Balladeer: True enough but when I see something as a chair and you see it as a porcupine then I won't argue. I'll simply ask you to sit on it.
Sorry, Balladeer, I'd rather sit on your chair, most of the time. I'm seldom in the mood to sit on a porcupine.
Balladeer, first quoting BK, then responding himself:
BK: A chair is a chair except when it's thirty feet tall and made out of aluminum, standing in front of The Pacific Design Center in LA, a hundred feet away from a thirty foot tall aluminum table lamp. Then it may be a piece of design.
Balladeer: And would you call that 30 foot tall piece of design a table, Bob? Or would it still be a chair?
No, sorry, Balladeer, neither a table nor a chair, but simply a piece of design; or perhaps a sculpture. Perhaps you have a table large enough for it, and to put the matching table lamp upon, which was the point in the first place, to show these ordinary objects as pieces of design and not as ordinary objects. A simple change in scale has accomplished the transformation in point of view.
Balladeer: Arguments like this are what have muddied the waters so much that truth and fact become so garbled that one cannot recognize fact when one sees it.
Well, actually, yes. The muddying and confusion that you see here and are so uncomfortable with is the way many of us see reality all the time. We don't see it as being clearly organized into right and wrong and good and bad. We see overlapping motives as spurring people, organizations, and Countries with agendas of mixed qualities into actions that have a broad range of consequences; not all of them predictable, not all of them good, even for their own constituents.
The problem isn't so much in knowing fact when you see it, but in evaluating what level of trust to place in the facts and opinions you get. This is of course my opinion, I'm stating it that way because I don't want you to think I'm trying to sneak it in here as a fact. It's a strongly held personal point of view.
If you had a look at the article of how black and white thinking affects business decision-making, you'll understand a little bit of the pragmatics of why I think this way. It's not simply a pie in the sky point of view. It's a dollars and cents practical point of view as well.