Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Moving Along a Cotinuum and Dealing with Changing Ideas

I recently posted a piece called (Please) Don't Call Me a Flip-Flopper on Medium.com. The goal of the piece was to work out how a public writer or blogger deals with changing and evolving beliefs. I tried to express my anxiety about confronting beliefs that I once wrote publicly about, but am now rethinking. The responses to the piece proved most helpful in clarifying my own thinking on writing in public. Most helpful was Alex Acton's suggestion of a continuum of beliefs, rather than dichotomous choices. I have posted my responses to a few people because I think it shows what I was trying to communicate originally. I also post to my original piece below.

Alex,
I very much appreciate your response. It can be difficult for me to express my evolving thinking in the space of a post. Sometimes what is going on in my head comes out a bit different on paper. The process of expressing my thoughts and ideas in public helps me process and clarify my attitudes and beliefs. Your response communicated (and put into clearer language) what I was trying to say. Your use of continuum vs flip-flopping is a great descriptor of how we evolve in our thoughts and beliefs. Thanks for helping me better express what I hold to be true! 
Alex's original response to my post

Charles,
Thanks for responding Charles. I appreciate you taking the time to point out where I may be incorrect (or splitting unnecessary hairs). I think my overuse (or even use) of the term flip-flip didn’t really express what I was trying to get across. It set up a sort of dichotomous thinking I wasn’t trying to advance. Alex Acton used the descriptor of a continuum to describe how our thinking moves back and forth. I like this much better than some of the wording I used. Although I may have used politicians too heavily as an analogy, I would posit that they can very rarely show change on a continuum. That’s a problem.

I think part of publishing the piece is to acknowledge that writing in public (even if my audience is quite small) leaves a public record. I was trying to work out how one deals with this record of thought and opinion, especially when thinking evolves and changes. What has been awesome is hearing from people like you (and other responses). This has helped me clarify what I was trying to say and provide suggestions for continuing to write in public. 
Charles' original response to my post



Original Post: (Please) Don't Call Me a Flip-Flopper



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