Saturday, October 1, 2011

Thinking out loud Saturday Random Ten

Reading comments on blogs, reading letters to the editor, or just listening to people talk, a commmon theme tends to show up. People believe that other people, very often the majority of other people, agree with them. This can be expressed as "Real Americans know..." or "People are finally waking up to..." Sometimes you see the inverse, where a person believes that the majority of their fellow citizens/humans have been duped or brainwashed.

It may be a trait inherited from our pre-Iron Age ancestors, who lived in small band societies and actually could do headcounts of everyone--everyone they knew about--and find out who thought which way about what. But we're not in that situation anymore. There are polls that try to statistically pinpoint what most people believe, and some are more reliable than others. But with 7 billion people in the world, the very concept of majority is a fairly squishy abstraction. It can only be taken with many grains of salt.

1. Reading Rainbow - Animals Take Control of Me
2. Pink Martini - Ou Est Ma Tete?
3. The Dave Clark Five - Can't You See That She's Mine
4. Grizzly Bear - Colorado
5. Wes Montgomery - Tune Up
6. Lou Rawls - I Can't Make It Alone
7. Neko Case - Guided By Wires
8. John Lee Hooker - Burning Hell
9. Talking Heads - With Our Love
10. Kendra Shank - Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise


susan said...

It's true that there's a powerful human tendency to want to be right so it's not surprising people will invent a supposed majority who agree with them or will stick close to others who share similar opinions and call that a majority. Even though almost everybody will admit to sometimes being wrong (I'm only human), it remains a common occurrence that in spite of evidence to the contrary people hate to abandon a position they've taken.

I probably tend to belong to the latter category since what most people will describe as common opinion is actually received opinion determined by those in positions of power to influence the media. Actually forming an opinion requires work that most people are disinclined to do (in my opinion :)

It's funny to remember some anthropologists have said humans are still only comfortable in small bands.

Nice FR10. Good to see Lou Rawls.

Ben said...

Myself I try not to have too many opinions. I've noticed this on a small, personal scale. Person X will decide they don't like person Y anymore, and taking sides turns out to be a waste of energy. While it's not an across-the-board thing, I think this applies to a lot of "issues."

Love Rawls in all his amiable hokiness. I had to have him back.