Ambivalence Is Awesome

Tell me your position on the NSA government surveillance revelations. Do you believe that Edward Snowden is a quiet hero who has performed a vital public service? Or do you think he is a traitor who broke the most solemn of oaths?

You may have little trouble answering. Some of us, however, will be tempted to answer “yes” to both questions. Like a quantum particle, we find ourselves in two positions at once: Snowden is a whistle-blower and a sneak. We may also be both for and against the death penalty, or pro-choice and anti-abortion. If pressed, we might come down on one side or the other of these debates. But we will feel terrible about it.

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