Friday, 8 August 2008

On Knowing Someone

Considering I'm on a 'let's-link-to-other-blogs-and-talk-about-them' kick, I'll refer to the blog of a friend of mine from school. Given the set-up of the blog, I won't be able to focus on the particular post I want, but I can tell you it should be the bottom one of this page. It's about knowing someone.

This friend of mine--I'm not sure how he wants to keep his anonymity, so I'll refer to him as JW--has spoken to me on many occasions about trust. He describes himself as awful at small talk; instead, he tends to leap right into a sort of intellectual intimacy, in which he assumes that he's known you for some time. It's the same sort of deal for me, at times--I'll tell very personal things to complete strangers, but I'll only do that if I don't imagine I'll ever encounter that stranger again. For JW, it's different. He says we ought to trust first, and then let people earn our doubt.

This is a theme I want to get at later, broadening it to other things and applying it to a world-view that is more embracing and more open, but I'll stick to the topic for now. I just want to hammer in how hard this life philosophy is for me, and yet how better the world would be if everyone operated on this assumption.

Now, you can get into game theory for this. I'll bring up Tic-for-Tat because, if I don't, someone else will. It operates on that principle and is excellent in the competitions in which it is designed. Something tells me that variations on it are the solution to all problems that result in miscommunication and not conflict of interest. And this clearly and obviously follows loosely to the principle of "Trust first, doubt after evidence," with the additional rule of "Forgive immediately." And it does very well, as I said.

But more importantly, I figure that the best judge of a course of action is it's difficulty. The harder the course is (and that's harder to make yourself perform, not harder to understand), then the more likely it is that it's the right thing to do. Since this is very hard for me, yet I feel a deep yearning to follow it, I'd have to say it's likely the right one. And yet I've not really attempted to put it into practice.

Anyway, I have posted on JW's blog that he ought to write a book on the subject and, if we are truly lucky, he will.

Pressure's on.

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