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...
It is said that people make better decisions meeting in large groups than they do on their own; rarely does anyone challenge this, but for some reason, there arises a need to keep saying it over and over again. I’ve not yet heard anyone seek to assert that a larger group of people can make better decisions than a medium-sized group of people, and I don’t think I will. The largest group I can see deciding things, is the group of United States voters deciding presidential and congressional elections; it remains an inter-generational constant that they, themselves, are terribly disenchanted and unhappy with what they, themselves, have been doing. So if there’s something to this theory of group-think superiority over individual-think, then there must be an optimal group size. There has to be a number, more than one but less than 300 million, inclined to make better decisions than groups of any other size. What an enormous benefit to humankind it would be to find that number. And yet, I’m not aware of anyone trying to look into it.
As mulish and resolute as these group-think advocates are when they argue the benefits of group-think, to the point of bellicosity, their defenses are limited to calling attention to the best of the group-think ideas, whereas when the virtues of group-think are called into question, the indictment is a consequence of — not the best ideas — but the worst ones. The defenses, frustratingly, are never organized around the question at hand, which is why & how we should tolerate the bad ideas. The meaningful disadvantage to the group-think authority is that the ether that binds the minds together concocts irrational, deplorable, indefensible and harmful ideas, speckles of scatology no single one of the minds would deign to claim. Ideas that make so little sense, do so much harm, and produce so little, that they are unworthy of an identity.
These items, which dwell at the nadir of the group-think performance curve rather than at the zenith, always inspire the indictment of the group-think model but are never the objects of it’s defense.
The group-think defenders impress me as wanting to be able to point at something and say “Aha! There, see, is an idea that is so ingenious, so beneficial for so many and harming none, so demanding of intellectual resourcefulness for it’s creation, that no individual could ever have conceived it, and behold, a group did so produce it. Thus it has been, thus it shall remain.” That seems to be the sentiment they desire to promote, desperately; and yet they cannot. It would be far more modest to say “at least the group has a mechanism internal to it to ensure no harm is done” — or that “said harm will be constrained, contained, and limited.” They can’t even say that. Perhaps that’s why I see the group-think model defended so often and so belligerently, when so few people are attacking it.
When you strip away all the embellishments of shoddy thinking and insincere portrayals of it, what you’re left with is: Examples of group-think production can be found, somewhere, if you look hard enough, that have more pleasing results than some of the most wasteful and least effective results of individual thinking. To put it another way: Group-think can be made to look superior if you do enough cherry-picking on both sides.
But the deleterious products of group-think, meanwhile, have become the plague against humanity in modern times. The idea no man owns and that no man should own, or would own, or could own. And we can’t get rid of them; we can’t stop them; we can’t even slow their approach or implementation. All of these countermeasures would require criticism of the group-think idea, and since the idea was born of the ether that binds the consciouses together rather than any one of the consciouses themselves, nobody is accountable to them. It cannot be ascertained what sort of enemy is being made by the man who would criticize it. So they can’t be criticized.
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