When we want beautiful things, its easy to ignore the associated cost/price that comes with it. I want to discuss examples of good/bad things that are packaged together seemingly inseparably. There are also cases of dichotomies where we are forced to give up/lose some things that are not immediately obvious. These are contrasting values and often fundamental tradeoffs which we just cannot avoid.
There is this idea in physics - complementarity that is similar. At the quantum level the best mathematical model of reality we have seems to indicate matter behaves in a strange way, irrespective of our ignorant theories and inaccurate sensors there are properties that just can't be measured simultaneously to an arbitrary precision.
Ideologies pollute our mind and delude us, we believe that we can have it all. It is important to acknowledge no solution is perfect, there is collateral damage, compromises, tradeoffs. In most cases depending on the context there is a line in the middle between extremes, a golden mean.
1) Big government, Security, Safety, Stability, Comfort, Transparency, Order, Predictability, Inefficiencies, Equality vs Privacy, Independence, Freedom, Choices, Responsibility, Accountability, Risk, Innovation, Creativity, Chaos, Inequality, Flexibility
When we give power to any institution such as the police, military, government, etc we are seeking security, stability, safety, order. The rules that we set up can turn rigid over time and cause inefficiencies. But it is often our individual independence, freedom and privacy that gets constrained for the sake of the "larger" good. If we want transparency some people are giving up privacy. People who like more choices, be creative, take risks have to also take responsibility for that power over one's own life. As people are given freedom, naturally inequalities arise where people have different talents, put in different efforts, are more efficient.
2) Self-esteem, Motivation, Confidence, vs Truth, Nihilism, Accuracy
There are real flaws that we ignore about ourselves. We need a level of inaccuracy, where we allow delusions, selective memory in order to feel good about ourselves. To feel motivated we need optimism bias and believe there is hope, feel confident about our chances. The cold harsh truth does not always help, it often leads us to nihilism where we realize nothing objectively matters.
3) Autonomy, Individualism, Independence, Selfishness, Originality, Spontaneity, Impulsivity, Diversity vs Intimacy, Family, Tribe, Peer pressure, Politeness, Cooperation, Freedom
Individualism is a rebellion against groupthink, where you had peer pressure to conform, and homogenity was forced. It is often selfish to put yourself above others in priority but it comes along with believing the autonomy lies with the individual. As we grow intimate with a partner, family, any group/tribe identity we give up our freedom, we let them decide partly what we do, we care about what they think. If we have taboos around divorce we force stability, make them try to work things out, compromise and sacrifice but it also means you take your partner for granted knowing they can't leave.
The whole idea of that social feedback resulting from intimacy is to ensure stability, have predictable behavior. Respect and Shame were the carrot and stick used to ensure we all cooperated. Politness is the basic version of such behavior control. The basic etiquette expected from us civilized individuals. There is also an element of planning, considering consequences of your actions that acts as a constraint on freedom. People deep into individualism are more likely to make impulsive decisions.
4) Rigid plans, Principles, Conscience, Character, Predictability, Cooperation, Self-consistency, Integrity, Means, Deontological, Ethical vs Respond flexibly, Hypocrisy, Action based on context, Opportunistic, Unscrupulous, Ends or goals matter more, Consequentialism, Teleological, Practicality
Ends vs Means is a classic ethical quandary. People who are said to be ethical, principled, of "good character", strict to their principles even when it is not practical to do so. They sacrifice benefits for the sake of what is good/right. This sort of means ethics is what makes others predictable, they are also seen as overly rigid since no human made ethical principle can be universally applied. People who are willing to bend the rules depending on the context, they respond flexibly and focus on outcomes rather than the means. They are seen as opportunistic, unscrupulous people.
5) Internal Locus of Control (LOC), Free will, Blame, Power, Responsibility, Motivation, Agency, Consent, Meaning, Zoomed-in scope, Growth, Ambition, Expectations, Living in the future, Sacrifice present, Freedom, Independence vs External LOC, Nihilism, Compassion, Why, Causality, Externalities , larger/big picture - Zoomed out expanded scope, Fate, Complacency, Satisfaction, Detachment, Apathy, Living in the present, Hedonism, Dependence, Immaturity, Protection
When you believe you have free will, that you are in control of your life, you have choices, power, you take responsibility for the outcomes of your life, you have hope and ambition, expectations for the future. You look at the future and sacrifice the present for growth, you zoom in and focus on your life, your personal future, etc. While people who zoom out and see the big picture, how if we look at longer time spans our actions seem negligible, we feel fate crush us, determinism and casuality undermines free will. We can focus on externalities and feel like our life is outside our control. We feel apathy and detachment from consequences, we feel no ownership. But it is satisfying to just accept that we only ever have the present. When we lose meaning, we grab onto empty pleasure in the present. We give kids freedom when they turn into adults, we believe they have the capacity to make responsible decisions and choices. Kids are weak, they need to be protected, they can't be independent. They also have to take responsibility for the choices they make, they can go to jail, they are expected to start pushing the locus of control internally as part of becoming mature.
6) Brevity, Conciseness vs Intuitiveness, Preciseness, Understanding
People don't like to read lots of words, our attention spans are falling. So its a great skill to be able to use fewer words to convey the same idea. But to be precise you need more words most of the time, if not use rarer words. To ensure people can intuitively understand, you often need more time and words to convey the idea.