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BS: How to be open-minded

Spleen Cringe 20 Apr 09 - 06:50 AM
alanabit 20 Apr 09 - 01:03 PM
Alice 20 Apr 09 - 01:18 PM
kendall 20 Apr 09 - 01:46 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Apr 09 - 01:50 PM
jacqui.c 20 Apr 09 - 02:15 PM
Mrrzy 20 Apr 09 - 02:39 PM
Emma B 20 Apr 09 - 02:54 PM
High Hopes (inactive) 20 Apr 09 - 02:55 PM
3refs 20 Apr 09 - 03:15 PM
Bill D 20 Apr 09 - 04:41 PM
Ref 20 Apr 09 - 05:58 PM
Emma B 20 Apr 09 - 05:59 PM
katlaughing 20 Apr 09 - 06:10 PM
Bill D 20 Apr 09 - 07:27 PM
Bobert 20 Apr 09 - 07:48 PM
John Hardly 20 Apr 09 - 08:19 PM
Uncle_DaveO 20 Apr 09 - 09:25 PM
John Hardly 20 Apr 09 - 09:45 PM
Bill D 20 Apr 09 - 10:31 PM
Bill D 20 Apr 09 - 10:39 PM
GUEST, Ebbie 21 Apr 09 - 01:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 Apr 09 - 08:15 AM
Bill D 21 Apr 09 - 01:03 PM
katlaughing 21 Apr 09 - 01:10 PM
Desert Dancer 21 Apr 09 - 01:26 PM
Claymore 21 Apr 09 - 01:49 PM
Peace 21 Apr 09 - 02:17 PM
John Hardly 21 Apr 09 - 03:04 PM
Spleen Cringe 21 Apr 09 - 03:40 PM
Donuel 21 Apr 09 - 03:43 PM
Wolfgang 21 Apr 09 - 04:36 PM
Uncle_DaveO 21 Apr 09 - 05:50 PM
John Hardly 21 Apr 09 - 06:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Apr 09 - 07:41 PM
Bill D 21 Apr 09 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,astro 22 Apr 09 - 06:07 PM
John Hardly 22 Apr 09 - 06:22 PM
Emma B 22 Apr 09 - 06:46 PM
katlaughing 22 Apr 09 - 07:40 PM
Donuel 23 Apr 09 - 12:24 PM
John Hardly 23 Apr 09 - 01:10 PM
Donuel 23 Apr 09 - 02:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Apr 09 - 02:26 PM
The Sandman 24 Apr 09 - 11:18 AM
Desert Dancer 24 Apr 09 - 11:28 AM
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Subject: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 06:50 AM

How to be open-minded

Great stuff. Found it on the Science Punk website.

Enjoy...


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: alanabit
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 01:03 PM

I enjoyed that!


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Alice
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 01:18 PM

That was a nice little tutorial on critical thinking.
I'm sharing it with others. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: kendall
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 01:46 PM

I have three right wing cement heads to send this to.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 01:50 PM

Very interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: jacqui.c
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 02:15 PM

Nice!


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 02:39 PM

Very well thought through!


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Emma B
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 02:54 PM

well one start would be for catters, who have the temerity to
disagree with others subjective opinions about a performance, not to be termed 'cynics and nay-sayers simmer(ing) in their own bile'


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: High Hopes (inactive)
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 02:55 PM

three right wing cement heads

are they the same as left-wing airheads?


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: 3refs
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 03:15 PM

Uppers and Downers, that's why I usually prefer Inbetweeners!


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 04:41 PM

my-my--my! He got into less than 10 minutes what I have spent hours typing here for 8-9 years!
Of course, those who DO still 'believe' in ghosts, Tarot, reincarnation, alien encounters, OOB experiences, astrology, various religions, conspiracy theories and elves in the garden - will simply fall back on "We just don't have ALL the evidence yet..." or "you can't prove it isn't true, and *I* know what I experienced!"....all of which misses the point the little video makes.

Ah well...it's a nice place to send folks to get a succinct version of the basic point.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Ref
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 05:58 PM

Pharyngula (P. Z. Myers' blog) also linked to this last week. My first reaction was "Open-minded? On THIS website?!"


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Emma B
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 05:59 PM

second 'laff' tonight - can't be bad :)


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 06:10 PM

Well, I'd have a word or two about his gross generalisations, but then I'd get shot down by a lot of smug smarties, so...I guess I will continue on as close-minded as he seems to think I must be...or the legions of me, that is...and the earth is flat, too...


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 07:27 PM

*grin*,,, Youa culpa?

I, of course, (being probably on the list as one of the smug smarties ) would be interested in exactly where the 'gross generalisations' are.

Remember, nothing he said or I have said disproves any of the items in my list..all he is discussing is a way of approaching, testing and discussing proposed 'fact'.

What he said is mostly a defense for skeptics against being called "close minded".


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 07:48 PM

Kendall beat me to it... Okay, we might not have the same three cement heads in mind but I'd guess that we'd agree on two of the three...


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: John Hardly
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 08:19 PM

strangely flawed. I'm surprised that the likes of Bill D doesn't see it that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 09:25 PM

The video is true in its way, but it's rather simplistic, and preachy to boot, methinks. The narration's style is, to my way of thinking, the equivalent of the comic book illustrations.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: John Hardly
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 09:45 PM

I think we like to systematize knowledge for two basic reasons.

1. so that we can learn more and remember more of what we learn.
2. so that we can feel better about the stuff we don't know.

As to the second: We seem to take comfort in the feeling that if something was important enough to be worth our time to learn, it would or could have already been systematized so that we could learn it. This notion itself is (somewhat comically) circular. In other words, implicit in the probability that something worth knowing would already be systematized is the notion that even systematizing is systematized. And it is. But some systems are more accepted than other systems.

And systems sometimes seem to be sort of like a project of assembling a multiple part puzzle. Often we work for a very long time, can tell we're nearing the end, and then we realize there's a piece or two left over that can't be made to fit externally, but rather might require starting over. But the project LOOKS complete (if we can find a way of destroying the evidence of incompleteness – the leftover piece(s)).

And in real life, when it's not just a puzzle, but rather, a real bit of evidence that just maybe the system under which we've assembled all our knowledge such as to hold it all conveniently usable has a weak spot or two, we may be under even greater pressure to hide, or hide from that evidence.

Maybe it's professional pressure. Maybe our employment is with a system manager (so to speak) and further investigation of weak spots may not just rock the boat, but throw us overboard.

Maybe its age with its alternating smugness and weariness. One day we're pretty content with our choice of system, and quite comforted by our surety that our system is better than their system (carefully making such comparative assessments while purposely avoiding the alternative systems that MIGHT challenge our smugness). And the next day, we're just too tired to even think about starting over with a new set of assumptions.

It's rarely about finding truth. It's mostly about comfort. And old folk want comfort most of all -- after all, they have the most to lose in the discovery that the bed they made isn't really up to the task of holding their weight for the long sleep.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 10:31 PM

Uncle Dave... what you say is true, but sometimes comic book illustrations are all that get THRU to some people.

If "The video is true in its way,... ", then it has some merit. Certainly the long, complex, philosophical explanations of the basis of Scientific Method and the fallacies inherent in most 'believers' exhortations to "open mindedness" don't get thru very well.

What we are up against is the unwillingness of many people to hear any argument that counters any of their cherished positions/beliefs.

   The part of the cartoonish video that notes that many people are quite willing to see the point when it is about something they DISagree with, but not about their own sacred cows, is right on.

As long as folks Gerrymander logic to suit their predisposed ideas, we can never even have a serious discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 10:39 PM

It's 10:30 PM here, and I have wood to turn tomorrow--gotta turn my open mind OFF.... g'night


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: GUEST, Ebbie
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 01:45 AM

Hmmmm. I had a different reaction to the lecture- I thought him simplistic to an extreme, beating a right drum on the dead horse. (Oh, dear. I suddenly recalled the story of the 21 dead horses. I have no doubt but that it was something in their meds or in their grain. I would hate to think it was sabotage.)

Anyway, to me it felt like he was addressing fifth grade students, trying hard to keep their interest.

By the way, I keep seeing the title as 'open mouthed'.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 08:15 AM

Load of rubbish. I don't believe a word of it...

:D (eG)


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 01:03 PM

"...simplistic to an extreme, ..."

Hmmm..interesting reaction - much like a couple of others. I worry about how John Hardly seems to suggest that it is flawed because many people just don't care about BEING open-minded. (Is that what you are saying, JH?)

So far, no comment on my opinion that the message is accurate, no matter the cartoonish nature or the level it may be aimed at.

He used repetition, examples, clear language.
What else can he do?
He's not trying to prove or disprove anything about various beliefs (though you might infer what his opinions might be), he is merely showing **why** skeptics react to certain claims as they do.

Early in the thread, several folks appreciated the way it was done, as I did.
I truly wonder why later comments did not.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 01:10 PM

Well, he made assumptions about people whom he believes are not open-minded, imo. (Wasn't going to touch that with a ten foot pole...eww...I think a crack of light just snuck in!)


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 01:26 PM

I agree, it was a good defense of skepticism. I can see how some might feel he painted the other side with a broad brush, but I think you have to see it as a description of those who would call rational skeptics "closed-minded," which is not necessarily everyone else.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Claymore
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 01:49 PM

BillD:

I supect that the later posts became critcal of it when the thought occured that one of the first posts on "open-thinking" stated there are several "cement heads" that ought to see this dicussion of open-mindedness. (Full disclosure: I was NOT able to open the site with this rat-brained computer).

But Bill if you thing of the gross miscalculation or lack of introspection required to make that statement, it is mind boogling, or after a long period on the Mudcat, mind-numbing (but very typical).

"Here is some input on open-mindedness which those three close-minded bastards on the other side must read to see how open-minded I obviously am."

As I said before, it says more about that posters politics, than his intellect. And, as you might notice, it is a complete closed loop of logic, admitting no other interpretation...


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Peace
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 02:17 PM

Open-minded ain't all it's cracked up to be . . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: John Hardly
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 03:04 PM

(Is that what you are saying, JH?)

No. I'm saying that he's still not defining being open-minded. He's just confirming what one narrow-thinking, narrow-minded group wants to believe about another group that may or may not be equally narrow-thinking/narrow-minded. But, of course, we'd never know if it is equally narrow-minded or less narrow-minded because, in perfect strawman fashion, he has defined the other group for them and for us.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 03:40 PM

I suspect some of you have watched a different clip! This one doesn't attack or pigeonhole anyone - it simply and reasonably straightforwardly refutes the notion that skepticism equates with closed-mindedness. For anyone whose been treated like a pariah for politely declining to affirm a particular alternative or new age worldview - and it happens a lot in the real world, helped on by (amongst other things) lazy journalism, greedy enterpreneurs and a population desperately seeking health and happiness - I think it is strangely reassuring. I'm happy for people to believe what they want, as long as it doesn't harm others. Just don't ask me to agree... as I said to a client recently, when I was taking him to see his psychiatrist because he wanted to get his medication reduced, "just don't mention the aliens"...

I do agree that you're not going to win over hearts and minds by calling people cement heads or coming across as superior or supercilious or whatever, but happily this clip does not fall into those traps. I do wonder sometimes, though, if when I say, "I'm sorry, but I can't share your beliefs," there is an assumption by some listeners that I'm silently adding, "and I think they're really shit"...


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Donuel
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 03:43 PM

First you have to become familiar with ideas that differ from your own.

Then you have to study their evidence/argument.


for example I listen to FOX or Rush or the John Birch Society... but I draw the line at Rev. Dobson.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 04:36 PM

Just a couple of weeks ago, a lady has called me "not open-minded" because I had dared to call what she considers psychic counseling cold reading. And it wasn't even good cold reading. To a male client who was a bit shy and introverted she said "You are not working in a social type of work, are you?", to which he replied "Actually, I am a social worker". Twenty seconds later on the video she said "I sense a social touch in you". I hope the TV people don't edit that blooper.

The natural follow-up to the "You're not open-minded" statement is the "Have you ever changed your opinion on something" which she gave me then. "Quite often" I said but we still didn't become friends.

The linked video is a bit too preachy and force-down your throat for my taste though the logic is sound.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 05:50 PM

The linked video is a bit too preachy and force-down your throat for my taste though the logic is sound.

Exactly.

And it's too confrontational, especially given the choice(s) of particular beliefs, and the particular phrasing of many of the "skeptic's" comments.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: John Hardly
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 06:50 PM

The logic is not sound. Almost from the beginning example it is strawman argumentation. And then it's preachy on top of that.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 07:41 PM

It seems to me that Chesterton got it about right - "Merely having an open mind is nothing; the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid."


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 08:24 PM

Thank you, Spleen Cringe....

Several have called it 'preachy' or the equivalent. That can be a criticism of 'tone' or of attitude, but not of content. (Some folks go to church to BE preached at, and don't consider it an imposition.)

John Hardly at least makes a clear claim about the logic & content, though I disagree about it being a 'straw man' argument. (wishing I had a transcript, rather than just sound to cite details).

It begins with a comment about 'folks who DO believe in non-scientific concepts' calling those who don't "closed minded". It then asserts this is a mis-understanding of what 'open-minded' and what 'science' really is, and that, on the contrary, *can* even show 'close-mindedness'. (Note 'can'..not 'always does') Most of the rest is just an elaboration of those assertions...with illustrations.

In fact, the assertions made be the video can also be a reminder TO skeptics to treat the assertions or beliefs of others with due thought and not dismiss them out of hand.

The point is, assertions & claims DO require evidence...except to those who already basically believe the ideas already. I personally, many times, have been told directly that I "need to open my mind" to certain inputs, and that if I did, I might see them better. My answer was 'you mean, I need to believe in order to believe?

   I'm sorry that the guy was quite so 'preachy', but I doubt that a gentler, more 'subdued' version would get any better response from some.

(and if you eliminate the 'cement heads' comment, are YOU any more convinced of the basic approach?)


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: GUEST,astro
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 06:07 PM

Being a scientist, it is difficult to discuss popular belief or myth in a scientific way to those who are not trained to look at things that way. I can be patient when I do that though, knowing that those individuals may still have something worthwhile to say. To believe that all scientists are non-religious and that all religious are non-scientific is simplistic.

The only thing that I can quibble about in this cartoon is that this paints those who are "non-scientific" as closed minded (while trying to show that those who are scientific are not) that they seem somewhat closed minded in their own beliefs. There seems to be an implicit description of close minded beliefs in the examples given.

I have seen close minded individuals in both worlds (scientific and religious) and they are usually tiresome people. Preaching what is true and condemning what they know is not true. I would hope that we all have a healthy dose of scepticism of our own beliefs, at least enough to be humble...remember a scientific law is a law until we find a contradiction in nature...

astro


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: John Hardly
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 06:22 PM

Well said, astro.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Emma B
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 06:46 PM

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Hey it's the ol' guy's birthday in 15 mins BST!


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 07:40 PM

Thanks, astro, that's what I would like to have said...not having the degree and not having a written transcript to quote, I demurred.:-) Thanks to you, too, John Hardly.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Apr 09 - 12:24 PM

The you tube presentation is a dry outline yet informative.

I prefer the approach that the Daily show takes when it gives concrete example of propogandists pandering to a closed minded audience by showing the repetition of false yet identical talking points by different personalities in different settings.

I think we all get that closed minded people are arrogant presumptive and potentionaly dangerous.

We might assume that having an open mind that allows for more valid facts and ideas to be accepted leads to a hppier and more succesful life.

The crumbling of our economy and the Enronization of America might lead us to believe that closed mindedness does not serve us well.
But suppose someone devised an experiment where one group accepted and believed everything that Rush LImbaugh said and acted upon every action he dictated as well as following every dictate from their local Evangelical Church...and the other group was encouraged to look at both sides of every issue with all the provisos reccomended in the you tube video.   After a year it would be interesting to see if life satisfaction was significantly higher in one group or the other.

Hmm I've always heard that ignorance is bliss. People I know continue to vote and act against their own best interest.
On the other hand there is great satisfaction in making a needed and honorable change whether you are a minority of one or in a large group yet I have found that the price paid for bucking the system is usually a bitter pill to swallow.
Which group do you think would be happier?


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: John Hardly
Date: 23 Apr 09 - 01:10 PM

"But suppose someone devised an experiment where one group accepted and believed everything that Rush LImbaugh said and acted upon every action he dictated as well as following every dictate from their local Evangelical Church...and the other group was encouraged to look at both sides of every issue with all the provisos reccomended in the you tube video.   After a year it would be interesting to see if life satisfaction was significantly higher in one group or the other."

You question itself implies a closed-minded presuppositional point of view. You are so certain of your strawmen that you cannot be convinced that you are using them.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Apr 09 - 02:01 PM

It may not be an important or relevant question but it did cross my mind with some curiousity. Actually I don't know from straw ,stick or mudmen. Only mudcats

To be more succinct, do you think closed minded people are happier than open minded people.







I suspect that most people are happier not knowing even when given a chance to know. In my canvassing days I learned that many people preferred not to know if the water in thier neighborhood was dangerous or not. It seemed to me that they probably assumed the worst and shrugged thinking "what can you do".

For myself I welcome any knowledge and wisdom that opens my mind be it scientific or self dicovered.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Apr 09 - 02:26 PM

Look at all sides, and on that basis decide what seems like the truth, and stick with that until there's good reason to change in the light of fresh information.

There's a quote attributed to Einstein "Insanity is defined as repeating the same behavior and expecting a different result", and essentially that's the same position.


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 11:18 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: BS: How to be open-minded
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 11:28 AM

It's hard to present a defense without being defensive... both sides are guilty, here.


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