Saturday, February 6, 2010

Catalysts and Responsibility

Okay, so I don't think this will be as in-depth as I would like it to be,
but I want to get the thought out while I'm thinking about it. I've been
putting this off far too long. This semester is going to either be tough
or require a lot of work, perhaps both, so I figure I'll write now while
I can. And while the topic is fresh in my mind.

Ready for a radical thought?

Disclaimer: I realize fully that there are always exceptions to the rule
and exceptions that prove the rule. Exceptions that prove the rule? Let's
look into that first, shall we?
I wholeheartedly disagree that "to prove" originally meant "to test." You
should know by now that I am no fan of synonyms and this one is especially
irritating. I'll discuss this prove/test synonym problem at a later time.
Remind me.
I do, however, agree with the point that this saying is not about waving
away objections. Using any cliche or any anything in such a way is the abuse
of logic and therefore a logical fallacy. Anything can be abused.
Didn't read this one.

Google showed me a book called "How to Win Every Argument: The Use and Abuse
of Logic," by Madsen Pirie. Hello, Birthday list.

I visited to to look at this book in more detail and a created
list it is on is called "Good Books on Critical Thinking and Taking Better
Decisions." Taking better decisions? Hm. Interesting word use.
" exception establishes that a general rule exists." Okay, that makes
the most sense out of anything. Thanks, Wiki. Professors and teachers should
let us use you with discretion. Obviously an exception would cease to exist
if there was no rule from which it was excepting. Right? That makes sense.
Written in a Dear Abby format. Answer: "Don't you get it? The whole point
of this saying is that it doesn't make sense." Yeah, no.
However, this article does provide more insight into the possibility of the
real cliche to mean prove, not test...based on Latin, "probat."


Ready for a radical thought? Don't forget my disclaimer.

(Disclaimer #2: I have not completely convinced myself on this theory, but
it is certainly interesting and worthwhile to consider. Most everything is
worthy to consider to some degree. Hm. The Worldview Academy "What is Art?"
talk would have something to say about that...thus why I said most everything.)

There are no causes, only catalysts.

Every series of events is a series of catalysts. Not causes, catalysts.

My anti-synonymity plays into this because most would consider cause and
catalyst similar enough to be interchangeable. I do not.

This theory is a combination of my social science-centered education and my
disagreement with Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point" and popular ways of
interpreting the movie, "The Truman Show."

And largely influenced by the fact that I really like the word catalyst.

(I have Apocalyptica stuck in my head.)

I'm finding it difficult to explain what I want to explain. Okay, here goes.

Essentially, you cannot ever pinpoint a cause because, to me, this implies
that such a cause (a very definite, final, concrete word...remember, not
only am I anti-synonym, I'm also is the only cause.
Following with the thesis of The Influence List, there is never just one
cause. A series of causes, perhaps, but this phrase makes me uncomfortable
because of the mixture of word-feeling. I guess it's connotation, but it's
slightly different to me.

I want someone to understand my philosophy on the English language. Some days,
I'm not even sure if I understand it myself...

There is never just one cause. I am not comfortable with calling influences
a series of causes. Therefore, what influences an event or climax or situation
or so on is a series of catalysts.

I really might just really like the word catalyst.

A related thought entered my head earlier this evening... I was thinking
about Sociological influences on one's Psychology. There is a very prevalent
theory within the social sciences, which has not completely convinced me.

Specifically made popular by Sigmund Freud, the theory that one's personality
is very much by one's Sociological interactions with one's parents.

But you know about The Influence List, so I'm obviously not completely opposed
to this idea. However, continuing with the "No causes, catalysts" theory, there
are no causes, simply influences. I suppose I'm pretty close to okay with catalyst
and influence(n.) being interchanged. Eh, maybe.

The implication of this is that Freud's theory would be less strict. The problem
with Freud's theory being so strict is that it is easily abused. The more
extreme, the more easily abused? Yeah, that makes sense. The closer to the
one end of a continuum, the easier it is to make it even more extreme (abuse).

I really like the word continuum.

The problem with Freud's strict theory is that it is easily abused and people
abuse it and make it function as a scapegoat. "I can't handle stress because my
parents...," "I'm afraid of commitment because my parents...," "I'm shy because
people...," etc. Soon everything can be a scapegoat. This is not okay.

So, instead, I propose that sociological interactions do not function as
psychological causes. They are simply influences. What you choose to do with
that influence, how you choose to allow that influence to impact you, is wholly
up to you.

Therefore, it is not anyone's fault, but rather your responsibility.

There are no causes, only catalysts.

It is not anyone's fault, simply your responsibility.

1 comment:

The Balcony Lady said...

most excellent explanation. you set up your thoughts well as you led us to your conclusion.