Thinks or Feels

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Thinks or Feels? They aren't always mutually exclusive, but they usually are. The choice of stark cold logic, versus warm embracing feelings makes the latter a lure that many just can't resists. Which is fine, if they can still admit they are doing it. Most can't.

I've had decades long debates with a long time friend who doesn't believe feelings and thinkings are often incompatible and mutually exclusive. The fact that she hasn't learned that she's wrong in 35 years sort of proves my point.

I talk about it in Genius is Insanity, that reason, thinking, deduction is often limiting -- it narrows the world down into odds, facts, and almost simple equations. It doesn't expand your horizons, it often limits them -- and can make you what other people will consider cold and detached from humanity. Should I break up? Well that's a simple equation - what are the odds that my happiness with this person will exceed potential happiness with another person, times the probability I'll find them, divided by the odds that this person will change to be more (or less) compatible with me over time? "Honey, it's not you, it's the formula", isn't a good break-up line.

We got into a bit of a debate over Brett Kavanaugh. Her life experiences involved a few sexual assaults, and some remorse over capitulation to begging, that causes her to project a certain predestined guilt on all men. Brett is guilty because other men are guilty, and Christine Blasey Ford is innocent, because bad things happened to my friend. All the logic, evidence exonerating Brett or all the evidence of Ford's lies, aren't going to change that weighting for her. And saying that proves the's putting feels over thinks, only triggers a past debate that she refuses to accept, because of feelings. And we're back to the point. You can think or you can feel.

All logic and equations dictate that Kavanaugh is more credible than Ford. That you don't convict someone based on an unsubstantiated allegations of a partisan activist, 36 years after an event. And still my friend refuses to concede the point. His temperament is wrong, and so on. Which is fine -- I have nothing against people who want to put their gut above the probabilities and facts. But my friend can't accept that's what's happening either. And that's even more evidence about how the feels gets in the ways of the thinks.

We all put "just knowing", or a certain trust factor or other things, above the pure data. If we didn't flip-flam artists wouldn't be so successful, and no one would ever make bad decisions. And all of us have made bad decisions. But in the end, there's two kinds of people in this world: those who can admit when their feelings are overriding the data, and those who can't. And while all people are free to make their own paths and decisions in life, one of the saddest things to watch is people with blind spots on their own actions, and so you know are destined to repeat the same mistakes, over and over again.


Written started in the 1970's, and neverending