Ideas I hate

I was talking to Susan this morning about ideas I hate and can be counted on to attack on sight:

  • Evolutionary psychology — used to relieve us of responsibility for everyday human behaviors and shut down possibilities of changing them. Or worse — used as a surrogate for observation of firsthand experience.
  • Behavioral economics — used as a way to bypass conscious agency to manipulate behaviors
  • Cognitive bias — used to replace personal judgment with calculations of technical formalities. Somehow it never occurs to cognitive bias obsessives that they are biased in where they look for bias or who is qualified to help them detect or correct their biases.
  • Unconscious objects — imagery of submerged or suppressed thoughts has mislead our psychology for two long. Unwanted thoughts are not already present under the surface — they are constantly re-produced by corrupt faiths.

In general, I despise all concepts interposed between ourselves and our experiences.

Concepts are valuable when they offer us new angles from which we can experience reality and potentially understand it differently. And of course they are helpful when they allow us to relate experiences across time, place and persons so we can think them and talk about them.

But when concepts become substitutes for our experiences or even displace and replace what we experience, they are not only unhelpful for the practical conduct of life, they alienate us from ourselves. Similarly, if we try to adopt concepts that cannot be reconciled with the conceptions of reality we have developed through firsthand reflection they threaten our intellectual integrity with fractures, contradictions and chunks of uncomprehended conviction (notions we regard as true despite not understanding them).

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