By JOHN BARTLIT
New Mexico Citizens
for Clean Air & Water
Tipping points are found in the natural world, in social behaviors and in mathematics that describe such nature. Tipping points in the news are mostly, but not always, bad. Tipping points of any kind are disruptive. Tipping points loom in politics.
Examples tell more. A species on its way to extinction can reach a tipping point, from which it cannot recover. At a tipping point, a disease can turn quickly into an epidemic. But epidemics end. “Tipping point” is a term often heard with “climate change.”
As opposing sides exchange less and less information, interactions shrink to the basic and primal. The broad spectrum of factors turns bipolar.
So, no time exists when both parties together really want to have better information. Each side rightly sees that the other guys have a wavering concern for accuracy. Yet we have no instinct for spotting the same fault in our own side. The result is the pool of well-tested facts grows small and too muddy to sort through.
Could there be means of restoring the exchange of information between differing views?
To renew democracy’s place in weighing information, I roll out an idea proposed here before. The next time you find yourself mired in rehashing Republican and Democratic “facts” with friends or family, try moving the conversation in a new direction. See who can invent the most impartial ways of testing the party facts. If nothing else, jointly explore the features of impartial testing.
Anything new that springs up has more value than a rehash and the game of doing it is a lot more fun. One sunny day, public interest could tip back towards genuine testing of facts. And the ideas that sprout might again be debated.