One of the most difficult things we nevertheless do, automatically and with no conscious effort, in day to day life, is determining intentions. We hear words and see actions, and read intentions into them.
On a larger level, its a subject of not insignificant study in the fields of economics (presuming rational behavior, spawning ideas like John Nash’s Game Theory) and international relations (in which many a movie has been made about *mis-reading intentions, eg, 13 Days on the Cuban Missile Crisis)
That reading or interpreting (really) intentions, from observed words and actions, is tremendously difficult may be understated.
We often misread the intentions of people we know well: co-workers, friends, family. It’s not uncommon at all to have “misunderstandings.” You spend enough time with kids, you often hear, “I didn’t mean it!” As adults, we forget how kids think (or don’t think …) when we judge their actions.
Another field in the social sciences – psychology – addresses reasons for potential misunderstanding. One such phenomena of the human mind is Projection. That is, we read into others behaviors, intentions bases on what *we would do in similar circumstances. Ie, we “project” upon others, the image of outselves. Thus, our interpretations are better reflections of who we are, than they are reliable observations of who others are.
Back to international relations. Much conflict persists between sides interpreting others actions through their own lens, and in their own shoes. One problem is language. We’ve seen movie titles that, when translated directly from or into another language, seem comical. Imagine where complex narratives with political undertones are involved.
But we do this everyday, in our day-to-day lives as well, interpreting intentions, ultimately revealing more about who we are, than shedding light on those we presume to read.
Antoine Walker is a good dude. Whereas a lot of people project their own insecurities and venality onto others, in interpreting the intentions behind other people’s actions, he projected his own sense of loyalty onto others:
“You know, when you are friends with so many people, whether it’s professional athletes or other friends, I wasn’t so much worried about a phone call, like “Hey, I need some money,” I was more worried about, I didn’t get the “Hey, ‘Toine, you all right?” Because when I was playing, the phone was ringing. I had three cellphones! All of them ringing. So it’s disturbing sometimes when that becomes your reality. Look, when you are a giver, you’re a giver. You know what I mean? I didn’t give to go through this and say to people, “Now it’s time to kick back to me.” It’s about [that phone call], “Man, let me call to check on you to see how you are doing.” I know how I would carry it if a friend of mine was in the same situation that I was in. And sometimes in life you have to learn that everybody doesn’t care like you. That’s the one thing I learned in this process over the last two and a half, three years of going through this. People sometimes just don’t care like you do, and you can’t expect people to do things the same way or care the same way that you do. And I’ve learned to download those situations for later on in life.
Standard piece of #interpretation:
“Republicans and Democrats alike who warned against Trump in severest terms have been all too willing to backtrack for the sake of political expediency”
This doesn’t tell me that the Romneys and Tim Cooks cave to political expediency. There’s a legitimate thought that you can more effectively advocate for issues within the system, even if you disagree with the guy at the top – and have his ear – than from staunch opposition in the wilderness.
People write or say stuff, and their own words more accurately reflect who they are than the other persons they purportedly describe.
So what Hannah Goldfield is saying is – “I would let the perfect be the enemy if the good- my worldview is such that I want it all or I want nothing at all.” (And that is the standard by which I judge the actions others)
She could almost level the same accusation against Barack Obama, for having been conciliatory with Trump for purposes of a smooth transition.
So now that “caving to expediency” narrative is out there for readers to digest. Those really upset with a Trump presidency may eat it up without much thought and come to see the Mitt Romneys as unprincipled political weaklings, when the truth may be that it’s much more difficult to learn to work with people you disagree with for the sake of the country, than to sit in the desert of self-righteousness.
#projection #rorschach #inception