Yes, although I take issue with the description of "complex" information. Much of the information(if you can really call it such) we're bombarded with on a constant basis are far from complex, but largely are sound-bytes dressed up to look like infortmation. "White noise" is probably the better the term to use here.
The actual issues are complex regarding most political debates. The sound bites aren't and that is why they do not accurately represent the information.
Originally Posted by Peguy
There's also a fundamental problem with many of the prevailing assumptions these days, especially that every perspective is just mere opinion, and that there is no general truth at all. When that's your starting point, then there really is not much to discuss to begin with. You have your truth, I have my truth - end of discussion. The whole basis for rational discourse has been eliminated.
I think education is an important element in this. When fear or familiarity are used to form assumptions, then an opponents position is seen as using that same method. If a person doesn't use reason for their own thought processes, how will they be able to recognize it in someone else's position? The problem is that if a person is not exposed to the tools for measuring an assumption against reason, then everything looks like opinion.
I tend to have a degree of sympathy towards people whose thinking is distorted by fear and indoctrination. People schooled in reason often look down on these people, but I don't. I was initially taught a number of irrational ideas in life and believed them into my twenties. It wasn't because I was stupid or that I didn't care about understanding reality, it was because of my environment and exposure. I remember being looked down on, and having a sense of confusion because the person never explained why they were condescending towards me. I was actually doing my best, and I can see that in others as well. Since that time I was somehow able to start recognizing reason in other people's positions and have eventually let go of the majority of my initial assumptions about the nature of reality. Looking back on my education there were glimmers of instances that initiated this understanding of reason including a junior high science class, some study of logic, and an inner drive to analyze information and try to understand the nature of things.
The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas. H.G. WELLS
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. FEYNMAN If this is monkey pee, you're on your own.SCULLY
Well yes of course people need to be educated on how to think, no doubt. But in order to do that, you have to first acknowledge that there is a truth that needs to be discovered through thinking. Otherwise you can become more obsessed with issues of methodology than actual truth.