Friday, September 15, 2006

Allergic to Ideas?

The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it.
-Peter. B. Medawar, scientist, Nobel laureate (1915-1987)

How do we inoculate ourselves against an allergy to ideas? General semantics encourages us to keep an open mind, to strive for cognitive accuracy, to add dates and indexes to our evaluations so we remember that all things change all the time. With regular "treatments" of this antigen, we develop the ability to embrace new ideas and integrate them into our belief systems, instead of rejecting potentially valuable information because it represents some kind of threat to the existing structure of our ideas.

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