Arnold Williams (notebuyer) wrote,
Arnold Williams
notebuyer

Problematize

Happens all the time: people miss obvious things, preferring more complicated things that might suit them better.

t is expedient to find a matter intractably complex if its simple elucidation is not to your liking. If, for instance, a simple solution to a simple problem presents itself, but that solution sits well with the views of your political enemies, then you should deny the simplicity of the problem and even the possiblity of a solution. Not only does this wrest the problem back to your own side, where a crack gaggle of obfuscators and theorists can find a complex and refractory expression of it that is both politically favourable and profitably intractable, but it also affords the opportunity of characterising your political enemies as simple-minded fools. In this way, the sensible but simple view is eschewed in favour of the propitious and abstruse view. Some obfuscators and theorists, in a repose of complacency, have even been so open about this trick as to coin a word: “problematise”.

An example: premarital sex. The real rule set is simple. But people don't want it, so they problematize their way into things that don't work, and then wonder what went wrong.
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