December 16, 2007

Arguing

It is more fun to wonder about things than to be right. That's one of the reasons I call this "Naive Jim:" It absolves me from any responsibility to be right. (In a similar way, taking on a journalistic tone of writing as opposed to a poetic or prosaic tone absolves me from the responsibility of being deep. It's much easier to not try to be deep.) I pretty much have free reign to espouse any opinion or idea, no matter how ridiculous, because I readily admit to my own naivety. You know exactly what you're getting: One dude, just kinda wondering stuff. No one can come down on me because, hey, I'm just a naive guy. If you admit from the start that you're an ignoramus, things aren't so bad. You'll notice in real life, if you're proven wrong about something, saying, "I guess you're right," is the best way to diffuse the argument, and it can really frustrate someone looking for an argument if you give it up right away. At least it would do that for me.

For example, the other day during lunch a co-worker was doing a crossword puzzle. She needed to know how to spell Tae, as in Tae Kwon Do. I asserted that it was T-A-E, and I was right. Everyone else at the table flatly insisted it was T-A-I. I reminded them that I was the editor, and quickly broke out a dictionary - okay, not a dictionary, it was Wikipedia on a computer - and saw that it was, in fact, Tae. Wikipedia is, of course, a 100% reliable source. Very proud of my rightness, I shared my finding with everyone there. They were not impressed, and their accolades toward me were minimal at best. I don't know what I expected. I am seldom provably right in arguments. Odds are, if you argue with me about pretty much anything, you're going to win. I have lost a lot of arguments, and I can tell you that the most satisfaction comes not from the few that I have won, but the few that I have conceded easily. Because when we argue, being right is inevitably a pretty big letdown. At least it is to me. You reach an equilibrium, and the disagreement is usually forgotten almost immediately. How many times have you brought up an old, insignificant argument to emphasize your personal value? Probably not very often. "Dude, remember that one time you told me that Taco Bell would still be open and I told you I was pretty sure it wasn't and then we drove there and it was closed and I was right?" Only once have I used past argument-triumph to emphasize my coolness, and that was in this paragraph. And my coolness is well-established away from this victory.

For Amy, I'm sorry that it took me 11 days to come up with this. I've been meaning not to neglect the old blog. But I can only come up with stuff as truly inspired. You don't want perfunctory, uninspired blogging now, do you? I have a lot of ideas, religious ones, that I'm kicking around, and you'll probably see them soon. Turns out I'm a supralapsarianist.

1 comment:

Craig said...

Jim. I had to share this with you. I was Stumbling on Firefox today and came across this. http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1738258
It reminded me of your cat. And the funny part is, is that this in an actual product : www.petspausa.com