the art of overthinking


If you won’t read the relevant material why should I have a conversation with you?

I appreciate philosophy, I really do.  I like thinking about life, hearing new ideas and seeing things in a new light.  I like psychology too.  I love thinking about the how the human mind works: why humans do things, say things, believe things.  It’s all fascinating stuff.  Generally.  I have a few little problems though.

I get exceedingly bored and irritated when keen philosophers demonstrate their complete lack of common sense by rambling on about obvious or irrelevant things, trying to analyse life and words to the nth degree.  If what you’re trying to say cannot be expressed in few simple sentences, with an easily understood example or two, it’s probably been unnecessarily over thought.  Descartes’ Meditations could usefully have been reduced to a couple of sentences, along the lines of ” the only thing we can be absolutely sure of is that we exist in the present” (and indeed often is).  The rest of it is sheer, illogical overthinking because he was trying to rationalise an irrational conclusion.

I also get exceedingly angry and frustrated when psychologists show their complete lack of understanding of humanity or animals, by devising ridiculous or cruel experiments that demonstrate findings that your average person on the street could have told you are obvious and natural.  For instance, baby animals, when frightened, will seek comfort in a soft and warm bundle, not a cold milk dispenser.

In the end, I know it’s important to appreciate the knowledge and advances that both these fields have brought to humanity.  I also know that I am intellectually both challenged and lazy, and my opinion is biased by my inability to make sense of huge screeds of nonsense.  But I sometimes get the impression that the sort of people who are attracted to both fields professionally are devoid of common sense, pursuing subject matters that without the painfully long pieces of pseudo-intellectual writing or the unnecessary experiments, completely befuddle them.