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On fogheadedness - Input Junkie
October 18th, 2011
11:17 am


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On fogheadedness
[personal profile] twistedchick points out that there's a connection between policies that drive away undocumented people and shortages of produce.

Article about how pervasive the situation is.

Anyway, [personal profile] groovesinorbit asked "What exactly did these idiots passing these laws think was going to happen?".

It's easy to snark, but I have some experience of being a fool that might be worth sharing.

Part of it is that it took me years, maybe even a small number of decades, to understand what "politics is the art of the possible" might mean. Before that, I thought the idea was just to get things right.

Also, there's a bit in Idris Shah about needing time, place, and people to get an idea across. That made me jump in a useful way because it broke the belief that just being right is enough.

So, what did they think would happen? I'm guessing that they thought their principles were so good that they didn't need to think about consequences very carefully. They probably believed that Americans would take those jobs, not realizing either how awful the working conditions are or that it's skilled work which requires physical conditioning.

"We have to control our borders" and "they broke our laws" seem to have a powerful hypnotic effect. There may also be an underlying belief that one's gut reactions (especially about defending territory) are good enough.

I don't know what, if anything, tends to get people out of the "my generalizations feel right so they must be right, and paying attention to the details is too much work" trance.

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[User Picture]
Date:October 18th, 2011 06:52 pm (UTC)
I've never found anything that breaks that trance, but it's usually safe anyway, because most of the time we don't manage to falsify our assumptions on social issues.

(that's one reason I kinda scoff at the term "social science:" doing controlled experiments on social stuff is hard. Isolating variables. Repeating results)
[User Picture]
Date:October 18th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
I just began The Science of Fear--though now it's interrupted by reading The Things They Carry to help a student with an assignment--and it has good stuff about the conflict between the decisions made by the more emotional brain and the more rational brain. The former is faster--which makes sense in terms of evolution--but is incredibly unreliable. Once it's made a decision, it can be hard to over-rule that rationally. So I'd say this confirms, "There may also be an underlying belief that one's gut reactions (especially about defending territory) are good enough."

I'm reminded of two intact male rats, lonely but unable to co-exist with each other because they're determined to defend their territory. (See icon, Felix and Pluto of years ago.) If only we had the equivalent of neutering in that case.
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