Professor Robert M. Thorson wrote in his column the other day about a phenomenon that explains how people see and understand reality. It’s called “model-dependent reality.” Stephen Hawking coined the term in his book, The Grand Design.
It’s a scientific term focused on scientists, but it has usefulness to us lay people as well. Model-dependent reality means that we humans see the natural world according to our frame of reference, our model of what we think the universe is about, when in fact, nature is all about chaos. Look at Japan’s predicament made worse by mankind’s hubris.
It made me think of politics, which is chaos trying to respond to chaos. I think the reason we are mostly enraged at each other these days (other than the fact of extremists on TV and radio egging us on) is because the other side won’t see things as we do. Never have, never will. It has always amazed me how the same event is seen entirely different ways by conservatives and liberals. It also made me understand that we liberals and conservatives will never see eye to eye, that our only hope is compromise. Nobody will change their mind because they can’t.
I’ve also become aware of how I see the hypocrisy of conservatives so clearly, and yet the hypocrisy of liberals passes me by unless it’s so blatant, as in President Obama’s pronouncements against W’s war in Iraq back in the day and he’s doing the same damn thing he railed against. Different players, but the same hypocrisy.
This all serves as a reminder to me that politics sucks no matter which way you look at it. Politics is the fine art of lying. A friend of mine was once asked, “What’s Englehart’s politics?” My friend said, “Aloof.” That’s a good place to be and I’m going back there.
Stop by the Mark Twain House and Museum to see my exhibit of original editorial cartoon art. “Drawing Fire: Bob Englehart’s 30 years at The Courant.” It’s free and will be up through May. For more information, call the Mark Twain House and Museum at 860-247-0998. As long as you’re there, take a tour!
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