Chalk and cheese | Prospect Magazine
different forms of trust. A person who values relationships is inclined to put their trust in 'someone'; the person who values rules they're like chalk and cheese. How does that relationship work now? What are the stumbling blocks to a better system? Do politicians need to become more science-literate?. Chalk and Cheese trusted him on one hand but kept their secrets and distance trust him, so Peter did not have the nerve to spoil their current relationship by.
His deputy obeyed the command, although the wind was wrong: The absolute obedience which a general can command is not appropriate at sea. The sea, and the ships on it, do not obey orders in the way that armies do. Ship captains have to be able to make their own judgements and take their own risks. The engineer differs from the trader much as the general differs from the sea captain. The trader knows that the market is beyond his control, that he must try to swim with the tide, take risks, be flexible.
Planning may be useful, but only up to a point. Can it be surprising that Germany, a country of engineers, prefers the security of managed markets?
Especially when, in the postwar period, they have been managed with intelligence and success; perhaps more so than the so-called free market economies? True, few people in Britain today have anything to do with the sea-there are far more engineers than sea captains. But values and cultural ideas have a way of perpetuating themselves. The acceptance of risk, for example, is part of everyday life in Britain.
A survey of management attitudes in Britain and Germany showed that one of the big differences between British and German managers is that the Germans have low tolerance of uncertainty. This seems to be characteristic of German society as a whole. Of course we would all rather be secure than insecure.
Are You and Your Partner Like Chalk and Cheese?
But in Germany the need for security seems to run deeper. It is visible in the rock-solid way that German people build their houses; in the all-encompassing nature of the social security system in Britain you can bet on anything; in Germany you can insure against anything. You see it in the enormous consumption of medicines and medical services the highest in Europe ; and in the panic which grips Germany when there is thought to be even an infinitesimally small risk in some food product.
This search for absolutes and for absolute certainty is what to most foreigners at least seems most characteristic of the German intellectual tradition. The great thinkers of the 19th century were, for the most part, Germanic; their ideas have dominated the 20th century: Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud have been the master spirits of our age.
Even within the British philosophical tradition, two outstanding figures, Popper and Wittgenstein, came from Vienna. Maybe this search for certainty explains the power and glory of German thought. The greatest German thinkers, from Luther onwards, have shown a thoroughness, a persistence and an intellectual ruthlessness unmatched elsewhere.
Sometimes the drive for certainty has led to the overthrow of common sense. The desire to build systems is also characteristic of the German intellectual tradition.
Rousseau did not think of his ideas as a system; neither did Locke. But the drive to construct systems runs through German philosophy from Leibniz to Marx. Whether we should attribute this to the search for certainty, the tradition of intellectual rigour, or the mental structure of the engineer is a matter of taste.
But, put together, the search for systems and certainty can lead to ideology-a unified theory which answers all questions, solves all problems, resolves all doubts.
All have the appearance of reason but in the end require justification by faith. On a more mundane level, the search for certainty reveals itself among German scientists in the attempt to find comprehensive and eternal solutions.
Anglo-Saxon colleagues-in a sense, more slap-dash -are ready to by-pass bits of a problem which seem too difficult; they look instead for partial solutions. In the Anglo-Saxon tradition, science is perceived as an iterative, evolutionary process: This also applies to politics. There is something very German in the wish to achieve not simply peace which is good enough for the rest of us but a perpetual peace.
Europe, we are told, must be made irreversible. The demand for certainty and the insecurity behind it belong to this same tradition. For Germans, it is only order which makes peace possible. Equally, Britain has had centuries of relatively undisturbed independence and constitutional continuity, so a certain confidence comes as no surprise.
By contrast, the British tradition is associated with pragmatism and optimism. Pragmatism is a much abused term. Often it means a complete absence of thought, theory or conscious plan. Thomas Mann probably had Britain in mind when he wrote: On a more serious intellectual level, the British tradition is that of the empiricist school of philosophy.
In its most radical form-the philosophy of David Hume-the empiricists altogether deny the possibility of certainty. They argue that nothing in the future has a necessary connection to the past; nothing in the present has a necessary connection to anything else.
Faced with this intellectual void, all we can do is to live with uncertainty, make the best guesses possible, based on the best available evidence, and see what happens. This approach lacks the intellectual drive and ambition of the German approach, providing a refuge for sloppy as well as profound thinkers. But it also constitutes an admirable basis for liberalism. If there are no certainties, then the intellectual basis for authority is weak.
In the absence of certainty, tolerance is required. Rulers cannot claim to be wiser than the people whom they rule. Political scientists and philosophers have no monopoly on the truth; they must begin by admitting that they may be wrong. The essence of liberalism is the belief that all things are necessarily disconnected. Did I say that the greatest thinkers of the 19th century were all Germans?
There is one exception: Among German philosophers the idea of purpose is frequent and powerful; many of the German philosophical systems were teleological. In a sense, Darwin is the 19th century successor to Hume.
Although Darwin sought to explain the connections between things, and the reasons why certain creatures exist, he did so in a way which gave randomness a central role. Darwin could be described as a biological Burke: This, too, offers a philosophical basis for liberalism. Liberalism is an optimistic philosophy. Free trade theory concludes that maximum prosperity will be achieved with less rather than more intervention.
Liberal political ideas have always argued that openness, trade and prosperity would bring peace.
- Science and politics: chalk and cheese?
Liberalism preaches a minimum state because it believes in the people more than in the state. The pessimistic view, associated with Germany and Thomas Hobbesis that without the state, society would descend into chaos. But Germany also takes a pessimistic view of the state and encumbers it with domestic handicaps and external obligations.
You can neither trust the people nor the state.
Are You and Your Partner Like Chalk and Cheese? – Support4Change Blog
Society is possible only because of the rules imposed by the state. In Britain it is the other way round. Society is the framework for the state.
On the escalators in the London underground, people stand on the right, leaving the left side free for those who want to walk up. No law tells them to do so; only habit and courtesy.
But if law seems contrary to common sense they may decide to ignore it-as they did over Sunday shopping. A reform of German spelling and grammar has been proposed. Its proposers were German government ministers.
The question of whether they had the right to do so or whether a parliamentary vote is required is being disputed in the courts. In Germany, the state sets the framework for that most important social activity: In Britain, and in the US, language belongs to society.
Standards are set by usage and codified by the writers of dictionaries. The state accepts what society proposes. If you can trust neither the people nor the state, then what can you trust? The German answer must be found in some outside authority: God, the Bundesbank, history, principles, law.
Law, courts and constitution regulate everything. In Britain, much depends not on law, but on custom and tradition. Law itself is the by-product of custom built up by habit. Precedent is more important than purpose.
The German state was designed-and rather well designed. A dreamer with vibrant visions of how to make the world a better place. A modern day and slightly less fabled Gandhi, if you will minus the flip-flops and the mustache. In stark contrast, I am a realist. His dreams of saving the world are really quite enchanting, but at times, make me want to take a pan to his head! What can I say? Fiction is lost on me, it really is. All couples are different in one way or the other, but the troublesome differences are those that come in the form of conflicting wavelengths.
When there is a lack of mutual harmony, the relationship can become discordant, or worst still, stuck and unable to move forwards. Opposites can serve to bring out a new and improved side of each person. So what could be better than dating someone who, by default, thinks differently from you? Furthermore, healthy debate and differing opinions can bring added spark to a relationship.
Wait a minute…do you mean all these drawn-out disputes I keep having with my husband are actually enriching our relationship? It involves acts like forgiveness and acceptance of ones mistakes.
You fight, and you learn something new about the person. Everything has its place, and therefore, everything should remain in its place!
Heaven forbid if a picture frame hangs slightly more to the left or the rug is askew. My husband is a tornado of destruction. From massacres in the toilet to crime scenes in the sink, mess seems to follow him wherever he goes.
In fact, he seems to have a laundry pile sprouting from his backside with every step taken. You open a drawer, you close it again. You open the door…you get my drift! There goes my head again, along with my tolerance for the closed-door phobic! Some people are naturally tidy; books alphabetized by author, for example. Clothes not only neatly folded but colour-coded, too. Dishes and glassware carefully arranged by size — All common traits of a tidy person.
And likewise, when a messy person meets an equally as messy person. Surely this is a recipe for disaster? Neatness and messiness are not generally issues of right and wrong, they are matters of personal preferences and tendencies.
People who tend to lean towards tidiness generally function in this way: When their space is cluttered, their minds feel cluttered. The only way to resolve looming issues — apart from relentless nagging — is to learn to bend and adjust to a different style of living. Compromise is the key to keeping your relationship afloat; you will simply have to learn how to communicate your needs with one another and make any necessary sacrifices along the way.
Unfortunately, he is sadly mistaken. He is male, after all. I mean, does it really matter if your partner is terrible at timekeeping or, on the contrary, insists that everything is alphabetized? According to psychologists, we naturally gravitate towards individuals who have strengths which we are missing.
Our natural attraction to our opposite is thought to be, a subconscious way of dealing with the weaker aspects of our own nature, and, therefore all the traits we need to work on in ourselves tend to be reflected to us through our partner.
You might learn something! Whilst my husband likes guns, gangsters and more guns.
Are you a chalk and cheese couple? - Times of India
Oh, and not forgetting zombies, aliens and robots, I enjoy something a little more light-hearted. Of course, it can work!
Not only would it become incredibly tedious if you both liked the same stuff, but it could also prevent you from exploring new things. A relationship with your polar opposite will guarantee both.
It takes a real connection to develop something deeper. You and your partner might not have everything in common when it comes to media tastes or hobbies, but who cares? Even our sex drives are conflicting. Like many couples, in the prime of our relationship, we were at it like rampant rabbits.
As the years drifted by, sex slipped down the hierarchy of needs and pitched itself below food, sleep and …errr…. This can prove quite problematic when I have one frisky husband who would do anything I mean, anything! The novelty and excitement of a new relationship can often mask sex drive imbalances.
Sex should be fun, exciting and most importantly, enjoyable.