Mini Post: Walk This Way

I’m trying something new in response to a perceived need among my readers, which is this: more frequent and spontaneous content. I’d like my project to be fluid and flexible, to address real needs rather than mere abstractions. However, I have a need to maintain a strict writing schedule during the week so that I can get my dissertation finished and graduate next summer. Many of my readers seem to have the need for more frequent interaction. I propose the following compromise. Between article-length posts, I’ll try to post ideas or questions intended to stimulate thought (and, ideally, discussion) about current, shared experiences. Bear with me while I figure out the best way of doing this.

I’m already planning to address some current events in my post scheduled for Sunday, but as a lead in, I’d like to pose some questions to readers. If you have a response you’d like to share, please feel free to comment. If not, no worries. But I do encourage you to really think about how you’d provide articulate answers to what I’m about to ask.

When you are confronted with a situation or experience you find difficult to understand, where do you go for guidance? How does your response differ when the confounding situation is a high-stakes scenario (i.e. has the potential for significant impact on your well-being or the well-being of others)? We all have well-developed strategies for getting and assimilating information. And human beings are, by nature, conceptualizers and explainers. But to effectively conceptualize and explain an experience or event, we need to reference certain types of authority. What resources do you draw upon when conceptualizing events like this week’s mass shooting? What makes the resources upon which you rely for basic facts or conceptual information properly authoritative? What I mean by conceptual information is this: whether or not it’s appropriate to apply a particular concept to a person, action, event, experience, thing, etc. (e.g. There is strong empirical support for the claim that we cannot even understand something as personal and seemingly familiar as our own emotions without conceptual resources provided through our social environment. If this is true, then the social norms governing identification and expression of emotions have more authority over how we understand our emotional experiences than we might think. Emotions are just one kind of experience…)

Think about it.