I’ve been refreshed by the number of times the journalists we’ve heard from have talked about their version of objective reality. I’ve long held the view that there are two things in this world: the infinitely complex set of real things that really happen and are really happening, plus everyone’s totally distorted view of them. No, that’s not commentary on religion or political tilts. But think of it this way: Look at your hand, and know that short of divine intervention, nothing and no one will ever be able to say for sure how your hand evolved or how it works or what its purpose is. Every last-minute detail of existence is so ridiculously complicated that it’s laughable to think economic projections or political observations are infallible.

Am I being cynical? No. I’m all about listening to leaders and experts, analytically at least. I’m of course in favor of making hard decisions using the best possible information at hand. But the world would be a better place if people stopped treating theories as perfect and started critically examining evidence. Also, that statement is pretty neutral and doesn’t support any religious/agnostic beliefs or political/apolitical ideologies. Further translation: I’m not coming out for/against global warming, the Tea Party, economic regulation or Obama.

So, given my thoughts there, I’ve really enjoyed hearing refreshingly rational explanations from a bunch of reporters about how the world works. I love that out of every journalist we’ve talked to, from BBC to the Wall Street Journal, not a single one appeared to be married to some ideology or grand explanation for the universe. Instead, they come off as objective and pragmatic. They have been critical about how such-and-such lives in an alternate reality or how some group squeezes the round peg of reality into the square hole of whatever they believe. Basically: The reporters we heard from seemed to agree that yes, the world is complicated. What can you do about it? Be inquisitive and analytical, don’t get sucked into oversimplified models of a complex universe.

Ironically, hearing that sort of take over and over just solidified my ideology, which is really anti-ideology. So I’ll just run around in circles with that, and assume that I’m the same as the nonconformist conformist or whatever other paradoxical term.

The counterargument to mine might be that the world is complicated but ideologies and worldviews offer some kind of prism to better understand reality, and/or that anyone with a viewpoint like mine is suffering from “paralysis by analysis” and can’t make a decision. That’s a valid counterargument. Sometimes, there’s a cost-benefit-analysis (CBA) you can do, and the cost of doing that CBA outweighs the benefit. In sports, a basketball player might choke because he thought too much about his shot. And one study found golf players do better when they think less during play. To quote my fellow classmate(s), you can be right or you can be happy.

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