- When pundits, wags, and periodically me use the term “unintended consequences” as a rhetorical trump card. It’s a well established concept by now, and it is usually used to refer to a foreseen, but unpleasant risk, not anything unexpected.
- When people say “It’s more complicated than that” when they really mean that the set of options or outcomes is different than what the original speaker thinks. The situation is not necessarily more complicated, and it could even be simpler than originally thought, just different.
When I say it’s more complicated I mean one of two things:
1. Time/Brains: I don’t feel like, or have the time, to explain all of this to you right now so rather than argue with you…
2. Sarcasm: It may not be that complicated, but the view of the world you have that makes you who you are will predispose you to not go where the more complicated ideas are. Think having a conversation with an evangelical soccer mom about Bin Laden’s ecomnomic agenda vs. his supposed religious one. You could easily hold your entire half of the conversation merely by repeating the expression over and over again.
soccer moms are among our best and brightest.
soccer is really boring, which gives them ample time to ponder bin laden’s economic agenda, as well as the finer plot points of ‘desperate housewives’.
don’t discount a soccer mom’s reasoning skills and enlightenment. it’s not their fault their kid wants to play a hippie euro-sport.
(fearing retribution by angry soccer fans. they riot, you know)
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