7/10/06

Things that make no sense

I refuse to eat the “toe” of the hot dog (that is that last little end bite). My husband tells me it’s no different than the “head” of the hot dog (the first bite at the beginning). But I know better. I do not eat toes.

I know a woman who will not put her underwear in the same hamper with the rest of her dirty clothes. She says the underwear contaminates the other clothes. On wash day, she washes the underwear and clothing all together in the same wash load, dries them all together in the same dryer, folds them and puts them all together in the same drawer. This, apparently, does not contaminate the clothing. It makes no sense to me, but it makes perfect sense to her.

I know another woman who won’t buy a book if it smells funny. She goes to the bookstore and sniffs the copies of the book she wants to buy until she finds one that smells right.

I know a man who comes unglued when lights are left burning in an empty room because it’s a waste of money and energy. This same man will open the fridge door, take out the orange juice, walk over to the sink, pour a glass, drink it, rinse the glass, then walk back to the fridge, put the juice carton back in and THEN he’ll shut the fridge door.

The Point: We all make choices and decisions based upon our world view and past experiences. We all make choices based upon what we think is best. Because we all see the world just a little bit differently, and because “best” is a subjective determination, what makes sense to one person or group of people may not make sense to others.

So, in response to several e-mails I’ve gotten over the weekend, no, I’m not taking sides and I’m not commenting one way or another. We’ve got more important stuff to focus on here, such as writing a good query, pitching a novel and understanding contracts.

Besides, I’m too busy picking the toes off my hot dogs.

4 comments:

Samuel said...

I beg to differ.

In each one of your examples, someone was acting irrationally (with the possible exception of the Book Smeller, who was merely acting strangely).

I agree that all good arguments have validity. But irrational arguments don't. Saying that "'best' is a subjective determination" smacks of moral relativism.

And honestly, what's the point of being an anonymous blogger if you refuse to speak your mind?
If you're supposedly giving us the inside skinny on LDS Publishing, I would think this would be an ideal topic.

LDS Publisher said...

See, your assessment of what is irrational vs what is merely strange is my entire point. I happen to classify them all as strange, with the possibility of irrationality. But because I don't know the thought processes behind them (except for eating hot dog toes, and I assure you that is 100% rational!), I can't say if they are truly irrational decisions, or if they're rational decisions based upon faulty facts, or if they're fully rational decisions based upon facts I do not yet know.

I'm refusing to speak my mind on this specific situation because I do not have all the facts. I have the interpretation of the facts by authors in various camps. When and if the parties involved make a public announcement, then I'll post my opinion. (Maybe. If I’m not too sick of the whole subject by then.)


And this is not moral relativism because I am not speaking to the correctness or morality or ethicality or even propriety of the decision itself. I’m just stating that even a bad, irrational argument has validity in the mind of the person making it. We make decisions all the time based upon our assessment of what is “best,” given our current known choices, our own internal guide and our code of ethics and morality.

Samuel said...

Good points, and thanks for addressing them -- particularly about waiting for the facts. However,

1) You seem to be saying that the only opinion that validates an argument is the opinion of the speaker. If they think it's rational, then who are we to dismiss it? That's absurd. Even certifiably crazy people think they're acting logically, but that doesn't mean they are.

2) Yes, we make decision based upon what we think is "best". But that doesn't mean we're right, or, at the very least, that our decision are exempt from critical examination.

LDS Publisher said...

1. No. I'm just saying to take some time to consider the other point of view, then make judgments after we have the facts and act if it's necessary. Now, if someone's pointing a gun at you because in their best judgment you need to die, of course you jump in and do something fast without considering it from their side. I may be irrational, but I'm not stupid. :)

2. And again, I wasn't speaking to correctness. And yes, when we're in the public eye (or even eating hot dogs at a picnic) our decisions are weighed and examined and judged by others. I invite that examination and I have been known to change my mind based upon that examination.

There has been a lot of jumping to conclusions--which may or may not be correct--over the past couple of days. I just wanted to throw a little water on the fire and calm it down a bit.