Black and white or grayscale?
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Thread: Black and white or grayscale?

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    Black and white or grayscale?

    Which kind of thinking do you tend to engage in?

    reference: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archive...nking-hurt-us/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

    I see a lot of arguments in forums (not just on this site) coming from people engaging in black and white thinking.

    Religion thread...
    Is this art thread...
    gestures thread or two...

    I've seen a few others, but I forgot what they are.
    Shouldn't at least those of us who are, or are trying to be artists of one kind or another be a bit more aware that we'd be very hard press to find something that's all one or all another thing... black or white, good or bad, correct or incorrect, right or wrong.

    Yes, I know how the arguments go, it takes just a teeny push by a somewhat different point of view for someone to dig their heels into the point of view they just expressed, even if they weren't completely married to it three minutes ago.

    I think human behavior and whatever drives it (psychological stuff) can be rather fascinating.

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    Fuck the fence-sitters. The biggest injustice you can do to a debate is to make it boring. Take a stand, grow a sack, go out on a limb, play devil's advocate and don't tell anyone.

    Modesty and political correctness are very much overrated, as is the result of being right. Don't ever be afraid to be proven wrong, even in humiliating fashion.

    Brendan Noeth

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    Understanding that things aren't black and white isn't the same thing as sitting on a fence, being politically correct, modesty or inability to make up one's mind.

    Understanding that something is close to, let's say 30% black, and 70% white is also making up one's mind and taking a stand, but one closer to reality... Rather then acting dumb for the sal\ke of an inane argument and claiming it's all white.

    If if one is going to argue about something and make a stand, at least do it about something that is close to reality and makes sense, rather then participate in sparring that is less useful then wanking your noodle. How can one even pretend to have an interesting discussion, when the only choices they see are the extremes?

    Read that second link I shared, about a false dilemma.

    Last edited by Conniekat8; January 16th, 2012 at 12:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conniekat8 View Post
    How can one even pretend to have an interesting discussion, when the only choices they see are the extremes?
    You really can't. I pick my battles and refuse to engage with people who clearly have extreme ideals and who will not change their minds, even when provided with solid evidence. It results in nothing but frustration for all parties.

    Sometimes it's very good to take a solid stance on something, when you are fully educated about it, but a lot of people who think of issues as black and white are not educated on the matters they're arguing, or they would understand the nuances and intricacies of what it is they're arguing. For example, being white, I wouldn't barge in on a discussion on race, guns-a-blazin', stating my opinions as fact when I know nothing about how it feels to live a life where I'm personally affected by racism. I'd shut up and listen to what others say, those who experience its effects firsthand, and learn. Anything else is a waste of my time and theirs.

    The best way to look at debate is as an opportunity to learn rather than to win, and to look at yourself and understand what you might not know. However, if you've compiled all your evidence, and you have a good reason to believe strongly in an ideal, then by all means take a strong stance, but always be open to the possibility that there is something else you might not know.

    As the great poet K'Naan puts it: "And any man who knows a thing knows he knows not a damn, damn thing at all."

    Last edited by littlebones; January 16th, 2012 at 12:13 PM.

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    Black and white thinking decreases with education. Problems also arise in the varying interpretations of words from people to people, e.g., what is a book?

    -Is a book is an over-sized pamphlet?
    -Are pamphlets considered to be a very skinny book?
    -Do books need to be made of wood?

    A book would be a book regardless of language written in it, if so, one can interpret a tree to be a book, because like a book, a tree is full of information, but it is just not written in English(definition of language also an issue here, but let's stay on topic). The pages can be anywhere you interpret it to be, in the tree trunk or the leaves. Using mathematical reasoning(set theory), if a pamphlet is a very skinny book, then it would be a book in general; books in general being the universal set, whereas a pamphlet is an element of the universal set of books. Electronic-books would also fall into as an element of the universal set of books, because they are considered books in general, so books don't have to be made of wood.

    Given all of the above, such that if as long as a book can convey some sort of information regardless of language, and is any pamphlet of any amount of pages, then ambiguously, almost anything can be interpreted as a book.

    With the mathematical reasoning I used above, I can prove that everything is naturally natural, nothing can be artificial without first being natural. If nature is all that exists and is therefore the universal set of everything, then human existence and all that is artificial would have to fall within the universal set of nature. Like the saying goes, "from stardust to stardust". What is artificial is then just a categorization of elements within the universal set of nature. Nature made us, so intelligence is a natural consequence of nature and hence our human existence, because nature has allowed it and nature has made it. Therefore, natural and artificial are not separate entities, but the same.

    After a while, you learn to assume strict, absolute, or "black and white" use of words, or the popular definition of words, so as to refrain from going into too much philosophy. I did a lot of this philosophy when I wrote essays in high school, where I would ramble on and get off topic. But when it comes to a philosophical discussion, then all hell breaks lose.

    Last edited by Vay; January 16th, 2012 at 03:15 PM.
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    Ignorance is bliss to those willing to stand for their partially false beliefs.

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    Black and white thinking is important. Try walking through walls, stepping in front of a speeding train, jumping off a building naked with nothing else to save you from thirty stories or even adding 2+2. There is no ambiguity just right and wrong.

    The only philosophy that excepts all ideas as valid is the moral equivalent of a sewer pipe. Shit or diamonds it doesn't matter to the pipe. Some things are better than others, some people are smarter or better looking.

    Finite beings have finite points of view. It doesn't mean those views can't change over time. Why hold a view or belief you disagreed with at the time? Nothing wrong with taking a stand for something that you believe in until you try to impose the ideas through force on other entities.

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    Black and white vs grey scale is only a valid debate in an art discussion.

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    Perhaps "black and white" or "greyscale" (as a unique evaluative approach) is a false dichotomy.

    Some things are "black and white", and others are at nuanced positions along a continuum. The difficulty is determining which is the most appropriate way of approaching each problem. Some things require one, and some the other. Application of only one approach to all situations is unproductive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conniekat8 View Post
    Understanding that things aren't black and white isn't the same thing as sitting on a fence, being politically correct, modesty or inability to make up one's mind.

    Understanding that something is close to, let's say 30% black, and 70% white is also making up one's mind and taking a stand, but one closer to reality... Rather then acting dumb for the sal\ke of an inane argument and claiming it's all white.

    If if one is going to argue about something and make a stand, at least do it about something that is close to reality and makes sense, rather then participate in sparring that is less useful then wanking your noodle. How can one even pretend to have an interesting discussion, when the only choices they see are the extremes?

    Read that second link I shared, about a false dilemma.
    I know what it is you're saying, I read the links. False dichotomy is pretty easy to identify and an easy fallacy with which to deal.

    I'm having a problem here because "black & white thinking" is being condemned with prejudice, very much in a black and white fashion - Beretsky's article does not even explain how black & white thinking actually "hurts us" or the difference between ordinary b&w thinking and compulsive b&w thinking (psychological disorder).

    It's not "black&white thinking" that is wrong, it is being incorrect or inaccurate that is wrong. It's far more useful to find an answer and stick with that answer until it may be improved upon than to have have answers that you can't take seriously. Hence Occam's Razor.

    Plus you're guilty of some false dichotomy yourself:

    How can one even pretend to have an interesting discussion, when the only choices they see are the extremes?
    You're implying that no discussion can be interesting if only extreme options are available to its participants. As I said, identifying it and dealing with false dichotomy is easy. Bu you're not getting away from it, our language is set up to be binary. And polarization is hardly the most hurtful of cognitive biases on a forum that encourages education.

    Brendan Noeth

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcorc View Post
    Perhaps "black and white" or "greyscale" (as a unique evaluative approach) is a false dichotomy.

    Some things are "black and white", and others are at nuanced positions along a continuum. The difficulty is determining which is the most appropriate way of approaching each problem. Some things require one, and some the other. Application of only one approach to all situations is unproductive.
    Yea, I knew someone was going to pick up on that.
    There's more to life then a liner scale of things.

    If you ant to be more precise, both, black and white and gray scale thinking are somewhat simplistic colloquial terms to describe a much more complex issue. Even gray scale is a bit of a misnomer, because it seems to preclude pure white and pure black, which can exist in some situations. Personally I think of gray scale to include Black and white, but allows for other choices as well, even non linear ones. It's not the best term to have, thankfully I didn't invent it, to have to answer for it LOL.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan N View Post
    Bu you're not getting away from it, our language is set up to be binary.
    If we attempt to discuss and address complex situations in oversimplified 'one, two three word' manner, I can see how we can blame it's failure on supposed inadequacy of language.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan N View Post
    Plus you're guilty of some false dichotomy yourself:
    You're implying that no discussion can be interesting if only extreme options are available to its participants.
    I'm asking you question, based on a false dichotomy you introduced in your point of view, that a discussion can't be interesting without a false dichotomy of extreme positions. If I threw out what you implied, then it would change a meaning. I can't ask you to explain yourself in more depth about something that you didn't write.

    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Black and white thinking is important. Try walking through walls, stepping in front of a speeding train, jumping off a building naked with nothing else to save you from thirty stories or even adding 2+2. There is no ambiguity just right and wrong.

    The only philosophy that excepts all ideas as valid is the moral equivalent of a sewer pipe. Shit or diamonds it doesn't matter to the pipe. Some things are better than others, some people are smarter or better looking.

    Finite beings have finite points of view. It doesn't mean those views can't change over time. Why hold a view or belief you disagreed with at the time? Nothing wrong with taking a stand for something that you believe in until you try to impose the ideas through force on other entities.
    Ability to see more then just one or two choices in things that *actually have more then one or two choices* doesn't preclude any of what you are talking about.

    Sounds like you confused a few concepts here. The best I can see is that you seem to think that gray scale thinking implies indecisiveness and fear of making a decision, and black and white implies ability to think critically and make decisions?

    Also, are the only choices right and wrong? Agree and disagree? Everything and nothing? Imposing and not imposing? Most of what you brought up seems to revolve around the extremes. Appealing to extremes is also a logical fallacy.... Which I think is often a pitfall of black and white thinking.

    Last edited by Conniekat8; January 17th, 2012 at 05:31 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conniekat8 View Post
    If we attempt to discuss and address complex situations in oversimplified 'one, two three word' manner, I can see how we can blame it's failure on supposed inadequacy of language.
    It's not the inadequacy of language - it's the inadequacy of our minds. We invented language, and we think through it even when we're not actively engaging it.


    I'm asking you question, based on a false dichotomy you introduced in your point of view, that a discussion can't be interesting without a false dichotomy of extreme positions. If I threw out what you implied, then it would change a meaning. I can't ask you to explain yourself in more depth about something that you didn't write.
    I just can't read that question in any way other than rhetorical, and I don't see how a debate between two extreme positions renders its participants incapable of feigning interest.

    I know what your point is, and you're right for the most part. Just don't treat black&white vs greyscale as a false dichotomy. Clarity and simplicity are hallmarks of effective communication, and often we're better off foregoing pampered moderation and sprinkles of disclaimers and caveats.

    Additionally - and I may be alone in saying this - but I'd much rather be wrong than boring.

    Brendan Noeth

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan N View Post
    Additionally - and I may be alone in saying this - but I'd much rather be wrong than boring.
    How about realistic and entertaining?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conniekat8 View Post
    How about realistic and entertaining?
    I have no idea why you're asking me whether I'd prefer having my cake and eating it too. Because I've always thought it was one or the other, and me being me, I usually just choose to eat it and dispense with having it altogether.

    And to be clear:
    not wrong =/= realistic
    not boring =/= entertaining

    Brendan Noeth

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