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...
So when I first rolled out of bed a couple hours ago, I was thinking about this linkage I did to the White House’s exuberant confidence in the health care law’s upcoming day in court, not so much in the context of how charmingly bubbly they are with this heady air of confidence, but what a stark contradiction it is to, oh, let’s say…President Obama taking the unprecedented step of literally talking down to the justices during a State of the Union address for a decision He didn’t like that well.
And then I was watching this…
The young lady who begins speaking at 0:23 is obviously progressive of bent, like our current President, obviously anxious to make an impression on whoever is listening regarding who she is and what she’s all about. And she must be something of a nervous dimwit because she ends up portraying something that’s already become a caricature. Seriously, I mean, how do you see it when the words that come out are:
Just coming from a place [folds hands over chest, gesturing to herself] of having, y’know, being in college for a long time, and taking a bunch of environmental studies, courses, and knowing, that y’know that climate change is real, and a big part of climate change is y’know the United States is, I guess, [unintelligible] consumer driven, y’know, um, [crosstalk] [it gets pointless to transcribe any further somewhere around this point]
I’m going to go way out on a limb and make a connection between Barack Obama and the curly-haired feminist. Just assume they can find a thing or two on which to find agreement…which I can probably cite some solid examples…but also, assume further, that they’re carbon copies of each other across a whole bunch of issues because they share a common background, two Venuses emerging from a common ocean.
Be that the case or not, they’re making a common mistake. Each is presenting an argument that derives all of its persuasive power merely from the fact that it is being presented. In the White House’s case, there is more, of course — if you read the story you see there is at least one decision (more than that, actually) running in their favor, from U.S. Court of Appeals Justice Laurence Silberman. But the White House, in the comments they’re making about this case since the Supreme Court’s announcement that it would hear arguments, is not relying on that. As is their custom, the logic of their statements relies on no-logic. Just bravado. “It’s going to go our way, for look how enthused we are!”
That is silly. I’ve been watching this and weighing it in my own mind, and I still have a lot of uncertainties about it. But one thing I know for sure is that neither side has reason to double-down. This is looking more and more like one of those things that depends on what mood Anthony Kennedy is going to be in on some crucial day sometime before June.
What if you were to accept the White House argument at face value? Then it gets even sillier: Things are going to go our way, because we are feeling optimistic and enthused, because the case is going to be decided by these chuckleheads who so thoroughly screwed up that Citizens United decision. So, say what? John Paul Stevens, the one justice who’s been replaced since Citizens, was the one big problem?
That’s the logic. So, obviously, the argument does not rest on logic. It rests on passion. And the trouble with passion is that it’s fleeting and personal. You cannot use it to forecast something, and it means very little outside the mind & body of the person who happens to be feeling it.
That’s the common mistake shared with li’l Miss Lots Of Courses And Stuff. She has an argument to present, and the argument does have a foundation, but the foundation of the argument is the presentation of the argument. We can see she’s very passionate about climate change being real, therefore it is. There are other people sympathetic to what she’s trying to say, who can present some actual evidence, but that isn’t material to the point she’s making here. The point she’s making here is: Look, this is the way it is, because see, here I am saying it and I’m so, y’know, articulate and stuff.
I don’t want to pick on her over the y’knows and the ums. It’s a perfectly natural thing to do when you’re speaking before a large crowd and your concentration is divided. But in her case, I think…and I’m absolutely certain of it in Obama’s case…there is an ancillary purpose to all the audible filler. It’s to hold the floor — and — send out an audible signal that you’re determined to hold the floor. She will not be interrupted, she will not be cowed or intimidated in any way.
I’ll tell you the trouble with this kind of thinking.
As an avenue toward making decisions, it must yield the best decision less often than a purely random-chance avenue would. That’s because, for her to accomplish her goals, the outcome has to bear the imprint of her personality, just as when President Obama makes a decision about something there has to be a palpable feel of “it was decided this way because Barack Obama is the person who decided it.” That seems like a good thing to have happening when it’s a child, of the age of three, or five, or twelve. We want kids to feel like they’re a part of what’s going on.
But this is mutually exclusive from the desire of having a reproducible result. This is a most glaring error when we watch the simple things being decided. In the most extreme cases of left-wing immaturity, you can see the frustration starting to form when they decide simple things: “But wait, where’s the part where I get to notice something that escaped everyone else’s attention?” See, that’s an important part of maturity. If you’re really gifted with an unusual insight, and it really does come in handy, there will be opportunities to show it off later. If the decision we’re making right now is a simple one, it’s a simple one. Some conclusions really are obvious. Recognize them, the way anybody else would, and move on.
It’s when that is excluded as a possibility across the board, all the time, that the real damage takes place because a coin toss would say “ObamaCare will survive its Supreme Court challenge” about half the time, whereas the White House we have now will say that all the time as a hard-and-fast rule — not of predicting Supreme Court decisions, but of propaganda. They’re weighing the statements, and established beliefs, and backgrounds and histories of the nine justices about as thoroughly as Li’l Miss Been To College is weighing the evidence of climate change.
The contradiction is that they’re making these steadfastly-bad decisions, decisions less likely to result in the correct outcome than a process relying on random chance, in support of a search for something that has nothing to do with the matter at hand: Individuality. They’re looking to establish an identity. They want to distinguish themselves. Li’l Miss Been To College sees fit to stress this point during her intro; in the case of Obama, of course, it’s always been what He is all about.
And yet, in both cases, what they’re pushing is antithetical to individuality. ObamaCare is all about a war against the individual. Li’l Miss Been To College And Junk comes right out and admits, if I’m parsing her y’knows correctly, that climate change is all about the US of A being too materialistic & stuff.
Individuality has its place. Definitely, I’m a big fan of sticking to your guns when you manage to see something that’s escaped everyone else’s attention, as long as the decision is an important one and you’re sure of whatever it is you think you know. But when you’re out looking for that occasion, you become very dangerous, especially when part of your agenda is to deny that opportunity to others. The problem isn’t that others don’t have a chance to be special; that’s not really important. The problem is, that’s a tell-tale sign that you’re motivated by insecurity, and can therefore be relied on to pursue this process of making steadfastly-bad decisions. Maybe you can bring some special insight on the complicated ones, but you’re a spoiler for the really simple ones. Like…uh…let’s say, bring my laptop in out of the balcony, before I go to bed, if it’s going to rain. People like this tend to arrive consistently at the wrong answer when there are no subtle variables in play, whose comprehension by a uniquely fastidious and insightful decider might lead to an altered, improved outcome.
I don’t deny there are some conservatives who have this problem. But the thing we have come to know as “liberalism” in this day and age, has slowly emerged as a manifestation of the problem: Persistent display of one’s own personality and talents in even simple deliberations, while denying that opportunity to others, thus subordinating evidence and logic as actionable factors, and arriving at conclusions by means of personal insecurity rather than reason.
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