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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Over-Simplifying

In an animated conversation last night, I heard myself offering an over-simplified explanation to a complex issue being discussed. And even though I know better, sometimes the temptation to do this is hard to resist, isn't it?

Like most of us, I have some favorites. For example, when a conversation is about money and/or inequality in our economic system, my kneejerk simplification is that greed is the root of the problem. If I heard someone in the media making a pronouncement like this, I'd call them a dunce. If someone I was conversing with over-simplified to this degree, I'd try to point out some nuances the person was overlooking. I want others to do the same for me, including pointing out any over-simplifying detected on this blog.

It's possible we fall into this habit because the problems in our world can be overwhelming. I know at times I crave simple answers as a coping mechanism. It's harmless so long as I remember to re-visit the questions later when I can better handle complexity.
 

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