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’m seeing a lot of criticism coming out from all sorts of directions against the “Romney supporters” for their inconsistency with regard to the weight they confer on national polls. As I understand it, the charge is one of being a fair-weather friend to the credibility of the polls; they dismissed the polls when they gave Emperor Barry a command lead, and now that Mitt Romney is up by five to seven points, we & they are doing an about-face and saying there’s something to be learned from this. Make up your darn minds, you Romney supporters!
Okay, a few points:
First of all, I have seen a very sturdy pattern holding up in which, when a conservative or self-professed Republican or Romney supporter calls the integrity of the poll into question, the issue is liberal bias. This is down to the last nose — I’ve not heard of any exceptions to it at all, anywhere. We can argue about whether the liberal bias is there, which I personally find facile and silly. But the point is that if this is the issue, there’s no inconsistency here. “The poll shows Obama ahead but I’m taking it with a large grain of salt because, liberal bias”…two weeks pass…”The poll shows Romney ahead and I’m taking this seriously because, liberal bias.” Where’s the inconsistency? There isn’t any.
Secondly, I can think of quite a few occasions in my living memory in which the polls said the democrat was doing alright, the big day came and there was this unexpected smackdown. It seems there is some difficulty involved, even in the age of Google, with salvaging the old records so when we argue about this, we end up arguing about our personal recollections. I recall there was some expectation of the 2002 midterms, but President Bush keeping his job in 2004 came as a complete surprise to the proggies, giving rise to instant conspiracy theories about Diebold tampering with the voting machinery. Reagan over Carter in 1980 was an embarrassing turn of events, taking place overnight, I still remember that well. In 2010, Sarah Palin could see November from her house, but the pollsters couldn’t see it from theirs. My point here is, I do not recall it going the other way. Polls say the Republican is winning, winning, winning, we go off to vote and shocker of shockers, the democrat has it! Anybody remember that happening? Ever?
Third…and this is a real question, because I’m completely baffled by it. Are we really still arguing about the news media being biased toward democrats, here? After 2008 I thought that was all settled. How can there be any outstanding uncertainty about it? They shed so much of their vestigial remnants of credibility four years ago that they still haven’t recovered it and I don’t think they ever will. They screwed the country over because they didn’t do their jobs. People are still unclear on this? How? It’s like being unclear on the Exxon-Valdez spill, or the Enron scandal.
Let’s elaborate on that last one a bit. In politics as well as in business, over the last several years I have noticed people have this tendency to confer greater weight on ideas that may or may not make any sense, and may or may not comport with the observations they’ve been making about things…but if they’ve been hearing the idea more often, the idea wins. Actually, I’m not so dim and dense that I just started taking note of this. I was noticing that in childhood because, hey, how can you get away from it when it’s all around you? But my more recent belated realizations about this are more concerned with how far the passion goes. The “echoed” idea can be proven wrong, over and over and over again, right in front of their faces…they’ll still swear by it. I think what we’re seeing here is that evolution isn’t always a good thing, and our evolution came from homo sapiens who happened to live in tribes. Caves, tree forts, teepees, whatever…we’ve got these people, over here, in our community who are “good” and then those other people, on the other side of that hill over there who are “bad.” Nobody in that tribe over there ever does anything right, and nobody over here ever makes a mistake.
And if you can think of any exceptions to either of these, then you must belong over there!
We seem to be grappling with a not-so-new ostracizing against the scientific fundamental of questioning things. The undertone I pick up is one of, “I am accepting this poll without any question at all, and I’m taking offense that you are not doing the same.”
There’s a lot of widespread concern that across the nation, the citizenry is becoming more polarized, divided, contentious. Perhaps that is because we are being given information, not structured or assembled for the purpose of being inspected, that simply doesn’t add up. When this happens, it is only natural that some among us will say well, hey, that is the marching order and I shall follow it…and others will become preoccupied with the realization that, for whatever reason, the discrepancy exists and they are not about to dismiss it just because they’re being told to.
Result: polarization. There are many, many other examples to be offered, this thing with the polls just seems to me like yet another item on the list. Part of what inclines me toward that is the lopsided arguments presented by those who counsel us to believe the polls, uncritically all of the time. It looks to me like an argument of “Yes, sampling with an eleven point advantage to the democrats is quite a skew, and it’s not supported by voter turnout in the 2010 midterms, but…blah blah blah a bunch of stuff, therefore, don’t worry your pretty head about it, just believe what you’re told.” In other words, they concede all the observations and they concede the math and they even concede some of the conclusions to be formed about what it all means. Until you get to the part about calling the meaning of the poll into question. Then they simply abandon that train of thought and can’t, or won’t, say why.
The instructions about what to think today came in crystal clear, dummy. What’s the problem? Oh, and your favorite color for today is pink. You like the number five. The kiosk said so.
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