Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
I see Rush Limbaugh has a column up about his New Years’ resolution, to not be so cocky and sure of himself:
Maybe I could be a little bit more mellow, less expressive, with not as many wild gesticulations while speaking. Not monotone but clearly not as energetic. You people may not be aware but I tried being more mellow the first week I was back. …I wanted to be less threatening, because I was told that 24-year-old women are threatened by me and my passion.
So I try to dial it [back]. I figure maybe what it boils down to is I just don’t know how to be boring. I was trying to be boring, and I don’t know how to be. I even tried to be less confident. See, I am convinced — and I’ve been convinced for a while — that most people are not… Well, this I know. This is not something I’ve recently become convinced of. It’s something I know. Most people are not confident of what they believe. Most people have a lot of self-doubt, or just doubt.
If they don’t doubt themselves, they have doubt about things. They’re not very confident and not sure, and they’ve also seen what happens to people who are confident and who are sure. They are the ones who get hit. So I thought, “Okay.” I’ve known for a long time that when people talk about me being braggadocios or bombastic, what they’re really saying is that I’m too sure of myself. Nobody’s that sure of themselves, and it rubs them the wrong way. So I tried to dial that back. I tried to sound less confident. I tried to sound boring.
I don’t know how to do that.
This makes precious little sense to me, but I can identify with it anyway. I especially identify with the part about the chicks being threatened, although I know I shouldn’t identify with that. I don’t like the gender stereotyping. It creates conflict that serves no purpose, and as the years roll by and men become generally more and more effeminate, I understand that wherever the gender identity might have made for some accuracy up to some point of time, such accuracy is becoming eroded as men behave more and more like women.
But then, I’ve had my relationships, during which I’ve been midcourse-corrected for being over-confident and cocky, just like Limbaugh. Of course this has come from women, since I’m a dude and I’m straight. But I’m sure there is some resentment toward the talk show host for his swagger, and his “talent on loan from God” thing, and “thirty-five undeniable truths of life” which do not apply to humble li’l ol’ me. I don’t have “undeniable truths,” I have Things I Know, which is a bit of a different situation you see. I have no beef with anyone who wants to “deny” the things I know. If they want to challenge any one among them, I’m all ears. But, for now, no one successfully has, and so know them I do.
Now here is where the remarkable thing arises: This ground I’ve just covered, that very spot, seems to be the epicenter of where the conflict arises. Me knowing things. Going beyond merely penciling them into my mental notebook; filling them in with ink. Having some measure of good, rugged, old-fashioned confidence. Yes, this does rub some chicks the wrong way, along with not a few self-loathing chestless chick-wanna-be beta-male “men.”
This overlaps somewhat with the post previous, along with the one previous to that, along with the one I uploaded after shopping for Christmas trees. It’s the liberal Gumby universe, no point established that doesn’t move, no line between any two points that is truly straight, no arc drawn through any three points adhering to any constant direction or radius. Everything is squishy and pliable, everything’s negotiable, there are no absolutes anywhere.
And so I’ve come up with my own way not to be so cocky. Following the advice directly, I’m afraid, fails on a lot of levels. Their objection is to me knowing things, and in a lot of cases I know things because I’ve actually tested them. Uh, what am I to do about that? I see no progress in that direction, other than feigning false things, like pretending I didn’t conduct the test, pretending I don’t know how to construct the tests, or how to evaluate them, or that the tests indicated something other than what they indicated. Seems phony, to me — because it is. Also, I can’t help noticing that the women who react churlishly toward men like me who are “too confident” about things, fail to reject this, in fact are drawn to the confidence. I mean — we were having the argument, were we not? Which means we had the encounter so that we could have the argument, so there must have been some kind of a coupling. Some people go through life constantly wanting something other than what they have, something different from what they wanted yesterday. Must be a terrible way to live. And what’s it like to be one of those guys who they say they want, who aren’t so confident? Oh, I know the answer to that from my younger days: I-N-V-I-S-I-B-L-E. Yes, I can see why some women don’t like men who “know” things, those are the women who don’t know what they know. Starting with what they really want.
Rush is going to try to stop ticking off these women and American Castrati men, by looking into ways to be more boring. Okay…that probably is not my problem though. I think I’m plenty boring enough. I need to come up with my own list of things.
1. Don’t browbeat people with information. Seriously question the value involved in starting any kind of list. Consider not doing it…
Oops! Right off the bat, I violated my own rule.
Well, in for a penny in for a pound. Onward we go.
2. If you must start any kind of silly list to make your point, seriously question the value involved in reaching the end of it. Opt instead for “et al,” “et cetera” or “ad infinitum.”
That’s tough to do sometimes. You come up with a rule, make a couple of exceptions to it, it can come off as looking like you think the rule should hold for anything outside of those two things, so it becomes obligatory to tack on a third and then a fourth…your audience’s attention span has faded, understandably, somewhere between items #5 and #8. After a dozen, you’re just verbally abusing them — and of course you can’t stop yet.
There. Now I’m taking my own medicine.
The Christmas tree shopping post linked above, is an interesting blogging exercise in that I became unusually concerned with computer software and how it’s put together, studying it from a philosophical perspective. I expected it to gather dust without anyone ever looking at it, or without drawing any comments from anybody who did look. That is not what happened. Those who read it, immediately understood where I was going with it, and had similar experiences. This came as a great surprise to me.
I’ve often made the observation that with computer software, the products that are most useful and take on a life of their own, have a few things in common: An input, an output, and most importantly a difference in those two perspectives — the output has to capture the object that was input, verbatim, then it has to present it by way of a perspective that, with the product no longer accessible, would be difficult to achieve. Think of CAD, think of spreadsheets making pie charts out of data, think of databases sorting things. One object; a plurality of views of the object, that is the common theme to it all.
There is a detectable pattern in which, if the presentation of an object makes it more difficult and awkward for us to determine any absolutes about the object, liberals are going to not only love that presentation all to pieces, but spend massive amounts of energy pushing for a requirement that everyone perceive the object in that fuzzy, cloudy, definition-less way.
The error of the liberal mind is in perceiving reality to be wrapped up in the multitude of views rather than in the singular object being so represented.
You can see why I was surprised this achieved any sort of currency. It is very heavy. If it was food, it would be one of those military-surplus C-rat brownies in the green cans, that sit in your gut for a week. It goes right down to: What is reality? To the conservatives and the responsibly-thinking moderates, it is the object itself, with the view of the object being nothing more than a manifestation. To our friends the liberals, living in their squishy stretchy special universe, the view itself is the reality. That’s why they say reality lacks absolutes and one culture’s reality is just as legitimate as another’s; when you define reality the way they do, there is some legitimacy to this viewpoint. They aren’t talking “reality” in terms of the object, they’re talking reality in terms of the view of it.
So when I meet someone from that side of the fence, of course they see me as uncompromising and maybe arrogant. I see the reality as a three-dimensional thing, whereas they see it in only two dimensions. I mentioned CAD. Let’s use a simple analogy then. You see a house, ten feet high by twenty feet wide by thirty feet deep. A very simple CAD program scales this to a quarter inch per foot, and projects front, top and side elevations just like they taught you in mechanical drawing class. Your top elevation, therefore, is five inches wide and seven-and-a-half inches tall; the front elevation is five inches by two-and-a-half inches; the side elevation is seven-and-a-half by two-and-a-half. Got it?
The way the liberal sees reality, there are three realities there. For us, this doesn’t work because it creates contradictions. To a liberal, though, contradictions are inconsequential. The squishy pliable Gumby universe, remember? That property is necessary in order to isolate all these “realities.”
They perceive an assault against their plastic universe, of course, any time they receive some information that must come from the three dimensions. Like for example, that the house has a volume of six thousand cubic feet. This could only have been gathered through an experience, be it real or be it only a mental exercise, that they cannot share. So of course they feel abused about it. Hence the conflict. Also: Their brand of “negotiating,” where they’re sincere about it — read that as, Barack Obama is not involved in it — involves shifting reality from time to time, by shifting the views. We, living in the three-dimensional universe, will not accommodate this because we can’t. You shift from the side view to the top view, the elevation doubles in size, but this has no bearing on the “real” object that has been represented. That object, we insist, stays the same as it always has, you’re just looking at it differently. Well to them, this comes off as uncharitable and unkind.
You see? It’s all about…perspective. Theirs is different, because they define reality differently. They live in a flat world, because they don’t have to make anything that actually works.
This is why liberals like art, I think. The barn in the painting, the direction from which the artist chose to paint it, the colors, the lighting, the flowers in the field in front of the barn, the time of day — even the frame in which the canvas is mounted — they all coincide together to make a unique experience, and that experience is the reality. You paint the same barn from a different angle, and to them that’s an entirely different thing. To people who actually have to build things that go, there is a linkage between the two, and we use this to figure out what the barn is really like. Therefore there is a reasoning process going on.
They don’t engage in any such reasoning process because they don’t see the linkage; therefore they don’t see the point. The sunflowers in front of the barn are just as important as the barn itself. Contradictions that arise, present them with no pressing reconciliation chore whereas the rest of us have to stop everything to figure out what’s happening with that damn barn, like: Why does the color appear different at midday from at twilight?
I have also detected conflict from my apparent intransigence about these things I know; I won’t stop knowing them on command, even though the milquetoasts and the Castrati and the lefties are willing to meet me halfway on this, or so they think. What they are discovering, or would discover if they could stop blaming the conflict on me for just a minute or so, is the problem involved with falsifiability. They are discovering that inductive reasoning is porous, while deductive reasoning is not. The classic textbook example involves a theory that all swans are white, and the asymmetry is that no matter how many white swans are observed, such a theory can never be proven, but the presentation of a single black swan entirely debunks it. And so they end up in conflict with people like me, who might have seen the black swan. They think I’m generating all the conflict, and I’m certain that to them it feels that way.
But there’s my reality to be considered, as well. If I saw the black swan, I can’t un-see it, just for sake of getting along with people who haven’t seen it. So I suppose I should be grateful I’m not a radio talk show host, because the option remains open to me to simply non-associate. The view-is-reality people, the barn-perspective people, don’t seem to want me around anyway. And I have no desire to stress them out needlessly.
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