February 22nd, 2007

firesea: self-portrait

nanopost: labels

Labels are useful in two directions: outward, and inward.

Unfortunately an inwardly-useful label may backfire outwardly, and vice versa.

Example: I have ADD, though I am currently managing without any medication or therapy. The label itself is useful to me, as it reminds me that I have legitimate reasons for working around my limitations rather than trying to bust straight through them. To other people, though, the label may seem like I'm making excuses or trying to come off as 'special', especially if I proclaim it loudly at every turn, which I really try not to do.

Another example: I agree with many tenets (aside: 'tenets', not 'tenants', DAMMIT) of Objectivist philosophy. Labeling myself an Objectivist, though, would be pointless, as I gain nothing inwardly from the label, and outwardly it would be more misleading than not.

I'd develop this further, but the baby calls. Hence the nanopost.
firesea: satori

Rand and Crowley, sitting in a tree

Upon rereading this essay on Objectivism, the following quote jumped out at me:

[Rand] could be abrasive, she could make sweeping generalizations that needed explanations that she did not provide; she made very little effort to understand someone else's intellectual context and to build a bridge from their context to hers.

Sounds remarkably similar to a certain bald-headed magician many of us know and love, now that I think of it. And oh, how both of them would cringe at the comparison, most likely.