Wednesday, March 02, 2011

theory vs. practice redux

Theory is interesting.  It starts with someone's ideas, intuition or ideology.  It builds momentum using selective data until the point it becomes an accepted, axiomatic construct, the mainstream narrative.  It can only be challenged by a counter explanation, but the counter explanation requires far more evidenciary traction and explanation than the original hunch, guess or bias because that prevailing theory has now become the dogma with which people have emotional investment.

Let's deviate away from the strict ecomyth to illustrate this dynamic and use instead the housing and financial mess in the US as an exemplar.  Most know of the situation but rely on either the mainstream media or their selected on-line sources for their understanding of the actual circumstances and explanatory constructs: why let facts interfere with confirmation bias?  Moreover, in this like many other situations, our actual knowledge tends to be indirect and subject to ideological interpretation.  Despite this, there is a dominant narrative, a theory that has gained acceptance as the "correct" explanation for what happened.

But what if these are not in a strict sense, fully accurate? Truthful, but only in the details, not the intent and not so far as the origins of the crisis?  We only get the facts we ask for.

Here is an alternative explanation that does look to cause.

And, here is an actual example of the dynamic in play with its results.

If nothing else, Obama will leave the US presidency with at least one clear legacy: crony capitalism as the new community.  

The art in politics, as always, is selling the people on the narrative of what you claim to be doing and not on its substantive details.  

The art of the myth.