So must of us, well…maybe most of us born in the 90s, have watched Wayne’s World, and immediately think of this scene when we hear foxy lady…But today, I want to change that belief.
Currently, I’m reading “The Signal and the Noise” by Nate Silver (a book my wonderful brother gave to me for my birthday) and the idea of foxes came up. Silver describes two types of people – foxes and hedgehogs – and analyzes their predictions in political (and other) matters. He came to find out that foxes have more correct predictions than hedgehogs, so shouldn’t we strive to be a fox? Well, let’s get into what a fox actually is.
Immediately I heard fox and thought sly, cunning, deceptive…but in all actuality, a fox is one who takes multiple paradigms into account, is willing to be self-critical, and is always open to new ideas. In comparison, the hedgehog is the person who is a “big idea” person (which may seem good in the beginning) but is so stuck in their own way of thinking, that they throw out the idea of everything else or anyone else, who disagrees with him/her. Now, in this book, Silver uses female pronouns when describing the fox and male pronouns when describing the hedgehog..which meant that it was a sign that I must write a blog about this!
So, I ask my readers, my friends, my family, and myself, to be foxes. Don’t let your subjective view blind you when thinking of things. Yes, we all have our beliefs, but really, does that mean they are right? Probably not. They may be right to you, but right for you doesn’t mean right for everyone. How often does one of your friends date someone who they think is perfect, but you find ridiculously annoying? Or any other thing that may be negative? Happens all the time…and is a perfect example of how someone else’s version of perfect isn’t for you – but it is theirs, regardless.
Going along with this discussion, I must address the media…because obviously, they are the perfect example of hedgehogs. Each newspaper, magazine, news broadcast, TV station, etc, has their own point of view – and displays information based in their own perception. Yesterday, I enjoyed a lovely breakfast with my fabulous Great Grandma at the (almost as fabulous) Fairmont Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. We discussed our stance on gay rights, Christianity, Orthodox Jews, tattoos, and relationships…which, for being 99, she is very open to all types of people. As she was getting ready for the day, I was reading the New York Times. Now, I’m aware of the biases in papers, but I didn’t think it would go THIS far.
My grandfather works for Covington & Burling – a law firm in DC – that represents corporations and state governments. Recently, they brought on Lanny Breuer as the vice chairman (a position made for him), after leaving the Justice Department. Now, the NY Times titled this press release something along the lines as “Another Revolving Door Conspiracy” – discussing Breuer’s lifelong career between private sector law firms (mostly C&B) and government positions (Justice Department, asst. attorney general) while the Washington Post highlighted the good things he did in the Justice Department – BP Oil Spill, making a case against financial institutions – and also the bad – his role in the Fast & Furious situation. As you can see, the NY Times came off as more of an alarmist piece – opting to frighten anyone reading it – while the Washington Post wrote the piece as a tribute to the good (and the bad) that Breuer has done, and his movement in his career. While the NY Times may have had a good point – the revolving door is something I’m adamantly against, they attacked a single individual – who has done both good and bad.
All in all, I guess what I’m trying to say is that we should be CRITICAL thinkers at all times. Don’t just accept information for the sake of thinking you KNOW something. We have the ability to “know” whatever we want – so make sure you are choosing the foxy path. Take into account all sides of the story. Don’t accept anything as an ABSOLUTE truth – because there is no such thing (except for a few laws of physics) but even such, they only work because we (humans) made them work – by identifying, defining, and applying them across time.
On another note – I’m embracing my foxiness (both mental and physical) and enjoying a lovely visit to Washington, D.C. I’m taking the Metro to Capitol Hill to have lunch with my brother at We, The Pizza – a Spike (Top Chef contestant) family restaurant. Last night, I went to my first National Symphony Orchestra performance and loved it! There was an amazing violinist debuting with the NSO and she did a phenomenal job. I’ll post my favorite piece, of the night, when I can find a good recording. The Kennedy Center was amazing and I’m lucky that I was able to go, and sit in a great box seat!
Until next time, love yourself & others – and ALWAYS be a fox!