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Changing Times, Changing Perspectives

January 8, 2007

…Being a Reflection (on Opinions) That Went Awry
In a moment it is night.
I’ll be the first to admit that I like a good argument. I’m interested in Politics, and I think it’s important to hold Political opinions (and equally important to know when to shut up about them). It has always been clear to me, from the time I first started to accumulate Political opinions and sift through them to find my own that there is little point in holding an opinion you’re not willing to change. There are a few reasons for this, probably the most important of which is the possibility that you’re plain and simply wrong. It is a possible to hold an opinion which you’re not sure of, or — by accident or circumstance — to become associated with an idea you don’t truly believe in, and it’s important to know when to abandon a sinking ship. We can often find ourselves debating some point with friends and suddenly realise that the argument is lost, and it’s important to recognise at that point that our opinions might need reconsidering, that — shock, horror —we might be wrong. But there’s another, more subtle process at work changing opinions – the passage of time.

We’re not always aware of the passage of time, and often it seems a year has just slipped by us and out of the room, dripping away steadily until the bucket reaches it’s brim (maybe that’s a bit morbid, well that’s just how it is). All the time our world is changing, our experiences change, and before you take the time to notice: you have changed. I know that in my younger and more vulnerable years (as Gatsby would have it) I held some pretty naive opinions, and time has tempered them into my current world-view. Sometimes it shocks us when we catch a gut reaction which runs against the current of our opinions, like the brief rumble of thunder which precedes a storm that will change our lives. Sometimes this change is a good thing, sometimes we find that within weeks we have retreated with our tail between our legs. The important thing is to remember that, deep as they may be, still waters can stagnate — we should embrace change just as we appreciate stability.

Looking back over this I realise I didn’t end up saying what it started out to say. Maybe that’s a good thing. I started with the idea that this would be a testament to what I think (prompted by a change recently witnessed in someone whose political ideas I have a world-of-time for), instead it’s akin to a death-bed summary of pointless experience. So I apologise for wasting your time, this whole “conversational” blog idea will take a while to ferment.

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3 comments

  1. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit. There is of course the meta problem – are you willing to change the opinion that the only opinions worth having are ones you are willing to change.


  2. For that we fall back on an absolute notion of intentional inexistence, and consider that our meta-attitude to mind object interaction must surely rest on a corresponding semantic plane to that which supports it, and so apply the same rigour of ontological significance to each meta-ontic.


  3. Just like the Eastern attitude that man is fundamentally truthful, otherwise we cannot trust that when man says he is not truthful to be telling the truth (Knights and Knaves…).



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