize how many more times you will see your parents, or a cherished friend. How many rounds of golf do you have left? hikes? Baseball games, swims in the ocean… For this alone I recommend listening to the podcast.

Who are we?

I also enjoyed Urban’s hypothesis about how each of us has two minds: The Higher Mind and the Primitive Mind. Both have their place. The Primitive Mind can make life-and-death decisions quickly and save us from harm. The Higher Mind advances us by exploring and expanding knowledge. Their conversation about what has gone wrong with our public discourse pivoted around Urban’s concept of High Mind-Primitive Mind. Its not a spoiler to say Primitive Mind thinking on all sides has ruined our conversation, from the national level down to backyard BBQs.

Related to this, Brendan O’Neill had Harper’s Magazine editor John R. MacArthur on his podcast: Brendan O’Neill Show Podcast – John R MacArthur: The weirdness of post-Trump America

They had an enjoyable and wide-ranging discussion on the state of America today. They briefly touched on a phenomenon (with no exploration of it) that is rotting our minds: If the other side says it, I must disagree with it. This spawns various corollaries:

Joe Biden/Donald Trump did something good or had a great idea, but people normally opposed to them dump all over it, even if its something they could agree with. “I don’t want people to think I’m on their side.”

I don’t want to agree with something the other side said because then they and everyone else will take that as me endorsing them (or in a more insidious form, “legitimizing them,” as if people in the broad mainstream could be deemed “illegitimate.”)

I won’t agree with you because if I do, you and your ideological confreres will pounce and shout “AHA! You admit you and your beliefs are all wrong and ours are all right!”

It’s all reactionary monkey brain.

What say you?

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