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Passions in Poetry

Why are we always right?

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oceanvu2
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


0 posted 05-15-2008 03:45 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

“Why are we always right?”

“Rightness” seems to be our normal operating mode.  When an experience or a fact confirms that we are “right” about something, anything at all, we tend to accept our “rightness” as normal and due, no big deal.  When an experience or fact let’s us know we’ve been “wrong,” it tends to come as a shock, or a revelation.  

I’m sure, for example, that I am “right” about this.  But hey, it’s just a thesis.  I could be “wrong,” but I don’t think so.

Is “rightness” a necessary defense mechanism?

Is it a function of ego?

If we have to summon up, no matter how grudgingly, the willingness to be “wrong,” does that support the notion that “rightness” is a natural state?

I’m not asking about the nature of absolute truth, or the moral distinctions between “right and wrong,” or the relationship between “right” and “belief” or the difference between what is “right” and what is “so.”  (Though if anybody wants to go there, I am sure they will be “right.”)

I’m just asking about “rightness” as a way of getting through the day.

If “rightness” were a batting average, most of us would be batting around .220.  I know that’s right.  I just told you so.

I put this in “The Alley,” because the responses are funnier here.

Jimbeaux.  
Ron
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Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


1 posted 05-15-2008 04:39 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
If “rightness” were a batting average, most of us would be batting around .220.  I know that’s right.  I just told you so.

How many times have you crossed a busy street in your life, Jim? How many times have you crawled into a car, either as driver or passenger, to go somewhere? How many times have you ingested food or drink you neither grew nor prepared?

I suspect people are right a little more often than you might credit them, Jim. The ones who are wrong have a nasty tendency to end up dead.

So, to answer your question: We get used to it.


Edward Grim
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since 12-18-2005
Posts 1112
Greenville, South Carolina


2 posted 05-15-2008 05:17 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

Well,

I know as a fact that Ron is never wrong.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert E.

oceanvu2
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


3 posted 05-15-2008 05:42 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Ron:  RE: "I suspect people are right a little more often than you might credit them, Jim. The ones who are wrong have a nasty tendency to end up dead."

Of course, you're "right."  

On the other hand, we all have a tendency to wind up dead.  Does that raise or lower the batting average?

I think observation, rather than experience or something innate teaches us to avoid stepping in front of speeding trucks. Kids don't necessairly know that.  They still, I think, chase balls into streets.  This can result in a very swift learning curve.

What is the part we get used to -- being right, wrong, reckless, or cautious, or d), all of the above or e), none of the above?

btw:  Are you checking in from pair-a-dice (where I hope you had fun) or have you returned to the hinterlands -- the vast wastelands between Camden, New Jersey and Imperial City, CA?

Best, Jimbeaux  

Edster, where have you been?  


[This message has been edited by oceanvu2 (05-15-2008 06:35 PM).]

Ron
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4 posted 05-15-2008 06:40 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Of course, you're "right."

Only because I appeared to accept the unspoken assumptions inherent in your question, Jim. In reality, of course, right and wrong aren't binary conditions and the "we" in your thesis probably isn't quite as homogenous as either of us portray it.

Despite Edward's tongue-in-cheek contention, I'm not only frequently wrong, but indeed, depend on being frequently wrong. It's been that way, for me, since 1975. In business, in friendships, and maybe especially in the arts, like writing, being right all the time is pretty much synonymous with mediocrity. If you're not making any mistakes, you're not taking any chances.

Fortunately, as I implied earlier, wrong isn't a binary condition and, so far, none of my mistakes have been of the lethal variety.

And, thank you, yes, I am home again and I did have a good time trying to avoid winter. The desert was nice, but now I'm soaking up Spring.
Balladeer
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since 06-05-99
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Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


5 posted 05-15-2008 07:03 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

As far as the batting averages are concerned, I have it on good authority that right-handed batters hit around .420 while lefties barely reach .100

Why are we right...and when? That's easy enough. Look at your life. Look at your past. You, along with I and everyone else have regrets or recall things we did wrong...or were they? If you are happy with your life right now, then everything was right. it's like having two routes to get home. If you take one, even if the traffic is bad and there are holes in the road, if you got home safely, you made the right choice. Ron and I have littered the ground from Michigan to Florida with divorce papers. Were those marriages all mistakes? Were the divorces? Who can say?

On a personal note, my first marriage resulted in two children and an unhappy ending. My one daughter has been married to the man of her dreams for over 10 years and has two wonderful children. The other has the same story, also with two children. If we had not divorced, their lives would have taken an different path and they never would have met the men they did and would not have the same children theyhave . So was the marriage a failure? Was the divorce a "wrong"? I guess you may be able to say that, but when wrongs lead to a right, are they still wrongs?

Whatever lead us to where we are, if we are content, then it was all right...imho.

I shall now stop rambling....
Stephanos
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since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


6 posted 05-15-2008 07:36 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I've read all your replies, and i've only one thing to say:


Yeah right.

Marilyn
Member Elite
since 09-26-1999
Posts 2646
Ontario, Canada


7 posted 05-16-2008 11:55 AM       View Profile for Marilyn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marilyn

I'm with Mike on this one. I have left my share of "wrongs" or "mistakes" on my path.
With that said....I have the greatest children in the world! I love my life (though more money would be nice...lol).

Am I wrong....almost always...does it bother me...never. As long as you learn from those wrongs and find happiness all is well with the world.

BTW....the only time I am always right is when I am dealing with my children.....lol
oceanvu2
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


8 posted 05-16-2008 06:57 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Ron:  "I'm not only frequently wrong, but indeed, depend on being frequently wrong."

Well, you're right.  But how does that really work?  You acknowledge that you are frequently wrong, "We," or to less homogenous, "You and I and everybody we know and don't know are frequently wrong until we acknowledge it and become instantly "right".

Edison, as one example, probably acknowledged that he was frequently wrong.  That was what all that experimentation was about.  But I think he also "knew" he was right, just needed as successful demonstration of his "rightness" to make it so.  

In terms of creating literature, or business structures, or anything else, We make mistakes from a need to be "right."  If we undertook such endeavors to prove ourselves "wrong," we'd be right:  we were "wrong."

Risk taking is about proving one can do it, be "right."  Certain kinds of risk taking, such as jumping out of an airplane WITHOUT a parachute because on is a contrarian who rejects the notions of terminal velocity and SPLAT, are pretty dumb indeed.  One rapidly discovers the "wrongness" in the notion, and is "right," though it is a fairly hasrh shift in in perspective.

More practically, when one risks the whole nine yards on a business venture, for example, don't we do it because we think we are right, not because we are not afraid to be wrong?  Isn't there a difference between the two states of mind?  Which is more likely to drive one to do something?

In literature, I'm not sure that anyone who works experimentally, tries to move beyond mediocrity, sets out to be "wrong."  I think it is more likely that the wrtier sets out to establish a new understanding of his/her "rightness."

How is wanting to be "right" consistent with choosing to be mediocre?  I don't follow that one, and I admit it gets twisty and turny.  I could use some help here...

I've set out to write "bad" or profoundly mediocre poetry now and then.  When I do, I'm right.  It's either bad or mediocre.  When I set out to do a decent piece, I'm right.  I've set out to do a decent piece.  Whether I achieve that or not doesn't seem to be directly connected to "rightness" as the motivating factor.

Best, Jimbeaux

Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


9 posted 05-16-2008 10:57 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Only one name is in the middle of wrong: wRONg    
Edward Grim
Senior Member
since 12-18-2005
Posts 1112
Greenville, South Carolina


10 posted 05-19-2008 02:58 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

quote:
Edster, where have you been?


In a ditch, mostly...

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert E.

 
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