This week’s recommended read is a real treat: a Slate article by Ian Leslie June about the value of ambivalence.
This article really spoke to me, as I’m someone who often finds myself saying “I’m not sure, I appreciate both sides of the argument”. And, for those occasions, I’m tempted to print out this paragraph on index cards to hand out to people who don’t appreciate that response (perhaps a long with a set that just read: “It’s a lot more complicated that that”, for people who doggedly press a single side of a debate without appreciating their opposition):
Ambivalence is not the same as indifference, with which it is often confused. Someone in an ambivalent state of mind is experiencing an excess of opinion, not an absence of it. An ambivalent person may feel very strongly about the subject at hand without reaching anything like a coherent point of view on it.
There are some other brilliant snippets in there too, including (and I’ll try not to spoil the article here) a description of a quite fascinating experiment at the University of Amsterdam’s “Uncertainty Lab” – who could resist visiting that? – and a discussion of the impact of ambivalence on political debate.
Anyway, I really enjoyed this article, and I hope you’ll read and appreciate it too.