10 November 2016 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
From my many posts on facebook and the many comments to them, I have learned that many people making comments on those posts either have not read them carefully and, more frequently, did not understand what they read or misread them. This is regrettably common, from about 35% to 70% of the time. The rest of the comments are good to excellent.
The failure to understand and misreadings are particularly regrettable and tend to be focused among many of the same people. I say especially regrettable because I struggle to write things simply and in plain English. Fortunately and consolingly, other readers consistently understand, never misread and make excellent comments and criticisms. Everything written is vulnerable to good criticisms, but I see too few of them. I could criticise my own material better in most cases.
Part of the problem for those who do not understand or misread, is they bring preconceived notions on the subject to the table and their thinking becomes garbled. Rarely is a post read carefully, neutrally and cogently and then followed up by good and sound criticisms. Some preconceptions are of a tail-wagging-the-dog variety; others are fundamental and create a reading block. Critical reading and thinking skills are too frequently lacking. Those combined with preconceived and ill-considered notions create real havoc in the comments.
And most of my friends are selected out for their intelligence, as best I can determine it, and for their likelihood to make good and interesting contributions. But still, learning disabilities attend with such frequency that I seriously worry about the capabilities in these regards of the general public, and, more scarey, of those who vote.
Reading is a waning art, to be sure. It is a decoding exercise and some are not very good or fluent at it. Many Kindle books on Amazon, for an added price, now come with an audio module so someone reads the book to you. General reading is just too hard.
Well, that is simply how things are, as I see them, at least in these quarters.