I just read an article having to do with the effect of episodes of national peril and Americans coming together - for awhile, anyway. The author was comparing 9/11 and Covid 19 and how the one created solidarity and the other is creating division. I'd didn't really find much interesting in the actual article, so I'm not posting a link - but it did raise the concept of "sides" in the old box of headrocks. No conclusions, just wondering about the substance of the concept.

It Takes Two To Tango: nice metaphor, but does it really hold up as a rule in Sidesism? No, not as a rule, but sometimes - usually when both sides have similar attitude conflicts. But what about when a guy walks into a cowboy bar wearing round rim glasses (hey, my eyes are round, seems like my lenses should be round, too), orders a craft beer, and a rough looking patron gets too close with his cigarette and Bud Lite and in a loud voice says, "You lost your mommy, commie a$$hole? She's in the back room serving tricks!" Is that a "two sides" issue? Or is that a situation of one side forcing there to be two sides? Doesn't seem like the dancing metaphor holds up - more like an assault or rape type of a deal. Is rape a two sides affair?

Covid 19 sides: I don't think I need to go into any details, there are sooo many, but in my perception the two sides consist of people who believe in the science of vaccines and who don't have an irrational distrust of government (who has a complete trust, right?) versus those who are living in paranoid conspiracy land. Certainly, this appears to be a case of two sides - but I think embedded in the Sideism paradigm is an unspoken assumption that the sides are equivalent in validity. It doesn't take much thought in the way of philosophy or psychology to recognize that true equivalence of contradictory positions is rare and transient. For the sake of oversimplification, when the two sides are: 1) intelligent; and 2) unintelligent, is there any productive purpose in claiming some sort of equivalence? It appears that granting of equivalence is a point for the side of unintelligence.

Yesterday there was a post on a biochar email discussion group that I follow about the EPA conducting a review of its air quality regs relating to pyrolysis (partial gasification via heating) and the burning of produced syngas (smoke). They don't currently have specific regs for it, and have lumped it in with the "incineration" category - the burning of solid materials into ash. Contrary to the "don't trust the gummit" side, they have recognized internally that pyrolysis is a promising emerging technology and applying incineration regs to it creates unproductive obstacles. I consulted with some EPA staff a couple of weeks ago on the issue, and they are genuinely excited about fixing this problem (it presently costs tens or hundreds of thousands of $$ to comply with the incineration regs for each pyrolyzer installation - think of it as every wood stove owner needing to monitor and report on the flue gas composition every time they burn a fire). So the guy who posted the notice on the forum went out of his way to warn everybody that they need to get on submitting comments because "the enviros" were sure to be in there working their butts off to make pyrolysis illegal. Really?? I responded, thanking him for advising everyone of the stakeholder/public input opportunity, but also explaining to him that artificially spinning the subject into imaginary opposing sides was unnecessary and probably would be damaging to the outcome - that was my take on it as a 50 year environmental activist and a pyrolysis equipment developer and manufacturer. Haven't seen a reply from him, but there are numerous comments supporting my post.

Sideism - is it real, or manufactured from delusion and bigotry?