Friday, November 11, 2011

Over thinking it

It has been a long time since I got into any kind of serious debate online with anyone. It's an exhausting process that ultimately results in both sides continuing to posit their own point of view and in the end there is nothing really gained.

I wondered for a long time how people could go on and on and how anything productive could be accomplished.

I remember liking healthy debate and feeling as if it gave me a chance to stretch my deductive reasoning, so I wanted to find out why it was so depressing to me now. Recently I have sort of probed conversations and debate topics to see where I could be missing some little detail or maybe if my style of argument was too caustic.

I've started to notice that the longer a debate or discussion goes on the further and further apart our arguments/comments seemed to drift. I may be talking about the root causes of an issue while another person is lambasting the catalyst. Or I would dig through someone's argument and pick out the areas where their reasoning or logic was unsound. Typically there after follows the "that's not what I'm saying" post.

I started to realize that without a clearly stated opinion I was digging so deep into someone's argument that I was drawing conclusions that they weren't even prepared to address. I was following logical paths to places that they had never followed them to.

So of course with revelation comes reevaluation and so I started digging deeper into how my way of thinking might conflict with other ways of thinking.

It reminded me of my days LARPing at ENT. I was playing in a story one time were a series of events fit together in a logical, well reasoned order and the conclusions I drew were diabolical. It was a deep plot and it had implicated that reverberated through the game. I turned to the people in my group and explained what I had deduced. Then one of the group, someone who had just recently stopped being a story teller and was playing a character again, said "I don't want to give anything away but I think you are giving the story tellers too much credit".

Shortly there after I actually became a story teller and I realized how very simple all of the plots were. How straight forward most of them were writing these games. So I started to revamp the game, made it more complex and gave it subtlety and nuance. My assumption being that the richness of the stories would add value to the game.

Ultimately, I now realized, it did not. Once I revealed the real plan, once the full weight of the story fell and the real intrigue started all I got was complaints. To the point that one person who had been at the game since the inception really went off the deep end and that was the catalyst that drove me away from LARPing.

Out side of that atmosphere I started noticing the number of times I would explain an intricate theory about in a movie or story to Lee, my partner in crime, and more often than not got back "you're over thinking it". My way of thinking and Lee's way of thinking are as similar as I have ever experienced so of course that stood out starkly.

I have yet, to this day, to figure out how to not over think, well, anything. It come so naturally, finding tiny but strong lines of connection between two ideas. I'm not sure I want to but it does tend to cause a crippling effect when it comes to relating to other people.

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