- - Part of a book club, located in Canada
- - I post about books
- - Also a fan of music, vinyl, photography, cities, architecture and coffee shops
- -Pretty much just a nerd who tries to be subtle about it
MYSTERIOUS TINY ROOMS BY MARC GIAI-MINIET
French artist Marc Giai-Miniet (Born in 1946 in Trappes) makes some of the most incredibly detailed (and disturbing!) dollhouses that we’ve ever seen. Marc started creating these disturbing shadowbox dioramas rather late in his career, recurring themes include libraries, furnaces, laboratories, submarines and intestine-like tubing in lonely, decaying spaces.
Went by the liquor store the other day and asked for an old wine box so that I could turn it into a book shelf. I ended up using old dictionary pages for the back and spray painting the sides and letting them drip. To finish it off, I added some nails to the top that hang on the inside. I can’t wait to hang this!
I stumbled upon this article this morning and I was struck by how well it articulated a dilemma I, and likely everyone else in this world, have been confronted with over and over again. And of course, those who read the article will no doubt find that the current climate in American politics is perhaps the best example you can find where false equivalence is given to opinions and expert. In the midst of reading this article, my mind became fixated on a spectrum of two dangers in the realm of legitimate debate, which is concerning for different reasons and I felt compelled to jot down a few thoughts.
First, I think that the “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion” phenomenon, at least in North American politics, largely stems from our popular model of democracy where every citizen is entitled to their vote. The act of voting, as it exists today, is largely an act of individualism and privacy. Thus, there really is no requirement for democratic citizens to confront their opinions and biases against other perspectives, which will likely cause discomfort because others might not agree with your views. While this should be seen as a positive because active participation in political debates has the potential to create informed citizens and better common understanding, it is neither encouraged nor integrated into the political culture of my country (Canada). The more we move away from being active and engaged citizens, the more our laissez-faire political model encourages this type of phenomenon.
The other concern that struck me from reading this article is that if we moved too much on the other side of the spectrum, our society may enter into the realm of deliberation where deliberation becomes one of esoteric speak, which for me, can work to discredit legitimate concern from “enthusiastic amateurs” (to cite the article) or the public. While I completely agree that a false equivalence should never be made to equate someone speaking from rhetoric with one who has spent their entire lives on researching and learning about a scientific issue, I also see danger with confounding the notion of ‘credentials’ within the notion of ‘status’. A citizen, who may not have a Ph.D in nuclear physics, can still have legitimate concerns about the risk of nuclear reactors being built near their community.
From my perspective, a basic line (albeit a blurry one) can be drawn to distinguish between opinion and argument. An argument is an informed opinion on a topic that is supported by knowledge/evidence/facts/reasoning. One can have an informed opinion without being considered an “expert” or have credentials in that particular issue to be allowed access to join the debate. Thus, by extension, having at least a distinction between opinion and argument does not limit the potential for raising legitimate claims relevant to the debate, and can mediate the concerns of the two concerns I listed.
— “No, You’re Not Entitled to Your Opinion.” (via marathonpacks)
Plato distinguished between opinion or common belief (doxa) and certain knowledge, and that’s still a workable distinction today: unlike ‘1+1=2’ or ‘there are no square circles,’ an opinion has a degree of subjectivity and uncertainty to it. But “opinion” ranges from tastes or preferences, through views about questions that concern most people such as prudence or politics, to views grounded in technical expertise, such as legal or scientific opinions.
You can’t really argue about the first kind of opinion. I’d be silly to insist that you’re wrong to think strawberry ice cream is better than chocolate. The problem is that sometimes we implicitly seem to take opinions of the second and even the third sort to be unarguable in the way questions of taste are. Perhaps that’s one reason (no doubt there are others) why enthusiastic amateurs think they’re entitled to disagree with climate scientists and immunologists and have their views ‘respected.’