Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Loud minorities vs silent majority

I’m a white heterosexual male of 62 years and am happy and satisfied with my identity. Perhaps, I belong to the silent majority, which I doubt. Quite often, my opinions differ from the silent majority – let alone the loud minorities. I suppose (my) centrism is the root cause for understanding both views.

Understanding someone’s view does not imply appreciation. I just listen and dissect the arguments used. Quite often, there is intellectual bias in those arguments. What’s wrong with intellectual doubt? Moreover, the colours black and white are absent in nature (eg, Adobe, Britannica, Quora).

In 2018, I published my blog the 7 stages of Liberalism. In my view, the ongoing focus on identity issues represents stages 4-6 of (left-wing rather than conservative) Liberalism. The (political) background of these issues explains the (cultural) resentment by East-European countries (incl. Russia).

Why do loud minorities insist on provoking the silent majority? In my view, this provoking is not about identity but about (a perceived lack of) Power (ie, identity vs Power). As often, the media benefit from stirring up a fire (eg, my blogs on click-bait-fight-regulate).

Could or would polarization end the silent majority? Our (known) history does not suggest this.

Perhaps, the Pareto principle (a.k.a. the 80/20 rule) is responsible for the silent majority. “The Pareto principle states that for many outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes (the “vital few”).” (Wiki). In this context, the vital few would equal the loud minorities.

Perhaps, any silent majority would not (be able to) cause any Change.

Hence, sayings like “Qui s’arrête (se) rouille” in French, “Wer rastet, der rostet” in German, “Rust roest” in Dutch, and/or “Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears.” (source).

Perhaps, Change is a precondition or requirement for finding/having an equilibrium rather than a drifting away from that equilibrium.

To be continued – or not.

Some quotes on doubt by Richard Feynman (1918-1988), an American theoretical physicist:

  • “Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” (source)
  • “We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and there is no learning. []” (source)
  • “I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong. []” (source)
  • “When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty – some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain.” (source)
  • “Doubt is clearly a value in science. It is important to doubt and that the doubt is not a fearful thing, but a thing of great value.” (source)
  • “There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made.” (source)

Hide In Your Shell (1974) by Roger Hodgson, former singer-songwriter of Supertramp
artist, band, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-band, Wiki-album+song

Too frightening
To listen to a stranger
Too beautiful
To put your pride in danger
You’re waiting for
Someone to understand you

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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