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Been thinking on some things & figured I'd put a bit of it out there for reading & discussion. I figure there's quite a few things that seem to be more or less emblematic to America (one of them being that using big or uncommonly used words like "emblematic" is seen as something like profanity or evidence of a lie- regardless of what is actually being said).
(1) Thinking by adjudication. This is a root for most issues, I think. It's "reality is what I say it is" thinking & if reality were really formed by recognition, nobody would trip over anything in the dark or get hit by a car they didn't see coming. Same goes for unexpected good situations, but the general theme of thinking that coming to a conclusion is generating a situation or a requisite for something to come into being is common on a functional level- if not an articulated one that could be said out loud.
(2) Basing conclusions on preferences. This is more or less going by the "taste test" when making assessments. Someone will drift toward what they prefer to be true, in spite of it not being that way. This, of course, prevents actually fixing a situation. A knee-jerk situation in most cases, not a deliberate "I'll think this is true because it's prettier."
(3) Problems are disqualified instead of dissolved. Pretty clear right off the bat, but I think it's very noticeable when someone says "If you don't like it, why don't you just get out?" So the idea amounts to wallowing in whatever problems or being exiled. Yeah, such a great country that it doesn't even fix anything. It just lets things fester & makes the living conditions worse.
(4) Lots of title-based thinking. Heavy attachment to titles, labels, and other designations is a very typical thing. The assessments aren't based on dynamics, instead they are based on labels. "It's all about the logo." Complained about, but functionally done pretty frequently.
(5) Constantly arguing. Not very common for someone to simply agree with you or anybody else. "Agreement equals defeat" mindset.
(6) Not thinking anybody else does things right or as good as them. Talking in terms of "people of the world," but it happens on individual levels sometimes.
(7) Saying "It's the same everywhere." Seems to be an unwillingness to see their own place as wrong (on an ontological level) or just not being knowledgeable about other places. Noticeably, there isn't the same degree of scrutiny when it comes to American things.
(8) Trusting proven liars again & again. This is on an organizational level & frequently on an individual level, as well. It's very much like a compulsive gambler thinking "the next time's going to be the lucky one." Maybe it's more like: "Well, the Boy Who Cried Wolf was being honest at one point- so it's possible I'll get lucky."
(9) Massive trust in certification. It's like they think that certification is some kind of spirit that will banish someone from a particular job if they aren't good enough at it or if they would cause problems through that job.
(10) Same as above with "training." They seem to functionally think that these people are able to do whatever it is they think that this training covers (which is usually the broad subject- soldiers are trained for war, so they can do anything & everything pertaining to that / accountants are trained to handle people's money & they would never screw it up or screw those people over / scientists are trained in a certain field & wouldn't ever lie or be wrong about anything to do with that subject).
(11) Acting like "occupational" means "fictional." Acting like anything someone does in the course of their occupation happens, yet doesn't occur. Doesn't make sense, since what happens is what occurs- but there's always the "they're just doing their job" cover for anything that's both fucked-up & paid for in a non-cash way.
(12) Acting like the fact that anything at all can be sanctioned & you're only ever dealing with actions is only true for other countries. Either arrogance or delusion, it's like someone doesn't think that anything can be fucked-up AND cleared officially or functionally applied under the table in this country. Sure, it can happen in Mexico or Russia. Sure, it can & has happened in Germany. Sure, England pulled some shit before. America- well, not really.
Last edited by Wolfeye on Wed May 13, 2015 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wow! No replies on this? I thought you guys would have stuff to add or comment on all over the place with this. Well, at least it makes a good "Dozen Unsung Issues " section if I ever write a book. Thinking if I get out of here & things go well, maybe I'll write something of an expat biography. Might go well in something of a survival/self-sufficiency/general skills book, too. Accuracy is important. I figure it ties in nicely with the whole "sizing up reality to line up your shot" type of thing.
Not the usual list of suspects, certainly, and that being the case, you probably should take extra care to make sure you are understood. Many readers may not have gotten past "adjucation." I don't know what it means, and it's not in my dictionary. I assumed at first you meant adjudication, but that doesn't fit with the description.
Yes, some of the characteristics you describe can be observed routinely in the U.S. But they are mental habits that seem fairly easy to fall into in most cultures. They aren't obviously far more representative of Americans, unlike, say, excessive jingoism/militarism, or other entries from the usual list. So, I think the burden would be on you to make the case a little stronger for these characteristics.
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