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...
I see House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got very upset with Vice President Cheney when he made some public comments about her plans to pull the troops out of Iraq. She was so upset that she called up President Bush and told him to…
Well, that right there is the whole question I think. What did House Speaker Pelosi want the President to do.
She specifically asked him to distance himself from the remarks of the Vice President. No information has come to me about what it is she will do in the event he should fail to do this, or what undesirable consequences should follow from some other source if he fails to do this. She did say something about how he “can’t…” engage in what she perceives to be a contradiction, and on this point I’m having a little trouble following her logic.
“You cannot say as the president of the United States, ‘I welcome disagreement in a time of war,’ and then have the vice president of the United States go out of the country and mischaracterize a position of the speaker of the House and in a manner that says that person in that position of authority is acting against the national security of our country,” the speaker said.
Now, I happen to know from reading this and re-reading it, that when you diagram this sentence out it appears the “person in that position of authority” is a reference to herself, not to Vice President Cheney. Once you understand that, it’s a little easier to figure out her meaning.
But it’s a little tougher to take an assessment of her criticism and how valid it might be. She’s in a position of authority; therefore, when she says something ought to be done, you are not supposed to entertain any thoughts about how this thing might be deleterious to our national interests. Since, after all, the thing-to-do came from her.
Of, if you are to ponder such a thing, you are in logical contradiction with yourself after you have previously gone on record saying you “welcome disagreement in a time of war.”
Well, I’m having trouble with both aspects of this. I don’t think there is anything wrong with postulating how any plan on the table, might help the enemy, or cause injury to some things we have taken pains to accomplish, or cause some other unintended things to happen. This seems to me just like the basis of sound planning.
Nor do I see how it contradicts any previous statement about welcoming disagreement. You may declare your own strategies to be open to inspection and criticism…you may declare the alternatives of others, to be elevated above that scrutiny and therefore immune from it. Those are two different things.
And it impresses me that the chasmatic divide between those two things, is not something easily missed. Surely someone with the mental acumen needed to become the first woman Speaker of the House in 218 years, would be able to see it.
But of course, Nancy Pelosi is a politician just like Bush and Cheney. What she can see, doesn’t matter; what matters is the constituency she’s addressing, and what they can see.
But are they really this dense? Pelosi’s entire argument rests on two perceptions being identical. Not just similar, but identical. And in the discipline of puzzling things out and figuring out what they mean, it requires far more energy to penetrate the armor of her tangled grammatical construct, than to grasp this flaw that devastates the entire argument. Regardless of the wishes nurtured by whoever is doing the puzzling.
Pelosi has handed down a new rule. I, Speaker Nan, am in a position of authority. I can say we should do this thing, or not do that other thing…and don’t you dare say it’s bad for us to do what I want. The issue is not whether or not you’re correct, the issue is following rules. You’re not supposed to say such a thing. You’re not supposed to think it. Not s’poseda.
Pelosi represents millions of people who have been telling me, for years, that “dissent is patriotism.” Logic would say they conferred upon her some goddess-like status, in which patriotism is dissent against every authority figure except Speaker Nan, and it has something to do with blind obedience to everything she says. That, or else they’re going to start flooding her office with faxes and telephone calls complaining that she no longer speaks for them. One or the other.
Well. I don’t think there are too many of them who knew her name this time last year. And I don’t think they’re going to complain much.
Behold, we find yet another conundrum…an enigma which is exlained by my Yin and Yang theory, when nothing else does.
Yin and Yang solves this in the most effective way possible. By looking at the children.
Think about the very small ones; the very most emotionally mature among those. The two-year-olds with a grasp on the language that would rival that of dimmer children two, three times their age — they have the phonetics down cold, the syllable emphasis, the lilting, and all that. They’re usually girls, although there are exceptions to this. When they speak, they deliver the first two or three syllables in such a way that all the people in the room want to know what comes next.
Now, why is that exactly? The people in the room, themselves, do not know. They just want to know. People like me certainly can’t figure it out. I’m forty; the two-year-old child of which I speak, has forgotten more about how to get attention, every day, than I’ll ever learn in a lifetime. And I’m not alone. I’ve spent a lifetime telling people how to do things with their computers that they desperately want to get done, and I know this subject well if I don’t know anything else well. I could be describing how to get the data back from a carelessly erased file, which means everything to them and not a damn thing to me — hell, I could be describing to someone how to put out their pants when they’re on fire — and you’d be surprised how little it takes to put the conversation on hold. It’s absolutely astonishing. A dancing three-year-old yelling “hey, look at me!” A ringing cell phone. A fax machine clicking on. A Barry Manilow cut coming on the radio. Any ol’ bright flashing object will do the trick. Clearly, it’s not their problem, it’s mine.
It doesn’t have anything to do with not wanting to know what I have to say. These are often people who get ticked off at me for not telling them things…for which they can’t quite manage to make the time to be told what it is they want to know. The little-girls-grown-up who are so practiced at saying the right things in the right tone to hold everybody’s attention, I see they often arouse resentment and jealousy after they pass the age when they’re no longer cute. We saw this with those videos about MacKenzie, the girl who threw the big ol’ fit about her car being the wrong color. People get pissed. They see someone who knows nothing…who can’t do anything without asking someone else to do it for them…who, nevertheless, gives the appearance of carving through life like a sizzling hot knife through butter.
I suspect it is not that simple. These are people who want to be liked. I’ve seen them sacrifice meaningful things for this, things I would never dream of giving up. The first thing to go is the sense of individuality. Teacher asks the class to do something — poorly — and the entire class sits mystified, wondering what it is the teacher wants. One student might think she has an idea. But if she’s a gift-of-gab type, and has therefore taught herself to be that way practically from infancy, she’ll discard this thought as quickly as she found it. She’ll scan the room, like everybody else, waiting for that all-important consensus to emerge so she can follow it.
Now, I’m no neurologist. But I have a brain of my own, and I notice the same things about my brain I suspect everybody else notices about theirs whether they have some letters after their names or not. It works pretty much the way my muscles do; whatever I use becomes agile, and whatever I don’t becomes atrophied. This is where Yin and Yang comes in. It’s the mutual exclusivity between figuring out what the consensus is, or is going to be…and solving puzzles. Real life presents us with a never-ending panorama of vexing problems that demand some applied cognitive skills. But only if you lack the ability and resources to derive a group consensus so you can follow along. If you have that, you can solve the problem — at least socially — without any cognitive skills whatsoever. And in most situations, if you have the cognitive skills, you can marshall those to solve the problem at hand, thus rendering the group consensus practically meaningless.
Now, I see the neurologists are in a state of nascent understanding about the Orbitofrontal Cortex (OFC) and how exactly it works, and aren’t even in complete agreement about it’s purpose. But there are some things about this particular brain region that have come to be generally accepted, such as the direction of impulses into this region when the brain tries to anticipate reward and punishment. You might call the OFC the “not-s’poseda” part of the brain. You can feel it working. Just as Yang and Yin actions are mutually-exclusive by nature, impulses directed toward the OFC are directed away from the Cerebral Cortex (CC) and vice-versa. You see a hundred dollar bill. You postulate that if you take the hundred dollar bill, you will be able to buy things you currently cannot buy. That’s the CC talking, because you can’t comprehend the benefit of having the money without creating a strategy. However — if someone starts to give you electrical shocks every time you reach for the money, the OFC kicks in, and the strategic line of thought drains away. You’re simply not engaging it anymore; you’re no longer routing the impulses through that part of the brain. You’re working on reward-and-punishment, which more directly involves the OFC.
So is it as simple as the Yang “living in” the OFC and the Yin being similarly cemented into the CC? I dunno. When pressed into it, I notice people can “reach across” and do things that are not, shall we say, quite their cup of tea. But even among very bright individuals, if you get to know them well enough and study what they do on a day-to-day basis, you can see these things they do are a little bit like a right-handed person writing with their left hand. Very much like the people like me, when we address large crowds of people or present our agenda items during a teleconference. We may do a competent job fulfilling the task at hand, and if we do very well we may give an impression that we’re feeling at home, making it up as we’re going along.
But we’re not. We planned each step beforehand, because we had no choice but to do so.
And this is what Nancy Pelosi is trying to do; which, I suspect, may explain why her sentence structure comes out as some kind of a jumbled mess. She’s trying to argue about logical contradictions, saying “you cannot say (something) and then mischaracterize a position (etc.).” This is not her turf. Nancy Pelosi is a bright politician, who wouldn’t know a logical contradiction if it swam up and bit her in the ass. She’s done a dandy job of making her way in the world, but detecting such contradictions and calling them out, has very little to do with how she’s been doing it. She’s a pure-bred Yang, who works according to group consensus. She follows that consensus when it suits her purposes to do so, and she dictates what it is going to be when it suits her purposes to be doing that. And, of course, whenever she does the dictating it’s always according to what she thinks is going to be the most easily accepted. I think if you carved up her noggin, you’d find the ingress and egress from her OFC to be slicker than hog-snot on a doorknob…whereas the ductwork in her CC has a cobweb or two.
After all, she just made a grand show out of calling out the White House on a contradiction that doesn’t really exist.
Now, what makes Yin and Yang so important that we’re going to stop discussing the war in Iraq to talk about it for all these paragraphs? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Yang like Nancy Pelosi, thinking with their OFCs, “feel” that they are right about things. After all, that is one of the few functions of the OFC that science has been able to substantiate — it produces a course of action, and gives off a vibe that it’s correct. For that reason, the Yang are often observed to harbor animosity toward the Yin, that the Yin seldom reciprocate. The OFC has handed off to them this sense of “belonging,” and anybody who thinks in non-Yang-like ways, simply doesn’t belong. Anywhere. And I’m pretty sure with the Pelosi/Cheney melee, that’s exactly what we’re seeing play out. Cheney argues, Yin-like, from the standpoing of cause-and-effect…“I think if we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we’ll do is validate the al Qaeda strategy.” Pelosi responds, with no small amount of righteous indignation, commanding the White House to do this thing and not do that other thing. With a generous side order of intellectual bullying, truly worthy of a pushy little girl telling her friends at the tea-party to extend their pinkies, or dishing out commands in her later years to her cohorts during an outing at the mall.
[White House Chief of Staff Josh] Bolten said he was certain no one was questioning her patriotism or commitment to national security, she told reporters.
“I said to him perhaps when he saw what the vice president said he might have another comment,” Pelosi said.
Bullying, plain and simple. I’ve seen what the Vice President said. I’m supposed to equate this with questioning-of-patriotism? Only if I’m really grasping at straws, trying like the dickens to resuscitate and re-invoke the tired left-wing litany.
But you see, that’s what I get for thinking things out with my goofy little Yin-head, running those thoughts through my Cerebral Cortex like a guy accustomed to coming up with the best plan for things, or trying to. This is not the way Nancy Pelosi wants me to think when she tells me things, and it isn’t the way she thinks herself.
It’s all about the things you say that can draw applause, versus boos, versus yuks and guffaws.
Well, I think we might have an explanation here for why our liberals say so much spirited stuff, without ever talking about how our side can win. And you know it really doesn’t have to do with them being unpatriotic, or having questionable patriotism. They just don’t plan for victory, or achievement. During the six years they just spent getting their asses kicked, their own voters and fans said as much. They’re too busy trying to ingratiate themselves — with each other, with illegal aliens, with people in Europe — to give a damn about coming up with things that achieve the desired outcome through cause-and-effect. It ain’t their bag, baby.
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