This short post does not directly involve China. I’m posting it because one of my reasons for blogging on china/divide is to encourage people who care about “understanding” or “figuring out” China and modern Chinese society to challenge themselves constantly on how they consume information, process it, and derive their conclusions. This is something I personally aspire to, and fail as often as I succeed. Thus, this post directly relates to China.
I want to recommend The Last Psychiatrist‘s latest post titled: “Nobody will understand what went on in this house to drive my dad to this level of insanity”.
I hope you’ll read it in its entirety, several times even.
There’s not much I’m going to say here. There is so much that could and should be discussed after reading that post, but I just don’t know where to start. I wanted to excerpt samples of his post but just about every paragraph offers something that should question predispositions on how we think about controversial issues. His post will discuss Americans, honor killings, Iraq, Islam, and Muslims but his post isn’t about those things. Instead, it centers around:
First Law of Media: offer the reader the opportunity to debate the conclusions, but force him to accept the form of the argument.
Guess I excerpted after all.
We do a lot of debating of conclusions. Hell, I do a lot of debating of conclusions (though also about media narratives). Therefore, it is poignant to be taken one step back and made to question myself on the “form of the argument”. You may have to read the post to understand what that means, and then it should become painfully obvious how related, relevant, and applicable The Last Psychiatrist‘s observations and points in his post are to how we often interpret and approach issues of China, of Chinese people, of Chinese culture, Chinese norms, Chinese behaviors, and Chinese problems, and how we often judge something as “Chinese” or not.
Whether this is new to you or only a reminder of something you learned long ago, I hope you find it as insightful and perspective-changing as I did.