Idea Blenders

Any time you hear someone say ‘psychological fact,’ be dubious. Psychology as a science does not claim facts; it claims there are strong correlations.

That’s an interesting tidbit, right? I could probably have just thrown that out there with a clever title and be done with it, or maybe made a facebook post of it. Thing is, that idea didn’t originate from me: It stems from an imgur commenter. I read the comment, thought ‘That’s interesting,’ and went hunting for an explanation, to see if it was true. I spotted a few online articles which referred to the term and seemed to concur with the idea. I remembered my conversation with a friend who studied psychology, who has spoken about the nature of correlations and how reluctant he is to say ‘fact’ when he can say ‘trend.’ After this reading, I came back to my starting point, sat down, and wrote out what I thought – only to find that the best way to express the idea was almost identical to the comment: Anytime I hear someone say Psychological fact, I think “liar”. Psychology claims no facts only correlations.

I didn’t want to be the worse guy of these, though. That person put the idea in my head, and after I checked up on it, I came up with only a slightly different way to express it. A better way, I think, but still fundamentally their idea. I wondered for a while how many of the things I created and posted on this blog were just repeats of something someone else had done, copies of copies of copies, uncreations, reconstructions. Before falling into complete ennui, I remembered that this is, to some extent, what meme theory is about. Every one of us has this idea blender, where we throw in through our eyes and ears and noses and mouths these little bits of ideas, sometimes taking a full idea and breaking it apart into smaller bits of ideas, rearranging them, trying them in new configurations. We are all idea blenders, whizzing up the media we consume and seeing what forms in what’s left.

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