Hey Tim. :)
Yeah, I get that some people prefer those color-based labels. But I see that as being similar to how some defend junk food with “but I really like it.” It’s obviously not a perfect 1:1 analogy, but junk food has led to epidemic-level harm in people’s health, and we have epidemic-level issues with the objectification and devaluing of human beings. I think the language we use to describe each other is a very powerful place to start addressing this.
And it’s not just the “black/white” issue — it’s reducing people into two-dimensional caricatures through labels. Democrat/Republican, rich/poor, young/old… they all have the potential to be diminishing, and frequently create issues with how people see and then treat each other.
Regarding the “failure” thing, totally. That was the point I made in bullet point #1: “A mechanism can fail to perform its intended function.”
Mechanisms can fail and people can fail to act responsibly, but ascribing the concept of failure to the external efforts of humans is folly because we don’t control life or the universe. We just influence aspects of both.
What we do have absolute control over is our reactions and choices though.
I like the “suboptimal” thing. :) But, things are always perfect in that what occurs is a perfect expression of the conditions that were present for the result to emerge. You don’t mix together the ingredients for a cake and accidentally get napalm, and you don’t hug a kitten and burst into flames.
Everything in the universe functions perfectly according to its nature, it’s just that it doesn’t always produce results that humans prefer.
I think the variety of “perfect” that is an enemy of “good enough” is a product of human imagination. Humans frequently create an idea of what they prefer or wish things would be, call it “perfect,” and then project that subjective preference onto the objective reality of something. When the two don’t line up they declare the external thing to be flawed instead of recognizing that they just thought something inaccurate about it.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Good stuff. :)