Convincing Ourselves the Real is the Ideal

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ISTOCK image in WSJ

Hopeful science thought for the New Year (from Dr. Helen Fisher on edge.org via the WSJ):

“Natural selection [favors] those who responded negatively to the one malevolent intruder, rather than positively to myriad friendly guests.”

But, “happily-in-love long-term partners [overlook] the negative to focus on the positive aspects of their marital relationships—… ‘positive illusions.’ … We humans are able to convince ourselves that the real is the ideal.”

“The neural roots of tolerance, mercy and pardon may live deep in the human psyche.”

Happy New Year, especially you who survived and thrived in long-term, loving relationships.

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The Politics of Tyrannies

What do Vladimir Putin, American “progressives” and the Tea Party have in common?

Tactics.

All seek to dissuade opposition by bullying. Shouting, ad hominem attacks and dirty tricks replace discourse and tolerance. People with a poor sense of history don’t know that before the Holocaust, Hitler honed his bullying tactics on his political opposition before turning on the Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies and the church.

They’re even trying to change the definition of “tolerance” into “you must support my position or you’re intolerant.” This is how liberal democracies—old and new—are turned into tyrannies.

Whatever happened to “Think and let think”?