Don’t take your red pill with seawater

February 20, 2013 § 12 Comments

For some reason, people come to the Internet with high expectations of finding solutions to their problems.

In certain situations that is a reasonable expectation: if I am looking for DIY instructions about how to replace the sync/charge connector on an iPhone, or if I want to find out about concealed carry laws in Virginia, or if I need a concrete plan to taper someone off of benzodiazepines safely, the Internet will frequently provide better, faster, and more comprehensive information than what we would get by talking to an Apple “genius”, a local cop, or a doctor.

But sometimes we are talking about less narrowly scoped problems, and sometimes there isn’t a good solution.  Sometimes the Kobayashi Maru scenario is real, not a simulation which can be cheated.   Even if a good solution exists finding it requires that we first, without prejudice toward particular solutions, understand the factual situation.  That makes agreement on the factual situation precedent to any discussion of solutions; solutions which, we must acknowledge at the outset, may not exist at all.

When everyone in the lifeboat says they want to drink the seawater and you tell them that drinking the seawater is no solution, that it will actually aggravate the problem, they’ll often ask what alternative solutions are on offer.  Some might suggest what is in the gasoline cans as an alternative.  Still others may propose that some people should be sacrificed and that the survivors should drink their blood.

The people on the lifeboat may not want to hear that none of the solutions on offer are both morally acceptable and actually help to solve the problem.  They may even think that there is something morally questionable about a person who suggests that this is the case.

But someone with the conceit of believing that he has taken the Red Pill – which is a cultural allusion to seeing the real world as it actually is, and accepting that often painful reality  – had better be ready to accept that many of the solutions on offer aren’t going to work out the way that wishful thinking proposes.  The more difficult the problem, the more likely it is that the ‘solutions’ on offer are in fact impractical, will not achieve the hoped-for results in fact, and/or are morally unacceptable.

§ 12 Responses to Don’t take your red pill with seawater

  • Morticia says:

    This is a good post..something I needed to be reminded of.

    By the way, Mr Zippy. I challenged you to a duel on my blog. If you don’t fight I am automatically declared winner.

  • Peter Blood says:

    Fallacies and overblown opinions are the gaseous fuels that powers countless internet arguments.

  • Elspeth says:

    What Peter said, x 10.

  • Steve Nicoloso says:

    Couldn’t you inject sea water into the colon, or urine for that matter? Hate to be graphic here, but won’t the colon collect good water out of it?

  • Steve Nicoloso says:

    We are a people conditioned since birth to expect to have a say, therefore very little of what we say lines up, except anywhere but here. But deliver good government anywhere on earth, where people have no say at all, where the great mass of men can vote only with their feet, and people will trip over each other to find a way in.

  • Zippy says:

    Never heard of hydration-by-seawater-enema, Steve. (Recycling urine yes — twice is the limit IIRC). I would think that the salt-content problem would remain the same and net dehydration would be the result, but that’s just an offhand intuition.

  • Steve Nicoloso says:

    Yep, that appears to me (googling after having posted my cryptic analysis) to be the plausible medical explanation as to why salt water enemas won’t work (even a little). Consult YOUR medical professional folks! If you get all your information from blogs, then you’ve got bigger problems than just getting all your information from blogs. If your going to put anything in your colon then make sure it’s urine.

  • Zippy says:

    Steve:
    I’ll drink to that.

  • […] Don’t Take Your Red Pill with Seawater  (Zippy Catholic) […]

  • Scott W. says:

    I was tempted to help when there was a dispute over the authority of the Catholic Encyclopedia and how even accepting the quote doesn’t prove anything against the Church, but decided that it would be casting pearls.

  • Zippy says:

    Scott:
    but decided that it would be casting pearls

    I invited the commenter to discuss what “material” and “formal” actually mean, and he wasn’t interested. Not much to be done, at that point: the Dwarves are for the Dwarves.

  • Scott W. says:

    I invited the commenter to discuss what “material” and “formal” actually mean and he wasn’t interested

    Yeah, I saw that. I concluded that after he went into The-ever-changing-doctrines-of-the-Church mode. It was obvious he had his canned talking points and wasn’t going to tolerate going off script.

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