February 3rd, 2006

Dream of Bingo

Accepting New Data

A couple people's recent posts about encounters with close-mindedness in one form or another got me thinking about the subject.

I'm not talking about refusing to change your mind, here, or labelling information 'bad' and tossing it out after only a casual inspection, but full-on rejection of any new data as not worth consideration because it conflicts with what you already believe.

It's something that really bothers me. A LOT. I'm sure it bothers everyone, because it's deeply disrespectful, but it probably bugs me more than most people. I suspect it comes from being smart as a kid and getting dismissed just because of age, not because I didn't actually know what I was talking about.

Anyway, because it bugs me so much, I worry about being close-minded myself. There's a fine line between filtering out junky information (and there's an awful lot of bad data out there) and closing yourself off from anything that might challenge your views. I'm pretty comfortable saying "I was wrong", but I also know that I have a lot of mental constructs that I regard as pretty solid and hard to dent.

But I read an essay yesterday that made me reconsider some of my conclusions about How The World Ought To Work. I still haven't quite absorbed it, but it's gone into the stewpot at the back of my brain to get incorporated.

So I guess I'm doing okay.