Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, May 12, 2018

The problems we're facing often seem as complex as they do intractable. We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them. So what does it take to increase the complexity of our thinking? Too many people default to looking at decisions as either-or: The answer is right or wrong, good or bad, win or lose. This binary thinking has a built-in limitation: ONE solution can generate the opposite problem. Simple answers make us feel safe. People need to consciously cultivate the capacity to see more, to deepen, widen, and lengthen their perspectives. Deepening depends on our willingness to challenge our blind spots, deeply held assumptions, and fixed beliefs. Widening means taking into account more perspectives and consequences to address a problem from multiple vantage points. Lengthening requires focusing on not just the immediate consequence of a decision but also its likely impact over time. Bad Example: Sick of DC, hire Trump.


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Challenge your convictions. This practice begins with asking two key questions in the face of any difficult decision: "What am I not seeing here?" and "What else might be true?" As long as we hold onto the mindset that the only alternative to confidence is insecurity, we're far less likely to develop the balancing quality of humility, which is critical to considering multiple perspectives. Too much confidence becomes arrogance.

Tackle the most difficult task or problem first each day. Endless demands from a job, mate or children coupled with time pressure undermine complex thinking. As important as decisiveness can be, nuanced solutions emerge from wrestling with the most difficult issues, rather jumping to an incorrect conclusion.

Pay attention to yours and other's feeling. Embracing complexity is not just a cognitive challenge, but also an emotional one. Learn to manage negative emotions ¬such as anger and fear. If we shift o a fight-or-flight state, our vision literally narrows, our prefrontal cortex shuts down, and we become more reactive and less capable of reflection. Our attention automatically transfers from the task at hand to defending our values. This awareness can minimize the inclination to attack, blame, or scapegoat. Instead look inward to restore a state of mental equilibrium.


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I'm predicting that, if a robust dialogue manifests on this topic, that it will devolve into myopic diatribes of 'the other side is the bad ones'.
More likely, most people will ignore the topic because it challenges their single-mindedness.

#1 | Posted by Avigdore at 2018-05-12 08:45 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

A two-party system produces binary thinking, false dichotomies, polarization, and is easy for big money to corrupt.

#2 | Posted by hamburglar at 2018-05-12 09:17 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Democrat/Republican; Moslem/Christian; black/white; good/bad. American minds are literally trapped in a binary reality. Democrats and Republicans have contracted with each other to keep us that way, locking everyone else out of the discussion.

#3 | Posted by bayviking at 2018-05-12 11:38 AM | Reply

First 3 posts are all NW.

It's very restricting to view complex problems through a partisan binary lense.

Regardless of how pathetic the GOP behaves, you have to fight that off and still take the focus off that.

#4 | Posted by eberly at 2018-05-12 11:51 AM | Reply

Sure, I can say without a doubt that there is no such thing a objectivity, but I can tell you from personal experience that Evil is as real as concrete - you can reach out and touch it. Not too hard to summon, either. Besides, the human mind wasn't meant to be opened up, it was meant to be filled with the Bible and nailed shut.

#5 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-05-12 12:03 PM | Reply

"American minds are literally trapped in a binary reality. Democrats and Republicans have contracted with each other to keep us that way, locking everyone else out of the discussion."

We willingly reinforce this way of thinking with our national sports fetish. Our team good, your team stinks. I generally speaking find little of value in GOP policies though there is something to be said for their philosophical foundations. It's in their application where I find problems. That said, there is plenty to be critical about with Democratic policies both domestically and internationally. I just can't go along with the argument that self examination is to be discounted or not practiced at all because pointing out the flaws of one side strengthens the other. There lies the downward spiral.

#6 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2018-05-12 12:32 PM | Reply

myopic diatribes of 'the other side is the bad ones'.#1 | Posted by Avigdore at 2018-05-12 08:45 AM

Regardless of how pathetic the GOP behaves - #4 | Posted by eberly at 2018-05-12 11:51 AM
3 hours 6 minutes. About what I expected for a Saturday morning.

#7 | Posted by Avigdore at 2018-05-12 12:34 PM | Reply


"When we're triggered, as little as 60 seconds of breathing deeply can be a powerful way to maintain physiological and emotional equilibrium. You can also do something as simple as getting up from your desk and taking a five- or 10-minute walk. Reacting from emotion tends to make us one-dimensional."

Some helpful advice:

Oprah tells USC grads to fight ‘hysteria' that has gripped politics - thehill.com

Listen to Oprah.

#8 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2018-05-12 12:48 PM | Reply

Whenever I am triggered by seeing a brown person I just dial 911. In a minute the police show up and I calm right down.

#9 | Posted by bored at 2018-05-12 01:04 PM | Reply

#9 It feels so weird when people that shouldn't be racist deflect to a racist statement. But then, the new left thinks the ACLU is a bunch of Nazi's, so I guess thats normal?....

#10 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-05-12 01:42 PM | Reply


"It's very restricting to view complex problems through a partisan binary lense."

Perhaps that's part of the reason I think the way I do.

I don't view the world as 1-0 or 0-1. I see things as 1-1.

I don't see left or right. I see both together as another separate entity. It is a third choice.

Then again, much of my life has been integrating conflicting ideals.

Solving problems is very difficult if you insist on the solution conforming to one particular side.

#11 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2018-05-14 10:29 PM | Reply

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