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...
In the FAQ (questions 7, 8 and 10) if you read between the lines you’ll pick up on my assertion that the way one goes about doing one’s thinking is important, because it affects the conclusions one reaches by doing that thinking. This is just common sense, a point that is so innocuous as to be useless, but we seem to have a lot of people who just don’t get it.
Or don’t want to get it, because it would be injurious to what they’re trying to compel themselves and those around them to believe.
Here’s just a golden textbook example of what I’m talking about. All who disagree with the assertions made by Al Gore’s new movie about global warming, are wrong, and we know this because Al Gore says they are wrong. So says the Rude Pundit (warning, the bold-type headline of the review is probably NSFW, it has the “F” word that rhymes with “truck”). This is a persuasive argument because, and only because, the critical barrier between fact & opinion has been erased. That which is intoned, so long as it is intoned by the right people, and intoned with a demeanor of sufficient certainty, is equivalent to that which is.
Essentially, Gore’s mission on global warming is rhetorically similar to George Bush’s mission in Iraq: revolution now so that the future can be secure. The difference, of course, is that Gore isn’t a liar, and he doesn’t have to hype the evidence. Gore approaches his subject the way every politician ought to lead: he knows he’s right, and he’s so right that others are wrong. When Gore was asked about scientists who say that climatic change is just part of ongoing natural cycles, Gore didn’t pander, didn’t offer that idiotic “well, good people can have differences of opinion” bullshit the Bush administration uses to paper over their lies. No, Gore just said that the questioner was wrong. That the vast scientific consensus says global warming is real and happening. And to believe otherwise is to believe liars. He said scientists who say otherwise are industrial “prostitutes” and “camp followers.”
Convincing stuff. Trouble is, as I indicated above, once the fissure is re-established between stuff that’s known and stuff that’s conjectured based on other stuff that’s known — everything changes.
“Gore didn’t pander…Gore just said that the questioner is wrong.” Is that a fact or an opinion? Does the reviewer know? Does Al Gore know? If I round up a hundred people who sign on to the notion that “the questioner is wrong” and take a poll from amongst them, am I going to get a single answer back on whether that’s a fact vs. an opinion?
Here’s another problem, and this one is a doozy. “He knows he’s right, and he’s so right that others are wrong” comes off more like grave criticism, than flattery, and there is a reason for this. There is a prevailing school of thought, well-represented amongst the souls sympathetic to Gore’s global-warming ideas, I infer, which lends enthusiastic support to the Barbeque Problem especially when criticizing, with varying degrees of etiquette, the forementioned President George Bush. This “Barbeque Problem” essentially says that correctness is manifested through doubt and contrition: It’s better to burn your whole house down during a barbeque so long as regret is expressed over the mistake, than it is to cause a slight delay in cooking the food by providing the wrong brand of charcoal, if the charcoal-error is not admitted. Correcting a mistake means nothing, and articulating the mistake means everything.
How come doubt-makes-right with our current President, and the rule doesn’t hold for the guy who lost the election and is reduced to making movies? It’s a fair question to ask, since the reviewer isn’t simply saying Gore’s right — what he’s saying, is we know Gore’s right because Gore knows he’s right.
Come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind hearing some regrets and doubts from some of the officials responsible for leaving Saddam Hussein in charge of Iraq, and relatively carefree in his tenure, all the way through the 1990’s. But I guess that’s a different topic.
Good post, though. Coriolanus, I’ll have to look that guy up.
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