Why The Middle Ground Isn’t Reason

Negotiating is dumb isn’t it?

Two people are bullshitting and both know it. Two extreme anchors are set, so when they end up in the middle both parties leave feeling good.

The same thing happens when we reason. We feel like we’ve conducted thinking if we take the middle ground.

In a debate we assume our favourite ideas are placed there for a reason. Lots of people have thought hard about this stuff. Maybe they have. But dig deeper into the origins of any belief and it’s more like a bottomless laundry basket. The anchors for these beliefs are probably more arbitrary than we’d like to think. Perhaps they’re built on holograms.

The middle-ground between a Sun God or Leviathan as the universe’s creator is dumb. We’re better than that, but in 1000 years our current intellectual negotiations will seem dumb too – why were the anchors (arguments) put there?

Two bonfires are lit in the desert at night. I don’t know why you would stand in the middle of two fires but now the visual is in your head.

Who put them there? Why there?

If two ideas are correctly anchored you could stand anywhere along the spectrum, anywhere between the bonfires – grey thinking.

If a woman tries to blackmail a celebrity by saying they slept together, but they’ve never actually met. You’d put out one fire and stand by the other one.

If the anchors were the Sun God and the Leviathan you could stand anywhere in the desert and who knows how big it is.

There’s nothing inherently juicy about the middle.


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https://www.flickr.com/photos/gullevek/ (Image)