On taste and disagreement

Freddie Deboer reminds us that our preferences have as much to do with luck as anything else, and that disagreement is okay. In critiquing Dan Engber’s on air conditioning, Freddie asks us to consider:

…the possibility that other adults could review the same evidence he has, experience the same experiences, have the same purchase on the world, be of the same moral discrimination, and yet conclude something different than what he’s concluded. Like the internet essayist who must forbid the possibility that musical tastes are just tastes — that they reflect not the character and content of the person inside but an inscrutable collection of chancey and contingent preferences that could have played out in any other way.

And later on:

What I want for myself, and for others, is to restore taste as taste, to be willing to float in the possibility that the various expressions of my contingent and limited attitudes, ideas, preferences, and positions could very well indeed be wrong, and in so doing reject the pleasant armor of a finished self. Again I think the challenge today is to find the courage to be human while all other humans ask you to be anything but.


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