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...
We very often fail to express skeptical thoughts about things richly deserving of skeptical thought, through our failure to give those things names. The reverse is true as well: A lot of the things that are frequently on the receiving end of mindless criticism, are derogatorily named, when there exists little rational cause for them to be named at all, let alone criticized. “Unfettered capitalism” would be tops on that list. “Climate change” would be a close second. If it’s climate, don’t we expect it to change? If it’s the free-trade brand of capitalism, isn’t it impossible for it to be unfettered? Whoever loses out, should be in a position to do some fettering. Patriarchy. Heteronormativity. Hyper-nationalism. Jingoism. Such terms exist, not because of any pre-existing need to describe something, but because of a need someone had to destroy something.
Most of the time I make up words, this is the reason why: Something, somewhere, is getting away with becoming mainstream just because nobody’s calling out its toxicities or deficiencies, and they’re not calling it out because there’s no name for whatever it is.
We need a name to describe pointlessly elaborate explanations for undesirable situations. We already have a rule that says people should make the effort to avoid them, it’s called Occam’s Razor. Example: Last night I saw a light in the sky that is unlike any I have ever seen. The most alluring explanation that can be found for this, would be that I saw an aircraft engineered and sent over here by an extraterrestrial intelligence. That would likely mean, though, that someone had achieved interstellar travel, which must mean waiting some extraordinary length of time for a journey to be completed or else achieving FTL (faster than light) velocity. The simpler explanation is the less exciting one, that I’ve witnessed a light show that is outside of my previous experience. Fireflies, swamp gas, or if you really want to get unhinged, some experimental craft being fiddled around with by the Air Force. But there exist among us many who will irrationally leap to the little-green-men theory.
And here, I must focus my misgivings upon parents of small children, and the mental/behavioral-health practitioners who enable them. We need a word to describe this phobia they have against the simpler explanation to be supplied with regard to undesirable behavior — which, I notice, would involve some work for the parents. Example: It is work for the parents to counsel the child “We are expected to abide by certain behavioral customs at the dinner table, such as not telling our invited guests to go fuck themselves in the ear.” Simple explanation: Johnny needed to be told this. Work: Make the lesson stick. This may involve a confrontation if Johnny thinks it’s acceptable behavior to tell people to go fuck themselves at the dinner table. It may involve an assertion of the protocol that the parents are right and Johnny needs to change his mindset.
A lot of parents aren’t up to the challenge, so we have Tourettes, ADHD, and all sorts of codswallop like that. We do have the controversies over whether these are real or imagined maladies, but I notice those discussions often get sidetracked into exchanges about the maladies themselves, to wit: “I knew someone who knew someone whose kid had hardcore Tourettes, and it was freaky, he did…[insert long windy paragraph about what the freaky kid did]…and if you haven’t been around someone like that you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Which is the purest kind of abject nonsense, of course. You don’t need to have met that other kid to be able to say something about “Johnny.”
The point is, the issue is not the learning-disability or maturity-deficiency itself. The issue is, what are you concluding about the boy’s genetics/environment, and what evidence has been brought to your attention — or anybody else’s — to provide rational support for what you are concluding. We seem to be living in an age in which, for reasons not fully explored or defined, our current prevailing cultural sensibilities are stuck in a belief that parenting needs to be zero-effort. I’m really not sure where we got this. It seems to have snuck up behind us and caught us all in a big net when we weren’t looking. But these “diagnoses” of learning disabilities are based not so much on scientific thinking, or even on scientific knowledge, but more on a logical contortion of our reasoning skills, toward the end of finding support for a conclusion that would demand as little as possible effort out of the parents, particularly in the realm of having unpleasant confrontational conversations with their kids.
So everyone & his dog seems to have a learning disability that explains what the kid’s doing that he isn’t supposed to be doing.
Left unexplained, is: This is driving a statistical skyrocketing of the so-called “diagnoses”; a lot of people are supposed to be super-duper concerned about that, but not nearly enough to ask some questions or re-think anything.
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