Log in

No account? Create an account
17 April 2012 @ 11:45 am
An assertion  
"I prefer X to Y" and "X works better for me than Y does" are not moral statements and do not imply that I think X is generically bad or less than Y.

This assertion is not prompted by any current drama or distress; it's just a thought about claims of relative best versus claims of absolute best.
Stephen Harrissweh on April 17th, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
"prefer" and "better for me" are subjective statements, and not objective. Subjectivity vs objectivity is sometimes a hard thing for people to comprehend.
A Wandering Hobbit: cognitive hazardredbird on April 17th, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
Related to this, "I prefer X to Y" does not mean "I don't like Y." I decided this afternoon that I would rather have dim sum than pho, but if Kam Fung hadn't been right there, pho would have been a fine thing.

What I think I need to watch out for, occasionally, is the inverse of that: if I don't actually want X or Y, it probably doesn't matter which I would mind less. And if it does matter, I still should be clear that it's "I don't really like either of those, but if I have to pick, I'll take X," but I'd rather have Z, or nothing at all.
Shadow/Brookekengr on April 17th, 2012 07:31 pm (UTC)
You've just reminded me of "Quigley Down Under". Quigley is always saying that he doesn't like pistols. As the bad guy learns the hard way, that didn't mean he didn't know how to use them. :-)
Cat Sitting Stillcatsittingstill on April 17th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
I use those terms the same way and with the same implications, FWIW.
Tom the Alien Cat: little green man felinetomtac on April 20th, 2012 01:00 pm (UTC)
I like your post, preferring it to all of the comments. This does not mean that I don't like the comments, quite the contrary.


There are two reasons. One is that it is a beautiful assertion of the need to appreciate the individual, and especially each individual's perspective. Many have suffered too long with the "one size fits all / all of you are alike" philosophies, under which personal statements like "this doesn't work for me" or "I don't like that" were just too inconvenient to tolerate.

The other is it parallels the main thesis of one of my favorite books. Robert Pirsig wrote "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", which described his realization that "quality" (or "what you like") resides in either both, or neither, of the object and the beholder. The book describes, in detail, how a statement like yours eventually drove him insane, with him locked up in a straightjacket and submitting to electroshock therapy.

Anyway, Janet, I agree with you.