I was reading Ezra Klein’s “Why We’re Polarized” and I came across a lovely idea, which is that we are not meant to be rational by ourselves. Put another way we are stronger when we take in and listen to multiple points of view. This is certainly something I have found to be true. Recently someone pointed out the root “rational” is “ratio” – which implies both comparison and balance. I like the idea of revealing the truth by comparing notes, or our various versions of reality.
As to ascertaining the a rational balance, whenever I work with statistical ratios and percentages, I’m also mindful of how slippery they can be. Change can happen in either numerator or denominator (or both), and big changes can be obscured in the resulting ratio. So-called rationality is rooted in a lot of obscured assumptions. It makes sense to check the default paradigm and the legitimacy of any comparison – before venturing a guess as to what is and what is not rational.
… and of course there is also the matter of what happens at the margins.