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 explaining to Buck, and anyone else wondering the same thing, how it is that I do my blogging…I made reference to the first triad of the nine pillars of persuasion. This traid consists of facts, opinions/inferences and things to do. Navigating through these is a skill. It is an individual skill, not a collectivist skill. In the latter part of the twentieth century, it assumed the veneer of becoming a collectivist skill, because when people navigated through these three pillars as part of a group, they became very loud. People like Walter Cronkite and Peter Jennings and Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw would broadcast the results of these deliberations, and other people who were not Cronkite or Jennings et al, would tune in to find out what to think. And before you knew it, everyone who had a television set, would stop doing this work on their own.
That is a crude summary. But it’s pretty accurate.
This is the malaise from which blogs are rescuing us. People aren’t perfect, after all. Look at it this way. You watch the news, all the way through the 1990’s. And every other year, something is going on with Saddam Hussein. Saddam is violating his no-fly zone. Saddam is oppressing people. Saddam Hussein is supposed to be showing weapons inspectors this room or that room, and he’s refusing to do it…and getting away with it. Not good. Congress is going to back off of impeaching President Clinton because there’s trouble going on with Saddam Hussein. Great, so now we have a liar governing the country, and we can’t do anything about it because of you-know-who.
And being a well-informed consumer of news, you think to yourself, what a colossal asshole. Someone needs to take care of that Saddam Hussein.
But here’s where the human frailty comes in. By the close of 2003, someone has come along to take care of Saddam Hussein, and you are instructed to believe it was all about stealing oil and getting revenge for a death threat on someone’s daddy. As human beings, we have brains that are wired…whether we like it or not…to think as part of a large group. The “group” says “eh, this was based on lies and Saddam Hussein was never a threat to us” — the natural inclination of your brain, is to hop on board. Uh yeah, whatever that other guy said.
This is where blogs can save the human race. I mean that literally. Save the human race, from our own failings. You’re reading a blog, like this one…and I say something like “You know what? I don’t think this asshole was harmless. I think Saddam Hussein was a punk-bitch and a menace and a loose cannon — and not only that, but I distinctly recall our democrat President saying exactly that.” And you think to yourself…hey, how that he mentions it, I remember that too.
Before blogs, the bandwagon-viewpoint receives an amplifier, the challenge does not. After blogs, both sides must be amplified. And therefore, they must both receive a fair hearing. It’s simply a superior forum in which to weigh competing ideas.
Ah, but who is to say that a blog is not the disease, rather than the cure? Well, the blog is written in hypertext. Which supports, and encourages, links to things. So the blog can link to things to support the viewpoint under discussion. Like in this case, the Iraq Liberation Act (ILA) of 1998. As approved by the House of Representatives, and as signed by President Clinton.
Haven’t seen Katie Couric do anything like that, have you?
We have to have this. We HAVE TO. You know why? Because when people who are paid good money to swagger, and use other primitive body-language techniques to drum up a phony sense of authority, they can sound like they really know what they’re talking about…while they’re peddling bullshit. This is true of the blogs as well. If I know how to write really well, I can make a stupid idea look sensible. But the thing is — if I do that, and someone disagrees with me, he can put up a blog showing how full of crap I am.
That is simply not true of six o’clock evening news broadcasts.
And it isn’t true of editorials in your local paper. It’s supposed to be. But it isn’t. You catch your local paper in a lie, or other kind of falsehood…you write a letter to the editor. Maybe they’ll publish it, maybe they won’t.
If you caught them in a lie they really, really want to sell…they won’t publish your letter.
In this area, blogs win. Hands down. You’re a blogger, I’m a blogger, I peddle some crap and you catch me at it, you can write me up. Your comments will be found by any blog-reader who wants to find them. Including some critically-thinking individuals who read my comments, and thought to themselves “I wonder if there’s another side to this?” Let’s face it — if Tom Brokaw or Katie Couric tell you some kind of nonsense, and you’re skeptical about it, you can’t scrape through the crap unless you do some work. Nowadays that means Google. In times past, when Brokaw was actually on the air, it was a trip to your local library. That’s just to verify/refute what Mr. Brokaw said. Not terribly realistic.
The reason this is such an important improvement, is that it’s not such a terribly unique experience to be told lies about things. Even highly-successful lies. I would venture to say, it’s far more of a rarity to be on the receiving end of a homeless guy’s shakedown sales pitch, than it is to be on the receiving end of one of these lies. In fact I’ll go even further.
There are seven lies to which we’ve all been subjected. All of us. At least, those of us who attended public school in the last forty years. Those seven lies are listed below. Since becoming a grown-up I’ve found all seven things to be ABSOLUTELY WRONG.
1. Republicans and Democrats want to get the same things done but have different ideas of how to go about doing it.
If you were writing fiction about the times in which we live, and had taken it upon yourself to include a passage about a teacher telling her class this crock o’crap, you’d probably excise the passage as soon as you had sobered up again. How could you possibly elborate on this, after all? What, for example, are these common goals toward which Republicans and donks are supposed to be laboring? What? There’s no substantial answer to such a question…and it is the single most rudimentary question to be posed.
Oh, I suppose a generation ago you could have defined the common ground as “increase the standard of living of most Americans.” How ’bout now? Quick– how does our left-wing want to increase the standard of living of most Americans? Name a strategy…something that doesn’t benefit the management of a labor union. Clock is ticking!
No, there isn’t anything left. How many things do you want that you can’t have yet? Get a nicer car? Take your family on more vacations? Just install a nicer refrigerator in your kitchen? Think of ten, and I’ll bet eight of them would result in increased carbon emissions. You know what Al Gore has to say about that. Shame on you.
So no. We have people…we have labor unions. One party is for one, the other party is for the other. PERIOD. Republicans and Democrats are not about the same goals. They aren’t even about the same ways of thinking, as I pointed out last summer in What Is A Liberal? You stand up for your own interests, think for yourself in doing so, and you’re contradicting the liberal agenda in a way liberals will not soon forgive. You can’t even fight to defend your country, municipality or family anymore. Not without their opposition you can’t. They have become the Not Worth Defending ideology.
2. Women can do everything men can do.
This one is so silly it is NAO, or Not Articulated Outright. But the arguments that depend upon it, you are no longer allowed to challenge. The arguments that would inflict assault upon it in some way, you are not allowed to support. Not without paying a social price. Not in public.
But…haven’t women achieved an amazing amount of stuff lately? Haven’t they set all kinds of records? Of course they have. Women have done all kinds of things for the very first time. Over and over again, from Danica Patrick to Nancy Pelosi, we’ve had a glut of women being the very first woman to do…something lots and lots of men have already done. To name a certain feat, and witness the first humanoid to achieving it, boasting a pair of tits and a verginer — that seems to be an event for which nobody holds out any hope any longer. That used to be the feminist dream, but no more. Women, now, settle for declaring victory after they’ve trudged along in a trail already blazed by men. Blazing the trail in spiked heels, is an abandoned dream. Whose idea was it to give up on that? I must be a radical feminist, because I wouldn’t have supported that.
But now, when you hear about the “first woman” to do X, rest assured. A bazillion guys have already done X. Lately, there’s no exception to this.
I hasten to add, however, that X need not be anything I personally have done. That is not my point. My point is simply this: When people say, or imply, or attempt to convince others, that women are just as effective doing certain things as the equivalent man — they are full of crap. Sometimes, thankfully, aware of how much crap of which they are full. Not always.
Men can write their names in the snow. Men can refill a car battery after all the electrolytes have leaked out. Men can inseminate, and have fun doing it, without complicated medical procedures. Men can invent things; yes, I know all about windshield wipers. Fact is, you find something a woman invented, I can show you a couple hundred things men invented, maybe more. No, it isn’t because the patent office discriminates. The simple fact of the matter is, the inventor’s brain is invested in the male skull. You do something out of the ordinary, against convention, and if your wife is around she’ll say — that’s not the right way to do it. Emphasis on the words the and right…not on way and do. It seems if the gals have us beat in something, it’s in figuring out convention, and following it. Reading the instruction manual, as it were.
Well, the wife is right of course. But the fact of the matter is, this is antithetical to inventing things. You simply can’t come up with new and improved ways of doing things, while busting your ass trying to do things the way they’ve always been done. Those are two different endeavors.
Here’s the irony though: If you are open to respecting what’s special about men, you can respect what is special about women. If you’ve got your mind made up there’s no point to having men around, you can’t appreciate the advantages to having women around either. And then the human species, men & women alike, becomes pointless. So I would characterize this one as being not only false, but unhelpful. In the extreme.
3. War is a consequence of people not putting enough time and effort into talking out their problems.
In my lifetime, all the wars I’ve been able to “witness” starting, involved two or more sides who seemed to understand each other just fine. Prior to my lifetime, the wars I’ve read about seem to have started under similar circumstances. I really can’t think of too many wars that started from a genuine misunderstanding, perceived or otherwise. Actually, not even one. I doubt anyone else can, either.
4. The Indians were kind to their own elders, and to the land, before we stole America from them.
This varies from tribe to tribe on the native-American side, as well as country-to-country on the European side. But the evidence seems to indicate no significant disparity in the level of concern and care extended to the environment, between Europeans and natives. With regard to “stealing the land” — there are challenges involved in defining this when the “invading” culture is the only one that understands the concept of a man or group of men owning a patch of land. Both sides were not sold on this concept. Therefore — and this is where logic has to be applied to the situation, and it’s not a comfortable process — were the process to be repeated a thousand times in a thousand different parallel universes, the problems and the bloodshed and the SNAFUs would have been repeated a thousand times. All these things were inevitable.
This is not to say the white guys did everything right. Before and after America came to exist, the things that were done to the Indians were quite reprehensible. But the simplicity involved in retelling these tales to the current generations, runs into a problem best articulated in Thing I Know #207: Dismiss all anecdotes and parables containing these three things: A hero who can do nothing wrong, a villain who can do nothing right, and a setting in which all events are hearsay and can never be validated first- or second-hand. You’re being snookered. Count on it. Doesn’t have to do with denigrating red people are defending white people. It has to do with plain ol’ critical thinking. Good Indians…bad white guys…real life just isn’t that simple. It simply isn’t.
5. Sen. Joseph McCarthy ruined hundreds of lives rooting out “communists” that never existed.
Over and over again, we hear about these lives being ruined without anyone taking the effort to list names. Occasionally an authority is pressed to provide such a list, and the results are invariably disappointing.
We simply should never have been putting up with this.
6. Democracy isn’t a perfect form of government, but it’s the best there has ever been because decisions are made to the satisfaction of majority rule.
Not only is a pure democracy an abuse of the basic rights of the minority, but it turns out those who founded America desired no such thing. Read Federalist Paper #10, among others.
7. In our hearts, we are all the same.
I just don’t know what to say about this one. I think I understand that people want other people to be more tolerant of yet-other people, who happen to have different colors of skin. I think that’s the intent. But the statement is flat-ass false. I would have to say it was rather soundly disproved on September 11, 2001. Many among us persist in believing it. I don’t know why, you’ll have to ask them.
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