Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Point Is Not the Point

It’s a medical and cosmetological fact that you should wash your hair as rarely as possible. So why do I scorn the multitude of wannabe cave-dwellers currently beating their chests and grunting in favor of going “no-poo”? For the same reason why I oppose all things “paleo” despite generally approving of low-carb eating: we only agree by accident.

If I could choose one idea to have surgically implanted into the brains of every person in my Facebook feed, it would be this: two people who arrive at the same conclusion but employ disparate chains of reasoning are not in meaningful agreement. Carefully ponder this sentence, if you would. I plan to spend the better part of this month on this issue and all the ways that failing to grasp it annoys me.

If you think about it, which no one does, there are countless examples of this principle at work. Like, say, if Jane really likes dogs and Kevin really likes dogs, but Jane likes dogs because they can be trained to kill other dogs in fights while Kevin likes dogs because you can style their fur like in Edward Scissorhands, well, then, Kevin and Jane don’t really have much in common at all, do they? When it comes time to pick a movie, one will want to watch Oliver and Company and the other Kujo.

The entire point of this example was to give me an excuse to post this picture.
This whole concept should sound very familiar to a certain group out there: it's the exact reason why O'ists and libertarians are at odds. Well, ok, in reality, that fight is usually just people trying to act like good members of their respective groups, but the original, valid dispute centered on the fact that wanting the same particular outcomes is not all there is to it when it comes to political (or any) ideology.

Someone agreeing with you, but for bad reasons is not helpful. In fact it's the opposite of helpful. Say you adamantly believe in breast feeding over formula feeding. If some woman gets up on national television and tells everyone that she's in favor of breast feeding too, because Cthulhu came to her in a vision and told her that all formula is poison that will turn the children of the earth into reptile-like creatures with night vision, that woman is not helping your cause. She's making you and all who agree with you look fucking insane.

As I said, we’ll explore this topic in more detail soon, but meanwhile, try to remember that the point is not the point; how you get there is the point. Take your pick of sappy metaphors about journeys versus destinations or whatever it takes, just please install this idea firmly in your head.

Thanks,

S. Misanthrope

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