twodoors.jpgBy now every­one on the in­ter­net has read Ron Suskind’s Without a Doubt which was pub­lished in the New York Times. The whole ar­ti­cle sort of hinges on one quote and you prob­a­bly know which one it is.

The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the re­al­i­ty-based com­mu­ni­ty,” which he de­fined as peo­ple who “be­lieve that so­lu­tions emerge from your ju­di­cious study of dis­cernible re­al­i­ty.” I nod­ded and mur­mured some­thing about en­light­en­ment prin­ci­ples and em­piri­cism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world re­al­ly works any­more,” he con­tin­ued. “We’re an em­pire now, and when we act, we cre­ate our own re­al­i­ty. And while you’re study­ing that re­al­i­ty-ju­di­cious­ly, as you will-we’ll act again, cre­at­ing oth­er new re­al­i­ties, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s ac­tors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

This trou­bles me. Not the specifics, but the gen­er­al in­tent. To as­sume that one has the MMO nec­es­sary to ‘cre­ate a new re­al­i­ty’ is quite ar­ro­gant. What fright­ens me even more about this bas­tardiza­tion of faith is that it dis­re­gards all ef­fects of its ac­tions, ef­fects on the cur­rent re­al­i­ty mean noth­ing be­cause the new re­al­i­ty is all that mat­ters; but this isn’t a new re­al­i­ty, it is just one that doesn’t feel cul­pa­ble. This seems to be the ul­ti­mate type of spin. I can’t even re­al­ly talk in­tel­li­gent­ly about this be­cause it sticks in my craw so much. Now, I’m not say­ing I agree with Suskind, just that the con­cept I men­tion re­al­ly freaks me out.

Another dilem­ma: When try­ing to reach a com­pro­mise with some­one who doesn’t want to com­pro­mise, they take your ar­gu­ment, throw it back at you and want to hold you to your own stan­dards while not agree­ing to do it them­self.


1: Please be qui­et.

2: I don’t want to be qui­et. Why don’t you stop com­plain­ing?

1: I will stop com­plain­ing if you’d just be qui­et.

2: You first.

1: If I stop com­plain­ing will you be qui­et?

2: You first.

How do you deal with this sit­u­a­tion?