(by guest blogger Morgan K. Freeberg)
(v.)The more years I see come and go, the more of a one-to-one correlation I see between the instances of the noun, and accompanying instances of the verb. People, and I, make these "wrong actions" by way of perceiving an object or action as something different from what it really is. I suppose this is all rather self-evident. Where this observation might start to yield some meaningful value, is with the realization of an eighty-twenty rule of sorts, that perhaps eighty percent of the mistakes (noun) come from twenty percent of the mistaking (verb). Or perhaps that's more like a ninety-nine-one rule. And, perhaps, it is more like ninety-nine percent of the damage done through these mistakes, come from just a tiny minority of the categories of mistaking.
to identify wrongly : confuse with another
a wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment, inadequate knowledge, or inattention
I have often observed in my other life, in the making of money, the Morgan K. Freeberg rule that "technology is the opposite of doing something the same way the other guy is already doing it." I said it while I put up my fight against being pigeonholed, as sort of a high-tech drywall installer, knowing that if it became my job to just do the same thing over & over again but with writing computer code, I would ultimately fail to return value for my growing salary demands and thus become a pink slip waiting to happen. Nowadays, I guess, maybe I lost that battle. Maybe this thing they call "peer code review" makes such a loss inevitable. Code reviewers already know what the code should look like; do the finger-work for them, and remove human variables from the process or else your code won't pass review. But of course, without the human intuition there's no reason for the human to be there. Well, there must be a way to make it work, other people can do it. But then again, I don't know for how long, and I made it work for awhile. Perhaps that whole gig is temporary by its very nature. Either way, it qualifies as a mistake-mistake: Using human ingenuity to create new things that did not exist before, is confused with its opposite, which is copying things that exist already, if only in the minds of others. Not-ingenuity is mistaken for ingenuity.
I've already received a taste of that, and last night I saw another strain of it: I saw destruction mistaken for creation. President Obama is supposed to be building something here, right? What is that? Can anyone tell me? I don't think the most fervent Obama supporter can answer that question. But they can tell me what America's First Holy Emperor is supposed to be destroying, that part's easy to do. The rich people, they have too much money! Must pay their fair share. Businesses need to be taken down a peg or two. That Todd Aiken jackass. Men! Whites! Christians! We've heard it once, we've heard it a thousand times, but we don't yet know what's being built. Sooner or later, the time will come where we'll have to admit that if something definable was being built, we'd have heard some indication by now of what it is.
The little boy Brandon who thought a President Romney would send him and his family out to the fields to pick crops, asked what he wants Obama to do, said "I want Him to change the world...like He did" (link goes to 0:45 mark). So that's another one, we're up to three: Block-copying things is mistaken for building something new, destruction is mistaken for creation, and not-change is mistaken for change. I just don't know what to make of this part of it. How does the incumbent president campaign on a platform of "change"?
I am seeing moderation mistaken for extremism a lot of the time. I define extremist thought as something that, to be accurately and properly expressed, must make use of the words all, none, always or never. That disagreement I had with the feminists comes to mind: I chastised them for creating this new strain of feminism that relies overly much on victimology, lamenting that my mother thought of feminism as refusing to be a victim; and, what t'heck happened to that? I was put on notice that people are not selective about this status, they are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they don't choose that. And I said -- never?? And was told, quite right, never, never, not ever. I said, you promise I can't come up with some examples, cross your heart? And I got back this lecture of "I don't promise things" or some such, but...right, I won't be able to find examples. ++blink++ Just wow. Yes, I do get to a point where I realize futher discussion is futile. That was one of those times. The argument itself is sad, the descent into victim-hood is sad because of the loss of vision for independence and improvement of personal plight...but, saddest of all, is this confusion between the moderate and the extreme. The never-never-princess thought she was presenting a moderate argument.
We're up to four now. Five and six would be: Simple things complex, and vice-versa. Calling Obama a socialist is often met with angry rebuttals, taking the form "do you know what that word means?" The clear implication is that there is some meaningful subtlety buried in a dusty tome somewhere, and whoever attaches the word to His Eminence must be not only ignorant of this prized distinction, but is showcasing his ignorance to all sorts of strangers -- who, in turn, bask in the wisdom of this special knowledge. It is a clear intimidation tactic to dissuade the observation from being made, or from gaining any more traction. Well, we here do know what it means, have thought about it, and it applies. That's a case of something simple being gussied up as something complicated, possessing these layers of wrinkles and fissures that it doesn't really possess.
An example of the complex thing being mistaken for something simple, would be that ignorant statement "Saddam Hussein did not attack us." Gah. Don't even get me started.
Block-copying being mistaken for innovation, creativity and ingenuity; destruction mistaken for creation; not-change mistaken for change; dogmatic extremism for sensible moderation; the simple for the complex, and the complex for the simple. Those would be six, and they all work for the grand-poobah of these fundamental mistakes being made, the very worst out of all of them: death for life. That is what it is all about. That is the stem to the funnel. That is where it all goes.
So my observation -- let us call it a working theory, rather, but it's made it pretty far and is still going strong -- is that the mistakes (noun) that matter, years down the road, come back to one, or some, of these seven (verb). Re-electing Obama is directly connected to several of these. Mistaking your dark blue sock as a proper mate to your black sock, that's in a completely different ballpark, tomorrow morning it'll be a bit of your personal sock-wearing history and nothing more. It's not one of the seven.
Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes.