Announcing “The Open Mind”: Shrink vs. Scribe

by A. Jay Adler on October 1, 2009

The doctor will see you now.

One always needs to be grateful for serendipitous segues. (There are so many poor ones in life. Like losing your job, a common occurrence across the land the past year? Not a good segue.)

Not knowing that I planned to announce our little joint venture specifically today, Shrinkwrapped commented on yesterday’s post, about President Obama, “Are You Experienced?” You may recall that he wrote a post on his blog a few weeks back, in part about one of my posts, to which I responded. I first discovered SW’s blog in July, where I got into a little back and forth with one of his commenters. He began to check me out too.

So what have we chosen to do?  We’ve decided to see if we can open some minds. We do both deal with minds for a living. I try to teach them to think a little better. He tries to help shrink_l200906021032them cope when “issues” arise. Got a mind? We got you covered. I suspect I’m less expensive than he is, but I don’t take insurance. However, financial aid will get you into the class.

As a recurring feature of both of our blogs, we are going to take on the issues that bedevil relations between right and left, maybe even toss some wild cards on the table for the pleasure of it. We agree on very close to nothing. But we intend – we hope – to avoid the usual debate. We already know we think the other is wrong. You can seek the shouting and the name calling all day long on web and tube. What we hope to make the sharper focus of our effort is the attempt to understand, as SW so well put it, “how two reasonably bright, reasonably decent people can disagree so significantly in their perception of reality.” We have agreed to try mightily not to descend to the usual incredulous insult. We will, if necessary, discover the other to be regrettably mentally impaired rather than a sorry ignoramus.

The plan is that on an alternating basis, one of us will post on a topic, and the other will respond after about twenty-four hours or so. We will cross-post on each other’s blog so that post and response are viewable at both sites. Our valued readers are independent agents (and don’t we love it!) so you will, of course, do as you please, but it probably makes the most sense for comments to my posts to be made at the sad red earth and comments to SW’s posts to be made at ShrinkWrapped. Sometimes, if the spirit or argument moves us, we will follow up on our post and response – maybe, in part, because of your comments.

We hope for some intellectual pleasure, and even – dare I say it – some opened minds. Regardless, it’s worth considering, amid the Scribedifferences that roil us now, that at the very founding of the nation, Americans, all, argued about – would you believe it – how much power should be granted the federal government, whether there should be a national bank, and (contemplate this one) whether human beings should be trafficked and owned as slaves. Of course, they agreed about much more: democracy, the rule of law, the Bill of Rights, the freedom to pursue our individual destinies, and, you know, it is time to remember, and never forget – that all this land should be taken, through innumerable wars and countless deceits and abuses, from the people who first lived on it.

The Open Mind will start next week. I’ll post first. And yes, you do now know what we look like and how we live.

AJA


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