Thread: This is Me
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Old 08-17-2021, 01:37 PM  
Yaowen
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Default Re: This is Me

Dear Gypsybutterfly,

I like your post. You sound like a very interesting person.

Human beings seem to need various kinds of maps to guide them. And maps are simplification of complex reality in my opinion. It is only recently, however that I have learned that maps are intentionally simplistic. A map of a mountain for example would be useless if it depicted every grain of sand and every pine cone needle. The reason is that then it would be has hard to get around the map as to get around the mountain. Maps are intentional simplifications.

I think this means that maps leave out more than they include. Maps have different purposes too. A cartoon map of interesting spots on a mountain will be different than a topographical map, a geological map, a hydrological map, a map of trails, a map of flora and fauna and so on and so on.

A map for hikers would be considered untruthful if it depicted non existent trails or trails depicted in the wrong places. But a hiking map would not be considered untruthful if it failed to depict aviation navigational aids or points since aviation navigation is not the purpose of a hiking map.

A noun is a kind of map as is a statement. The same for paragraphs and books. They are all simplifications and hopefully useful for their purpose and their truth value has to be judged accordingly.

You mention 'labels' and they are another kind of simplification. Often labels become over-simplification because they reduce and impoverish rich and complex reality in excessive ways. People are perhaps the most complex individual beings on the planet and trying to "sum up a person" with a label can do an injustice to the person and to truth and justice themselves. So I think you are wise in your attitude towards labels.

Consider the dictionary definitions of "over-simplification" . . .To simplify to the point of causing misrepresentation, misconception or error . . .a simplification that goes too far . . .describing or explaining something in such a simple way that it is no longer truth or just . . . to do violence to a complex reality . . . and so on.

So I think we are creatures in need of simplifications and maps but also in need of remembering and being mindful of the abstractness and limitations of them. Luckily we have reflexive consciousness which can allow us the ability to do this.

I wonder if it was Confucius who said that while it was true that he was a man, it was truer to say he was a man AND Chinese and truer still to say he was a man, Chinese and a philosopher? 2+2=4 is true but in a sense the whole of mathematics is truer.

I think that perhaps falsity also has degrees, a thing that is rarely considered and underappreciated. For example, while it is false to say that our solar system has, let's say 3 planets it is falser to say that our solar system has 3,000,000 planets.

Perhaps good and evil constitute a range too. Being rude to someone is not good but being a dictator who orders the genocide of tens of millions of people through concentration camps and campaigns of forced starvation is much, much worse.

Some mental illnesses can make sufferers especially prone to over-simplification. A person who fails to get an A on a test can describe himself as "worthless" or as a "waste of oxygen." Clearly a loss of perspective caused by the mental illness is at least partly at work in these kinds of derogatory over-simplifications.

I think in the realm of sexuality there can also be a tendency to over-simplification. What do you think?
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