Our society. Damn, it's fucked up. Do I really need to go into detail? I think we can all agree on this. All right, nothing new, I know. But I have an explanation. I am of the firm belief that the vast majority of society's problems, if not, all of society's problems, are the result of symbolism. Yes, symbolism. Think about it: every man, woman, and child has their own ideas, own intuitions, own beliefs. These ideas are complex; they are built upon the thinker's life, experiences, and interactions with other ideas that this person has. So no idea is just something in and of itself, it is more of a nexus; an information center with connections to all sorts of other nexi (ideas). One can't define an idea by a singular definition. In order to fully understand the internal structures, implications, and connotations of an idea, one must also understand the other ideas and experiences surrounding it. However, people rarely, if ever, take the time and effort to wholisticly and completely explain their ideas. Nobody sits down with someone for 12 hours and gives a complete discourse on why they think "X" band is the best, or why "Y" book stinks. So in our society, we have all the little fragmented ideas floating around. None of them are complete (from the vantage of others, at least) and none of them completely represent the original intent behind them. Here's where the problem lies: when 2 crippled ideas that, in their complete form would have been perfectly compatible, meet we see dissonance arise. Because idea A is missing some valuable connotation, idea B cannot fully understand it, and thus cannot agree with it. Then human nature kicks in, expanding a philosophical disagreement into whatever the hell kind of disagreement it wants, usually a physical one. Symbolism. I was talking about symbolism. So symbolism provides a facade for these crippled ideas. Don't want to spend hours explaining why you support America? Wave a flag and be done with it! Don't want to give a lecture on why your favorite band is the best? Sew their patch onto your backpack and be done with it! Of course, in place of listening to you rationally explain your reasons for choosing, someone with a different opinion only has that little patch to go on. So naturally, they're going to disagree with you if they think some other band is better. Of course, they're not going to explain their reasoning either. So both of you are relying on the use of symbols to make your arguments, while the real meeting of ideas never takes place. Then it escalates, etc. Another example: someone feels pride (for whatever strange reason) in America after the Sept. 11 attacks. So instead of standing on their porch, giving an oration on every piece of belief and information that feeds into their ideas, they hang an American flag off the front of their house. Osama and his crew see this surge in blind nationalism, and, missing out on the connotations and purposes of the patriotic displays, decides to retaliate. The United States, not aware of the complete rationale and emotions behind anti-Western sentiment in the Middle East, decides to retaliate against their retaliation, ad nauseum. If symbolism had never been used, most of this argumentation would never have started.

Wow... so, that was a bit philosophical, I guess... but it explains where I'll be coming from in later posts. This is the main psychological idea that drives my philosophical and political arguments.

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