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...
Had an argument over on the Hello Kitty of Blogging about the Osama bin Laden post mortem picture not being released…of course, I completely eviscerated the opposition in every conceivable way. And yes, I know what you’re thinking. I thought it too: All smirking egotists think they’ve prevailed in all discussions whether they really did or not. But of course you can’t measure that!
In this case, though, you can. Because every single one of my opponent’s points packed a persuasive punch, but only for people who think things through emotionally, to those who make logic a loathed stranger to be kept at a distance. For those to whom logic is a welcome friend to be embraced, everything he said was impotent.
He deployed three of the best.
1. It won’t change minds, because whoever isn’t convinced in the moment I’m typing this, will never be convinced. This one did startle me, I must say. I would have thought the entire nation got its fill of this last week.
2. These other people over here are part of a formidable “brain trust,” they know better than you do even though I cannot name their names; so why don’t you just shut up and think what they tell you to think. (One of the many problems this creates is: If I’m so insignificant that my opinion shouldn’t have any effect on anything compared to these intellectual titans, then the exercise of convincing me of something must be completely meaningless; so why are we having this conversation?)
3. Prerationalism. You are to be banished from the village gates, sir! Ostracized, to whither and perish in the harsh winter, and I get your ration of milk and grain!
As I commented in there: My position is absolutely moderate with regard to the bin Laden death photograph, just as it was with regard to the birth certificate. I am steadfastly convinced of the opinion President Obama wants me to have. But I will not join in on this exercise of heckling, ridiculing, browbeating, cajoling and bludgeoning those who dissent. I regard their disagreement to be reasonable. That’s called, having the ability to intellectually engage people who have different opinions. Does our President have this ability?
Furthermore, the merits of the doubter’s arguments — the arguments of those who call President Obama a liar — although not sufficient to sway me toward their point of view, is in a state of ascension as more feeble excuses are produced in lieu of the actual documentation. And, my own certainty that the President’s statement of the facts is the correct one, is in a state of decline. All of this is only reasonable.
President Obama has made a career out of a favorite catchphrase of His, “We Must Reject The False Choice.” How ironic it is that He has made a favorite maneuver out of one such false choice: Take My word for it, and oh by the way, if you take My word for it I will count on your support to help defeat and disenfranchise those who are not taking My word for it. That is, in & of itself, a “false choice” is it not? It sounds so…Sith-like, so dealing-in-absolutes-ish. Doesn’t it? Doesn’t that sound like “you’re a friend of us or else you’re a friend of the terrorists”? Wasn’t Birther Zero elected to put a stop to that kind of intellectual simplicity?
But the reason I’m jotting down a memo-for-file on this is: It seems to me these three logical fallacies, historically, have been cellophaned together onto a common flat. In fact, it seems to me they have historically arrived in sequence. Goldilocks slept in a bed that was too hard, too soft, just right. The wolf blew down the house of straw, then the house of sticks, then made a play for the brick and the mortar. Scrooge was haunted by Christmas-past, Christmas-present, Christmas-yet-to-come. Brahma/Creator, Vishnu/Preserver, Shiva/Destroyer. Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Revenge of the Jedi. Sine, Cosine, Tangent. Prue, Piper, Phoebe. Larry, Moe, Curly. That particular prime number seems to be a seed for the universe we know, and in which we are bound. Defined sequences seem to surround it at all times; this appears to be a cosmic constant.
Thus it is with dipshit liberal arguments: alpha, beta, gamma.
I often make much of the weak arguments, the arguments formulated for those who are lacking in a decent, working, long-term memory; those who, as mentioned above, treat logic as a loathed stranger to be kept away. I place pride in my ability to avoid these derelict arguments, to detect what is wrong with them — therefore I have pride in my own long-term memory. But I must admit to being a flawed ugly-bag-of-mostly-water, and my own memory is not infallible. I cannot rattle off a list of previous examples of this; I’m just picking up a vibe. A vibe of deja vu. I wish to crystallize this vibe into an article of reference that, later on, maybe I can use. That’s what memos-for-file are really all about.
I must say, though, I have a great deal more faith in the vibe than I have in most “vibes.” I think there is going to be a pattern detected from this. No point producing the smoking gun nobody will be convinced anyway; why don’t you just shut up and believe these nameless faceless demigod experts; you are to be banished from the village. I’ve gone into detail about each one of these feckless arguments. What is new here is the sequence. I think the sequence is something of a constant. I’ll test the theory in the time that stretches out before me, assuming The Lord sees fit to keep me on the planet for a suitable timeframe.
In the meantime, do I need to state the obvious? Those who are engaged in an attempt to present an argument that possesses real merit, should not need to make use of any of these techniques, or anything remotely like them. They are anti-logical. Like Jedi mind tricks, they only work on the weak minded. A healthy intellect won’t even lose track of a rhythm, should they appear, because if the powers of observation are working, recognition will be immediate. And it was.
Update: Somewhere in my archives, I had made a point of linking to blogger friend Phil…who, somewhere in his archives, summarized a favorite leftist argument as something like “Everyone who agrees with us, agrees with us!” The village-banishment ritual, which here is Installment Three of Three, seems to me to wrap up an instance of this argument. “Now that I have made a point of banishing everyone who won’t buy this argument from the ‘village,’ or at least from my own consciousness, I can continue to state that everybody* agrees with my point of view on this thing!”
In Anno Domini Twenty Eleven, being a liberal has a lot to do with arriving at custom definitions of that word — “everybody.” The liberals won’t say so, but they use that to describe “everybody…within a certain periphery…that I’ve drawn.” If they were too forthcoming about that, they wouldn’t look too “liberal.” But let’s cut the crap. That’s what they mean.
The village-banishment maneuver also has a lot to do with disagreement sliding down a short, steep, icy slippery slope into rancor and dysfunction. Which we then blame on “discussing politics in the workplace/at the party/in the bar.” The blame for which is to be cast to both sides, equally.
But since the liberals are becoming enamored of the prerational village-banishment maneuver, and rather exuberantly at that, isn’t it past high time the blame went to them? I can’t think of a better way to turn a jocular, jovial, light-hearted, family-friendly, fun-for-kids social occasion into a hotbed of rancor, than to pretend to be ready to engage these issues in a friendly, civilized, mutually respectful way — and then, as a direct result of the strategy that has been selected and rehearsed ahead of time, fail to deliver on this.
It’s bad faith. Shouldn’t we treat it like that’s what it is?
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