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What We’re They Thinking?

asdfWhen I first read the quote by Tina Rosenberg, I thought it was a joke but upon doing a little research I discovered it wasn’t and I had to remind myself to breathe. Apparently, in Ms Rosenberg’s mind if you’re heterosexual woman you’re a traitor to your gender.

Maggie is a bit uncomfortable about this because she doesn’t like to see herself as a revolutionary.

I’m not exactly sure how Tina Rosenberg arrives at the conclusion that following the genetic wiring of your body is somehow a traitorous act but she’s not alone in her belief. Feminist Andrea Dorkin said that heterosexual sex itself is rape. I gather that Ms Dorkin is unaware of the fact that rape is an act of violence, anger and control rather than merely a sexual activity and that both heterosexuals and gays can be raped.

Thinking – or more accurately – the lack of thought by people like Ms Dorkin and Ms Rosenberg, trivialize profound issues with petty political perspectives and bias. Others inflate the trivial into the illusion of something profound but in the end, it always comes down to the same thing. The lack of thought behind the opinion is the only profound thing about the opinion.The_Thinker_Rodin-2-713279[1]

I often write about the fact that too many of us don’t take the time to think these days but I have to tell you, my friends, there are also those who walk among us who think just a little too much although unfortunately, seldom very effectively. They have a brain wave – or perhaps a brain fart – think it’s a brilliant idea but never go beyond the concept to determine what the consequences, if any, might be.

I wrote yesterday about some in Canada wanting to give voting rights to non-citizens and I’ve had a number of people contact me to tell me that they don’t have a problem with it.

How very egalitarian of them.

It’s the kind of reaction that has about as much thought behind it as that of Toronto City Council and the Premier of Ontario, both who seem to have forgotten that the terms of permanent residency status are set by the federal government and cannot be arbitrarily changed at the provincial level.

But it did get me thinking that if some people think that citizenship shouldn’t be a qualifier for voting in elections; why should any form of membership be a qualifier for voting on anything anywhere?

Of course, the unions won’t like it. They don’t permit anyone to vote on a contract unless they’re a member of the union. In fact, in Canada, they don’t even allow people to work for a unionized company unless they’re members. Nonetheless, many union members are quite content to allow non-citizens to vote in government elections. But the truth is that any union contract has a direct impact on other stakeholders including management, customers and shareholders.

rentIf we follow the laser-like think of Toronto City Council, all of those stakeholders should be permitted to vote on union contracts.

Instead, we see the kind of fuzzy logic that precludes politicians from seeing any contradiction in restricting voting in a municipal election to residents of their city but expanding voting to non-citizens of the country. You have to work pretty hard to rationalize that level of stupidity.

You see this illusion of thinking virtually every day in the mainstream and across social media. Just take five minutes, go to any newspaper’s web site and read the comments below a random news story or opinion piece. It will take less time to realize that the ability to think critically or even consistently has become a lost art than it will to log in to your Facebook account. Two or three comments ought to be enough to confirm that for even the most obtuse among us.

I believe it is partly because people just can’t be bothered to do a little research or at least get informed before they form an opinion – they react emotionally and move on to the next issue. You can always tell these folks because they start the first sentence in their opinion with “I feel…” rather than with “I think…” For them, feelings are more important than thoughts.

Our brains are powerful, highly complex organic computers capable of an ability to conceptualize beyond anything available frombrain-alive-11-300x225 Microsoft or Apple. If our brain was only meant to run the body, it wouldn’t have required the analytical capabilities that it has but it does have those capabilities which I believe are being allowed to atrophy in too many cases.

“I think therefore I am!”

It is this ability to think beyond the moment, to think in the abstract and to think conceptually that separates us from other species.

You could wait a long time for my dog Jasper to develop any concept beyond pooping, eating and sleeping. He and his pal Sasha the black lab up the street will never come up with concepts that might address some of the socio-economic and other issues we’re facing these days but then, they aren’t even aware of those issues.

Basically wherever their noses lead them is pretty much what they believe at the time and usually that’s from tree to tree and then to each other’s butts.

Sadly, they are not unlike many on social media who vociferously voice their opinions.

It’s easy to distinguish these folks in the herd. They’re the ones who very quickly get angry and resort to name-calling when they are challenged on the facts. They resent that someone would believe that facts are relevant to forming an opinion and dislike having them brought into the argument.

With other folks, it’s just a pathological need to prove their intellectual superiority but the simple fact is that arrogance is a poor substitute for knowledge or ability.

computational-thinkingThat’s how we end up with an endless supply of seemingly intelligent people accusing those who didn’t support Barrack Obama’s reelection as being racist rather than opposed to his policies and performance – which, by the way – many of his ‘non-racist’ supporters now also now criticize and oppose.

It’s how a United States Senator makes the comment that the female body is genetically programmed to prevent pregnancy when she has been raped as a defense against extending abortion rights to the victims of rape who become pregnant. He apparently never stopped to ask himself how that happened if her body is programmed to prevent it.

It’s how environmentalists continue to rush about claiming the end is nigh as a result of global warming when scientists including many at NASA and connected to the United Nations have now acknowledged that the earth’s temperature hasn’t actually increased for the past 17 years. The models upon which all the hysteria was based were apparently flawed – as was much of the thinking of many in the environmental movement. But then, that’s what you get for thinking that people like Al Gore and David Suzuki are actually authorities on the subject rather than mere opportunists.

Sadly, it’s also how you end up with parents endangering the health and well-being of their children by refusing to vaccinate them because of a fraudulent study conducted by a now disgraced British researcher that claimed vaccinations were linked to autism. They aren’t and the World Health Organization and pretty much every federal health organization in the developed world tried to tell people that – but – they weren’t listening because that might involve having to think and thinking is hard.

It is very hard at times but not as hard as cleaning up the mess caused by a lack of critical thought and there is always a mess because people didn’t stop and think.

What were you thinking? Too often, many weren’t thinking anything at all. They were too busy feeling or pontificating.

This is particularly true with governments who just plow ahead without any regard for the unintended consequences of their actions and there are an awful lot of unintended consequences these days. Politicians never seem to learn from their past mistakes or failed decisions and so we continue to live and relive their mistakes over and over and over again.

All of that to say, that after considerable research and thought I have decided that even if it makes me a gender traitor, I am comfortable with being heterosexual. I like women – especially the woman in my life, Maggie and I am damn happy she’s a traitor to her gender.

Quite frankly she is the gender revolutionary who makes my life worth living.

I don’t consider my gay friends and family to be gender traitors or heroes either – just normal folks trying to get on with life just like me. I don’t have an issue with sexual orientation because I don’t see it as an issue although, to be honest, I do draw the line when it comes to people having sex with animals, no matter how attractive or sexy the goat might be.

We’re people and it doesn’t get much simpler – or more equal – than that.

Hopefully, more folks will rediscover the value of real thinking before all of us become equally stupid – but I have to tell you, my friends, I believe it’s going to be close.

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  • Wandering Mind

    As it happens, this was sent to me this AM. I think I found Ms Rosenberg’s partner. That or another world class idiot. ‘Pinkwashing’ Conference Head Claims Dissenters are ‘Israeli Operatives’ http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/134712/pinkwashing-sarah-schulman You have to read the article. It’s like living inside a Salvador Dali painting.

    • MaggiesBear

      Some people confuse equality with the right to oppress and some confuse the opportunity to think as an excuse to be clueless. We’re in a lot of trouble.

      • Wandering Mind

        Take that to the bank, into the huge deposit account. What concerns me most is hubris and full blown narcissism. ‘Look at me’ tiumps everything else and the phony “I cares’ are worn like Joan of Arc’s piety- as if any. display of emotion is proof of caring and therefore constitutes a validation of the cause.

        Emotion is now a virtue, regardless of the cause. (e.g., Nazism as righteous so as to ‘save the race’ . Eradication of the other is alright as long s teh claim is a ‘righteous’ self defense). The common good gives way to the individuals ‘feelings’..

        • MaggiesBear

          I should have got you to write this article. You’re bang on again. There is an unbelievable level of self-absorption (It’s all about me) which has led to a level of arrogance and self-centred sanctimony fromtoo many these days.

          I feel it therefore it must be true. Nobody bothers to look beyond what’s trending or written in Wikipedia.

          I actually saw a post the other day from a university student that said in effect that just because they didn’t spell or use proper grammar didn’t mean they were illiterate and just because they didn’t know some fundamental things like geography or history didn’t mean they were stupid.

          A mind is a terrible thing to waste but it isn’t stopping many folks out there from wasting the one they were given.

          • Wandering Mind

            Check your bearsrant email.

  • Randy

    Many excellent points in this article. There are too many people that express their opinion or belief on a matter, who are intolerant of another persons opinion or belief on the same subject if it does not agree with their own. Name calling, a feeling of superiority and a general high mindedness is usually the result.
    Ms. Rosenberg must be smart enough to realize that biology dictates that even she was created by a man and a woman, whether she likes it or not. If she would like to have a little Ms. Rosenberg, a male or a part from him will be involved in the process. Her thoughts however insinuate that anyone who disagrees with her
    is wrong or inferior.
    We would be a much better place if people could realize that there are many sides
    to a problem or position, with many people not agreeing with each other BUT respecting each other’s views on the said position. That is critical thinking…..

    • MaggiesBear

      Tina Rosenberg is, as you might have guessed, an academic as well as a radical, lesbian feminist. Her comment is more metaphorical than statement of fact and was, no doubt meant to be provocative. It is, however, the kind of statement that betrays heavily narrow thinking and we see it all the time.

      I see so many comparisons of politicians to Hitler these days that I’m surprised we’re not surrounded by thugs in brown shirts. The fact is that most who do the comparison have no clue about the history of the rise and fall of Hitler and his Nazi regime. It’s merely an emotional reaction.Hitler was evil- I hate this guy over here; therefore he’s like Hitler.

      It isn’t thought, it’s emotional reaction.

  • sebanders

    A few days ago there was a debate on Ron Corbett’s show on CFRA between “opinionators”, and the topic of discussion was “Did Steve Jobs ruin the world?”

    The first “opinionator” went on a rampage rant about how Jobs did, in fact, ruin the world, humanity, anything and everything to do with thinking by inventing the iPhone the iPad, etc. He was so outraged at the havoc that Jobs had wreaked on humanity that I thought he was going to blow a valve. And all this time I thought Stephen Harper was responsible for that. Who knew?

    The counter “opinionator” of course refuted everything his opponent had said, which did not require much thought since it was obviously wrong, not just because I disagreed with the first “opinionator” but rather because it was more of an emotional rant instead of a well thought out view on the subject.

    People’s lack of ability to think is no surprise to me. I deal with that every single day out there in the real world that Steve Jobs destroyed, and on line right here in cyber world on my Macbook Pro that he is responsible for having brought into my life. And the obvious source of this unthinking world is the product of our educational institutions from kindergarten right on up to post graduate studies.

    Nothing in the universe is equal. There is no such thing as equality, in anything. And yet, educators and other “do gooders” have been trying for decades to inculcate the principle of equality by destroying the concept of individual achievement in everything from academia to sports to politics. Dissent is not acceptable. “Resistance is futile” as the Borgs would say. You name it and they will try to find a way to bring everything down to a common denominator. Fortunately for humanity, we have rebels who refuse to conform to that ideology, people who think, people like Steve Jobs.

    • MaggiesBear

      Actually, Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Equality does exist, we’ve just lost our sense of balance.