I’ve just decided to become annoyed with a very common human fallibility. It is, on the grand scale, quite harmless, but I think it proves how stubborn we tend to be in the face of contradictory evidence. Here is what the condition breaks down to: Person 1: Is that “A”? Person 2: No, it is “B.” Person 1: Oh, ’cause I thought it was “A.” Person 2: Yep, I can see how you can make that mistake. But, no, it is “B.” Person 1: Because it looks just like “A.” And when I saw it, I was sure it was “A.” …and so on. Now Person 1 is obviously just trying to make a point about how she confused “A” with “B,” but the problem is that Person 2 isn’t arguing the point. He agrees that “A” could easily be confused with “B.” He is just letting Person 1 know that “B” is in fact “B.” That’s it. No scolding or name-calling. No accusations. And yet, Person 1 desperately needs either to convince Person 2 that “B” should be destroyed /mocked/changed because it looks/sounds/tastes/whatever just like “A,” or she desperately needs to keep talking, since taking in the new information is harder work than rehashing the same concept over and over again. Yes, Person 2 really should say, yes, I understand that you thought “A” was “B.” But it isn’t, so get over it. You don’t need to convince me of your confusion. So I’ve decided to let this bother me. Be warned. If you ever play the part of Person 1 and I am fallen into the role of Person 2, what I will say is, “I know what you thought!!! But it isn’t! Get over it! You don’t need to convince me that you were confused!” Or is that painfully obvious?

4 thoughts on “Restating the obvious

  1. P.S. Who is being more stubborn- person 1 who thinks it is ‘A’, or person 2 who knows it is ‘B’? If it looks, smells and tastes like ‘A’ to person 1- is it not then ‘A’??? And if the multitudes begin to see B as A, what then? Ahhh….now we enter into something else. Is it the multitudes that define, or the individual? If one can answer this, then he can answer your original query. Is it nothing more or less than what one sees at that moment in time- existing for a split second, and then disappearing? Or was A & B ever even there?

  2. Just because Person 1 was unsure of “A” or “B” and Person 2 is sure it’s “B” doesn’t mean it’s “B.” Maybe it really is “A” and Person 1 is open-minded enough to allow for discussion, unlike Person 2 who seems to think themselves very knowledgeable but could, in fact, be a dummy. (I haven’t used the phrase “in fact” or the word “dummy” in such a long time, I felt it was, in fact, the right time to do so, dummy!). There’s a difference between being right and just thinking you’re right. Guinness is good…

  3. You are missing the point. there are indeed things that are just what they are…….black is black white is white and an apple is what it is. There is little point in wasting time devoting serious discussion on whether an apple is truly such…..Jon’s point is that even when it is accepted that someting is what it is….there are still people who insist upon wasting time and power trying to prove that their misconception is valid…when in fact it is not. Peace

  4. i need help. i’m really good at arguing any point…i’ve been really successful in leaving my friends dumbfounded after any arguement. I am now working on a very hard task, and i need some help. I am going to attempt to convince my black friend that he is white. Can you email me back and give me some points on how to get him to actually believe this? if i can pull this one off, i can do anything. thanks bro

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