I’ve noticed something interesting about the psychology of most people who consider themselves libertarians. It’s my observation that most libertarians are opposed to rules coming from the state, but they’re also temperamentally inclined to have strong views about “the right way to do things” on a wide range of subjects. I don’t generally see them wanting to force others to comply with their ways, but it seems as though they’re more drawn to systematic rules than the average person is.
Two questions: 1) Am I accurate in my observation? 2) If so, why might there be this statistical correlation between desiring legal freedom and a tendency toward believing in One True Way to do things (not just politically)? I asked these questions of friends on Facebook the other day and everybody generally agreed it was true. The “why” question generated some interesting discussion. Do you guys have any thoughts about it?
I suspect that the same internal need for logical consistency which drives us to adopt a very unpopular political position (or some variation of it) also drives us to need logical consistency in the world around us. That doesn’t exist, of course, and we can sometimes end up frustrated when people can’t see what’s so obvious to us. What do you think?
I finally have official word about the lump I had removed from my breast last month. It was intracystic papillary carcinoma, which is so rare that there’s not much known about it. The good news is that it’s not very aggressive and is very unlikely to recur.
The school shooting in Ohio Monday made me think — not for the first time — about what I’d do if I were somewhere that a shooting happened. Have you ever wondered what you’d do? I hope I never find out, but I’ve been curious how I’d respond emotionally and what I’d do. I don’t know if I’d hunker down and hide or if I’d be the type to try to stop the gunman if I could. Or are there other possible reactions? I don’t guess you can know until you’ve experienced it. Have any of you ever experienced anything like this? How did you respond? And if you haven’t experienced it, how do you think you’d respond?
On a tech website a couple of days ago, I was reading about a new product. The story said it would “be sold globally in Europe, North and South America, plus the Middle East.” The first commenter complained about the product not being sold in the United States. I wonder which school forgot to teach him that we’re in North America here.
I read Monday night that it only takes one-fifth of a second for a person to fall in love, which sounds about right to me, based on my own experience. According to the study, 12 areas of the brain work together during that process, and the effects on the brain are similar to the rush people get from cocaine. The study didn’t say how long it takes to stop being in love. I haven’t figured that one out, either.
- I’m amused when people say, “Ron Paul scares me!” It’s amusing because my views are so philosophically anti-state that I’d scare Ron Paul.
- It’s really difficult to accept evidence that’s at odds with what we already believe. We almost always unconsciously look for ways to “explain away” things that would invalidate an existing belief. This is something I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about lately. Even though I’m aware of the tendency — and try not to do it — how can I know that I’m not guilty of it, too?
- Have you ever noticed that the people most likely to say, “I hate drama,” are the ones most likely to be the actual center of drama in the lives of those around them?
- On a similar note, have you ever noticed this? When people feel the need to explain that something doesn’t bother them, the odds are pretty high that whatever it is in question bothers them a lot.
- Calling Ron Paul an isolationist is like calling your neighbor a hermit if he doesn’t go over to neighbors’ houses and threaten them if they don’t do what he wants them to do about their own affairs.
And finally, I’ll leave you with this quote I ran across this week from P.J. O’Rourke that really applies to me — and maybe to you:
“One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it’s remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver’s license.”