We construct the history of our wisdom
only by burying our foolishness in the endnotes.
From a very good essay sparked by the Gaza aid boat raids…
Chosen, but Not Special
By MICHAEL CHABON
NY Times | June 4, 2010
“GAZA Flotilla Drives Israel Into a Sea of Stupidity” declared the Israeli daily Haaretz on Monday, as though announcing the discovery of some hitherto unknown body of water. Citizens of other nations have long since resigned themselves, of course, to sailing those crowded waters, but for Israelis — and, indeed, for Jews everywhere — this felt like headline news.
We ALL see ourselves as clever, insightful, good drivers, more virtuous, smarter-than-the-average-bear … or in words of The News from Lake Woebegone: “… where all the children are above average.”
Chabon makes the point well that this overestimation is, at best, rooted in selective attention and memory. It reminds me of the in-group/out-group discussion we had last year about the sources of conflict …