The search for meaning

This paragraph from the New York Times article How Nonsense Sharpens the Intellect set me to thinking.

Researchers have long known that people cling to their personal biases more tightly when feeling threatened. After thinking about their own inevitable death, they become more patriotic, more religious and less tolerant of outsiders, studies find. When insulted, they profess more loyalty to friends — and when told they’ve done poorly on a trivia test, they even identify more strongly with their school’s winning teams.

Is there a conservative swing taking place because Americans feel threatened? There’s been a lot of talk lately about how America is changing. I can’t say I’m going to dig through and do all the research, but it was an idea.

Back to the article – about nonsense being a valuable precursor to recognizing patterns – that’s fascinating stuff. It kind of makes me want to throw the nonsensical story referenced in front of the youngest before she takes the ACT.

I can’t say I run across much that feels incongruent. I’ve pretty much decided that nothing surprises me anymore after the last few years of surviving local politics. What about you? Have you seen anything odd lately?

H/T to Brad V from Letters in Bottles for the article.


  1. The Lorax says:

    I like this article. To me, it reaffirms that subjectivity of all things in life. That’s not always bad if you believe, as I do, that humans are inherently good and that justice prevails in the end.

  2. I believe humans can be good or evil. Sometines both. If humans are inherently good then there would be no need for parenting.