Two Opposing Ideas

There are two quotes that both use this phrase (more or less), one from F. Scott Fitzgerald, and one from George Orwell. 

F. Scott Fitzgerald: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

George Orwell: “[On Doublethink] The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them”

Intelligence and brainwashing. The only difference is a matter of belief. Whether you can hold two ideas and believe one or neither of them, or both at once.

One of them seems to be gaining traction in social media and, in general, modern culture. And it isn’t the intelligent one. 

It’s amazing, once you notice them, just how many opposing ideas people seem to believe whole heartedly as true. (My favorites that I see are ‘Everyone has a right to an opinion… so long as it’s the same as mine’ and ‘Diversity and tolerance are great… as long as things are ‘diverse’ the way I decide and ‘tolerant’ to things I like’.) Or hat most people seem to know both that politicians lie, cheat and steal, and yet, also believe that ‘their’ politicians are on their side and looking out for them. This isn’t against at one side or another, it’s equally true of both. 


It doesn’t even have to be political, it could be things like margarine is the same as butter. (Lies!) 

But I think politics are just more fun to poke at.

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