Monday, August 25, 2008

Post Rational

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has been consistently dropping the phrase "post-rational" to describe the behavior of the emotional Clinton supporters.

What the hell is post-rational?

From Earl Barnett:
"William James was a psychologist and philosopher from the end of the 19th century specializing in the psychology of religion and was the father of pragmatism."

From ‘The Varieties of Religious Experience‘ by William James:

“…The opinion opposed to mystical philosophy is sometimes spoken of as rationalism. Rationalism insists that all our beliefs ought ultimately to find for themselves articulate grounds. Such grounds, for rationalism, must consist of four things: (1) definite statable abstract principles; (2) definite facts of sensation; (3) definite hypotheses based on such facts; and (4) definite inferences logically drawn… Nevertheless, if we look on man’s whole mental life… we have to confess that the part of it which rationalism can give an account is relatively superficial. Its is the part that has the prestige undoubtedly, for it has the loquacity, it can challenge you for proofs, and chop logic, and put you down with words. But it will fail to convince or convert you all the same, if your dumb intuitions are opposed to its conclusions” (pg. 74).

That scares me to think that Hillary's supporters support her for reasons beyond logical, rational thought. They think jihad is without rationality. Perhaps it's the same thing I fear in both, faith-based post-rationality.

That said, post-rational is also described as being a relatively positive thing as well.

"In his wisdom, Master Lao understood something 2500 years ago that we in the West are only now just beginning to appreciate: that rational thinking is not the final stage of human development. While the Western world has long held rational thought to be the epitome of human development, new research is in agreement with Master Lao, pointing to other ways of thinking beyond (read: better than) rationality. Scientists are eagerly investigating these newly identified “post-rational” ways of knowledge, describing them by many names: contemporary philosopher Ken Wilber speaks of vision-logic; Malcolm Gladwell refers to “the power of thinking without thinking” with the adaptive unconscious; in the Emotional Intelligence literature the movement is categorized under several names. Indeed, this post-rational stage of knowing have been under observation for some years: Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung and his Jungian followers call it intuition; the great martial artist Bruce Lee referred to this higher stage of awareness as “It”; and Zen masters throughout the ages simply use the term mushin (literally, no mind, as in, “beyond rational thought”). For interested readers, current research into post-rational ways of knowing can be found in Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling Blink; Gary Klein’s The Power of Intuition; Ken Wilber’s Sex, Ecology & Spirituality; and Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee’s Primal Leadership, among others."

source: Earthpages

Regardless of what it actually means, I have this sense that the elitist media has shown up and I'm not sure their commentary is going to hurt or help win over the post-rational Clinton supporters. The best way to create helpful dialog with a community who believes in faith is call it post-rational? Still I love Rachel Maddow and she was on fuego during the first day of the DNC.

Otherwise the DNC has been about as interesting as watching paint dry. I took a break to clean the grease off my stove it was so awesome. Senator Kennedy replete with brain tumor and thinned silver hair was still, as Jess put it, "more animated than Nancy Pelosi." Pelosi's speech was insipid at best. Still, it's awe-inspiring to see how the last Kennedy brother still has so much strength and love in the Democratic party. The string of teary eyed men was truly moving.

Meanwhile news of Biden's pro-RIAA track-record broke my heart. It's hard for me to watch him at the convention now. :( Joe, is this really the right thing to do?

Non-sequitor photo:
I Got the Beets

75.0 °F / 23.9 °C
58.3 °F / 14.6 °C

Nice but windy. Brunch at hipster enclave, Bugaloos with David, Dina, and Olivia. Dinner take out from Pizzaria Delfina; Boar Gel Pizza!