January 12, 2018

"The idea that [Steven] Pinker, a liberal, Jewish psychology professor, is a fan of a racist, anti-Semitic online movement is absurd on its face..."

"... so it might be tempting to roll your eyes and dismiss this blowup as just another instance of social media doing what it does best: generating outrage. But it’s actually a worthwhile episode to unpack, because it highlights a disturbing, worsening tendency in social media in which tribal allegiances are replacing shared empirical understandings of the world. Or maybe 'subtribal' is the more precise, fitting term to use here. It’s one thing to say that left and right disagree on simple facts about the world — this sort of informational Balkanization has been going on for a while and long predates Twitter. What social media is doing is slicing the salami thinner and thinner, as it were, making it harder even for people who are otherwise in general ideological agreement to agree on basic facts about news events."

Writes Jesse Singal in "Social Media Is Making Us Dumber. Here’s Exhibit A" (NYT).

I think this is the 8 minute version of the talk from which the viral video clip was made:

96 comments:

anti-de Sitter space said...

Ha,

That quote was essentially what I heard Ben Shapiro say.

Plus, Ben included another of his professors re this sorta POV. Dershowitz.

Anywho, Meadehouse should rush to get on the Ben train.

IMHO.

Jupiter said...

"Mr. Pinker goes on to argue that when members of this group encounter, for the first time, ideas that he believes to be frowned upon or suppressed in liberal circles — that most suicide bombers are Muslim or that members of different racial groups commit crimes at different rates — they are “immediately infected with both the feeling of outrage that these truths are unsayable” and are provided with “no defense against taking them to what we might consider to be rather repellent conclusions.”"

Which is to say, even a blind man knows when the Sun is shining.

buwaya said...

I suspect that Jesse Singal AND Pinker will have to retract, or "clarify", within a week I think.

Gahrie said...

The whole point of making certain topics unmentionable is because the Left is incapable of making rational arguments to support their positions. This is not necessarily because there are no arguments to be made, but rather because the Left is unable to make them due to ignorance and lack of practice.

robother said...

Of course, the notion that the "Alt-Right" might NOT be a racist, anti-Semitic online movement is unthinkable.

buwaya said...

And the problem is not social media, but total information control, which is a designed system.

buwaya said...

And PB&J is your enemy.

traditionalguy said...

Never have so many tried so hard to prevent any smidgen of truth from being spoken in public.

Blaming truth escapes on the internet social media is like blaming firearms for killings. HINT: the killers are the ones at fault.

Achilles said...

anti-de Sitter space said...
Ha,

That quote was essentially what I heard Ben Shapiro say.

Plus, Ben included another of his professors re this sorta POV. Dershowitz.

Anywho, Meadehouse should rush to get on the Ben train.

IMHO.


I think you have actually put thought into what you are doing.

That would make you a detestable person. People like this must be defeated in order for freedom to survive.

Fernandistein said...

"Social Media Is Making Us Dumber. Here’s Exhibit A"

He got that backwards; maybe he meant to say "The NYT is making us dumber".

Achilles said...

There are two parts to the leftist movement. One of them is unconscious and loosely connected. They are acting on information they get from others. They don’t think too deeply and cannot be allowed to think certain things. They act on things they don’t understand but think they are doing right.

The others know what they are doing. They believe in censorship and limitting freedom. They know it will lead to bad outcomes for the poor. It is by design.

Static Ping said...

Amazing. Something from the New York Times worth reading!

When two tribes have decided on a set of "facts" that are incompatible, the usual result is war. Unfortunately, we seem to have a large number of people these days that know nothing and have learned nothing. What usually happens next is either these idiots end up dead or they end up in the charge of the winning side and then end up dead when they are revealed as idiots.

Sam L. said...

I don't DO social media.

rhhardin said...

"lots of overlap"

I noticed that growing up. In my competitive entry schools, the blacks were no different from the whites. That's how I thought the world was.

That was before affirmative action. Nowadays everybody is noticing a diffference, and the blacks believe it's racism, and the whites are asking jeez what the hell more do we have to do. Doubling down seems to be the left's answer.

Pinker has to examine the perverse effect of differing means on public policy decisions, overlap or not.

mockturtle said...

Invited a a not-too-close friend over for lunch Wednesday. While we have discussed a few issues, we don't talk politics. She did inform me that she gets all of her information from CNN and MSNBC. And, really, it is painfully obvious that she, as Achilles observes above, doesn't want to actually think. It comforts her to believe she is on the right [lower case 'r'] side and would not want to be disabused of her spoon-fed notions. We are friends due to other common experiences and I hope we remain friends. She is a nice person.

Henry said...

I really don't think social media is to blame for the violence of the gullible. That's a human trait. The bonfire of the vanities. The Dreyfus affair. McMartin preschool.

What social media offers is not a more convincing platform, but more transparency. The con is easier to find and document. The gullible need a scapegoat of their own.

I don't believe in current events and never did.

Henry said...

"Social Media Is Making Us Dumber. Here’s Exhibit A"

Wrong. People are dumb. Social Media is making it more obvious.

Bay Area Guy said...

The video of Pinker was good! I'd give it a B+.

The first half was excellent. That a professor at Harvard would even ask the question, Would you rather live in North Korea or South Korea, is a huge win for humanity.

The second half was a little weaker, as Pinker put forth a strawman argument about drawing right wing conclusions from these facts and then coddling the snowlflakes in the audience with pablum about this or that.

But, Yes, capitalism is far superior to communism, and the sexes are not identical. I'd start with that.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The Althouse comments section is social media.

It is making me smarter.

( Really. You should have seen me before. )

Jupiter said...

"Doubling down seems to be the left's answer."

The Left's determination to deny the realities of biology originates in the complete incompatibility of their proposed societal arrangements with the actual nature of human beings. But at some point it shades off into something even uglier. The insistence on lies, and on the public assertion of lies, serves as a mechanism of control, and allows them to identify those they do not yet control. If you are willing to publicly state what you and everyone around you knows is false, then you are a slave, and an admitted one. If not, you are the enemy. "How many fingers do you see?"

Francisco D said...

Gahrie nailed it.

However, Henry has an excellent point that I don't want to acknowledge. It is too politically incorrect.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Interestingly in this episode, the alt-right exhibited exactly the qualities that Pinker assigned to them. They edited his clip in a media-savvy, internet-savvy way.

It was the leftist critics of Stephen Pinker that got suckered.

I hazard that the reason they got suckered was because they were predisposed toward antipathy for Pinker's iconoclastic research. Mr. Pinker has long espoused views that are "frowned upon or suppressed in liberal circles", including biological determinism and criticism of violence in pre-industrial cultures.

This is a perfect case study, not of the evils of social media, but of the malignity of political correctness. But essayist Jess Singal sticks the hobbyhorse he rode in on. He's writing a book, by the way, about Social Media.

Henry said...

"...sticks TO the hobbyhorse..."

Achilles said...

“But it’s actually a worthwhile episode to unpack, because it highlights a disturbing, worsening tendency in social media in which tribal allegiances are replacing shared empirical understandings of the world. “

This will be the defining intellectual movement of the century. The republican voters have already cast the GOPe elite off. It is time for the democrat party to kick their corrupt aristocracy out too.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ray said...

OK< but not great article by the NY Times. The Steven Pinker video was interesting.

The biggest area I disagree with on the Pinker Video is on Islam. Islam never had the equivalent of the inquisition and was more civilized for longer periods of time than Christianity. Islam never had their own reformation / Rennaisance. The inquisition is built into Islam / the Koran. The order of the Koran is by size of the chapters. And the later in the book, is the latest truth. And if you question the Koran, you become an apostate. A very neat self correcting mechanism. Spanish inquisition was 1000-2000 people killed. The Ottoman Empire had slaves as late as 1900. And ISIS is still beheading people today, Iran is hanging Gays from construction cranes, etc.

The statistic that right wing groups do more terrorism than Muslims in the US is playing with the numbers. The study cited excluded 9-11, not to mention a lot of other attacks that have been excluded from the attack. Workplace violence where the person is yelling Allah Akbar? Beltway Sniper?

Reference:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/notable-quotable-extremist-math-1453335359
Notable & Quotable: Extremist Math
Debunking an influential study about what group constitutes ‘the deadliest domestic terrorists in the U.S.’

For the NY Times article, I disagree with this point, I don't believe it's possible to overstate it:

>maybe you disagree with certain parts of this argument — I do, in that I think Mr.
>Pinker overstates the intensity of campus political correctness

What would have been an A+ article by the NY Times, if the article had delved into why the political correctness? And what is making it so extreme? What is the role of Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. on Political Correctness? What of James Dalmer and his firing by Google and now lawsuit. Mentioning Gamergate. And how each person in the twitter mob needs to show how pure they are, if they are to avoid being thrown to the wolves.

Ray said...

Link to the viral video please?

Mark said...

Thank you Ray for saying what I wanted to. As for domestic terrorism, Pinker probably doesn't consider protestors smashing things at Berkeley or rioters in Ferguson, or (many other lefty examples) as domestic terrorists.

Brian Balster said...

it just shows that we need to modify the basic structure of the English language so that these repellent thoughts are inexpressible. We just need to find a good name to call this New, improved way of Speaking

Luke Lea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curious George said...

Right wing groups do more terrorism than Muslims in the US?

What comes out of a male bovine animal shithole?

Luke Lea said...

Thank God Pinker is preternaturally articulate, whip smart, and so obviously an earnest, well-intentioned liberal. Plus he has manners. What a cocktail!

Lem said...

excellent video.

KK Kraska said...

I really admire Pinker. He's one of the few social scientists who haven't completely sold out to the corporate left media machine. Pinker still seems to care about data and how to interpret it to see what it indicates and not how to fit it into today's narrative of lefty talking points. For example, note that the Bowling Alone mofo, Robert Putnam. Sat on his research for few years bc his data didn't jibe well with the narrative and that gave Putnam sad feels.

roesch/voltaire said...

I think the problem of people on both sides is they have short attention spans want everything in tweeter form and therefore don't take the time, as Pinker pointed out, to learn history and put facts into context.

Virgil Hilts said...

. . . and are provided with “no defense against taking them to what we might consider to be rather repellent conclusions."
Part of the problem - what helps drive the so-called Dark Enlightenment -- is that some of these "repellent conclusions" are often rational & logical. It's not much better if you allow people to state facts (as Pinker supports), but demonize them when and if they take the next step and want to discuss the rational/logical potential (even if repellent) conclusions suggested by the facts.
Accepted fact - trans people who have surgery performed have much higher suicide rates.
Repellent Conclusion - maybe we should not overly encourage trans people to have such surgery.
Accepted fact - the bell curve for women is thinner and taller than for men.
Repellent Conclusion - this bell curve may explain (in part) why relatively more males are found at extreme bottom and top of math ability.

From an SJW perspective, Pinker is wrong - the more that logical people are allowed to discuss and here the facts, the more likely they are to shift to the right. Smothering the facts to preserve left-wing shibboleths is crucial.

rhhardin said...

Ohio in the media is battening down for an oncoming horrible winter storm, freezing rain, snow, cold, wind. This means it will amount to nothing.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

roesch/voltaire said...

TL;DR

wildswan said...

I agree with Pinker's point (but not with the content of several of his examples. It's not the first time I've heard those statements and I have read up on those issues.) I think he was brave to argue on behalf of learning while at a university. And I think he worked quite hard to develop an argument which would resonate with snowflakes and which might persuade them that they try should try learning rather than melting down. Essentially he argued that if good lefties didn't listen to the other side they might suddenly be startled and then converted by a bomb-cyclone fact they'd never heard before and wake up the next day on the far-right. Like the man who woke up as a cockroach. Or they might wake up the next morning and find that Hillary had lost to Donald Trump and have no idea why.

Pinker himself is man with a set of facts that need careful evaluation. You might wake up supporting a new eugenics because you did not realize there was a new left form of eugenics.

Unknown said...

Pinker gets it exactly right when he describes the problem as being that some people hear these facts - African Americans commit violent crime at higher rates than other racial groups - and leap to unwarranted conclusions: ALL African Americans are Violent. Worse still, people take these facts that are about a group and accuse the speaker of assigning those qualities to individuals. This is why we should ignore such people.

-sw

P.S. Having just landed on a flight to NYC one time, I rose from my seat to deplane and looking across the aisle saw a man with a huge shock of white, curly hair looking back at me. I said, "has anyone ever told you you look like Steven Pinker?" to which he replied, "yes... I am Steven Pinker".

Achilles said...

roesch/voltaire said...
“I think the problem of people on both sides is they have short attention spans want everything in tweeter form and therefore don't take the time, as Pinker pointed out, to learn history and put facts into context“

The left does away with history as a matter of course. Their policies have failed so many times and their is so much blood on their hands history is anathema.

JPS said...

Ah yes, the outrageous Steven Pinker.

How drastically would our political discourse these days shrivel if people began with, "I disagree, and here's why:"

It reminds me of that wonderful line by Stephen Fry, "I'm offended by that, well, so focking whaat?" Argument is hard work. Easier, and more satisfying, to declare outrage, and with it, victory.

robother said...

Let's not overpraise Steven Pinker. He can acknowledge obvious statistical truths about economics and biologically-driven differences in behavior and IQ--admittedly a rare thing in university faculty today--but he always finds his way back to comforting PC views. In this talk, he absurdly claims that the Rrght-wing has claimed more lives in domestic US terror attacks than Muslims. Presumably, to get there he is excluding 9-11 attack casualties (where Muslim terrorists boarded domestic US flights and killed 3000 US residents (but for some reason doesn't count as domestic terror), and one supposes, the San Bernardino, Tampa and Waco attacks (just workplace violence or dispute over a bar bill?)

He has held onto his Harvard position all these years by knowing just how far he can stray before running back to his PC masters.

BDNYC said...

Liberal Jews can't be antisemitic?

Roy Jacobsen said...

I would argue that saying that "social media is making us stupid" is leaving out one of the major culprits: modern so-called journalism.

Exhibit 1,985,986: "Shithole-gate." To wit, publishing anonymously sourced inflammatory content, which (quelle surprise) inflames a whole bunch of people, not because of the substance of what was said, but because of the illogical conclusion that stating that some countries are shitholes is "RAAAAACIST."

roesch/voltaire said...

Achilles I think that George Orwell who observed the killings from both the left and the right does a nice job of recognizing history. Or by the left do you mean the coal miners of Blair Mountain whose union was defeated by federal troops?

Lewis Wetzel said...

" . . . making it harder even for people who are otherwise in general ideological agreement to agree on basic facts about news events."
What is a "basic fact"?
What is a "news event"?
Why didn't Singal simply write ". . . making it harder for people who are otherwise in agreement to agree on facts about events."
The phrase is made a mess by all of the modifiers used by Singal.

KK Kraska said...

Virgil Hilts @ 12:55
Science these days isn't science properly defined. In the current year we have a kind of Lysenkoism, where the ideology defines facts and not statistical analysis. Data is refined by a made-up BS filter of political ideology now. To the establishment left Yvette Falarca would be a better education bureaucrat than a PhD with years of experience bc she UNDERSTANDS the politics, not bc she crunched the numbers. IOW, some schools don't deliver bc [insert current party line talking points here].

Sebastian said...

"Mr. Pinker’s entire point is that the alt-right’s beliefs are false and illogical"

It wasn't his "entire" point. His other point was that basic facts, about capitalism and black crime rates and men vs. women, are taboo on campus due to PC.

Bt the piece is correct in saying that i is getting harder to talk about anything controversial online, since "controversial" means "anything progs don't like." They aim to destroy in order to rule.

Jupiter said...

Pinker is a Liberal, but he's not a Good Liberal. He has argued with the feminazis, for example. And to the Left, if you aren't on board for the whole program, and ready to ignore any inconvenient facts that may arise, you are a racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, neo-colonialist, cis-heteronormative, ....

Spaceman said...

“The other way in which do agree with my fellow panelists that political correctness had done an enormous amount of harm in the sliver of the population that might be – I wouldn’t want to say persuadable but certainly whose affiliation might be up for grabs – comes from the often highly literate, highly intelligent, who gravitate to the alt right, internet savvy, media savvy, who often are radicalized in that way – who swallow that red pill as the thing goes – the old illusion from the Matrix – when they are exposed to for the first time to true statements that have never been voiced in college in campuses or in the New York Times or in respectable media that almost like a bacillus to which they have no immunity and are immediately infected with both a feeling of outrage that these truths are unsayable and no defense against taking them to what we might consider rather repellant conclusions. Let me ….”

It is implied that his fellow panelists were criticizing the alt tight. Get the feeling he was the last guy to talk.

My biggest problem is his saying that “truth” is only obtainable through sources like the New York Times or respectable media. Nyet

Seems to be trying to explain away these often highly literate, highly intelligent people, when exposed to the “truth” will be in denial and can’t help but to be swept to repellent conclusions. That is, they can’t help themselves. I fail to see his logic in drawing this conclusion.

The panel seems neutral or negative to the his main theme (lefties stick keep with an established position on the various subject discussed – women, race, terror.) No head nods

The applause was rather tepid – ceremonial.

I will give the prof minor credit for daring (in such a forum) to challenge the conventional way of thinking on campus– but he may be playing naysayer to demonstrate how enlightened he is.

Martin said...

I agree with just about everything Pinker said up to the last, when he said that the "politically correct" people do themselves a disservice by not acknowledging the kinds of facts he had pointed to, because by making such things beyond mention they deny themselves the chance to provide a better context. So of course Pinker catches hell... but, why?

I am more of the opinion that when you do not understand why someone does something, look at the results. By that logic, the politically correct want to divide us into warring camps, and by creating the conditions that encourage some people top radicalize as racists, sexists, etc., they create enemies against whom they can mobilize the rest of society, which they will, of course, lead. Pinker, a credible liberal in the heart of the liberal kingdom, Harvard, is a threat that must be eliminated.

Which brings me to the reaction to Trump maybe or maybe not referring to some foreign shitholes as "shitholes." Who gains by inflaming this issue? Not Trump, but maybe Democrats who want to keep the base riled up for the 2018 elections and maybe anything that comes out of Mueller's work. So, I conclude it is contrived by the Democrats and the "Resistance" Left more generally, in coordination with one of their house organs, WaPo. This is not off topic because Trump calling Haiti a shithole (if he did, he denies it) and catching hell for it is exactly another example of political correctness in action.

I am an old-ish man and have been around the block a few times, and one thing I have learned is that when it comes to politics it is impossible to be too cynical.

readering said...

This is social media.

Mountain Maven said...

If you're Jewish and pro PLO and BDS, are u an antisemite?

buwaya said...

"I am more of the opinion that when you do not understand why someone does something, look at the results. By that logic, the politically correct want to divide us into warring camps, and by creating the conditions that encourage some people top radicalize as racists, sexists, etc., they create enemies against whom they can mobilize the rest of society, which they will, of course, lead."

True, with a quibble.
The point is simpler. It is Orwell's conclusion. If you make some things unthinkable because they are unsayable, then your existing power will not be challenged. They already have power, note. The division into warring camps was not necessary, as there was and is, for practical purposes, in Pinker's world, only one camp.

buwaya said...

"I think the problem of people on both sides is they have short attention spans want everything in tweeter form and therefore don't take the time, as Pinker pointed out, to learn history and put facts into context."

This has always been true.

That's not the fundamental problem.

It is that people with, presumably, long attention spans, like academics, would rather shut up everyone else with long attention spans. They are out of the habit of making arguments.

Howard said...

More evidence the left is capable of evolution. This is required to reverse the political rule from Americans Shithole.

Jupiter said...

roesch/voltaire said...
"Achilles I think that George Orwell who observed the killings from both the left and the right does a nice job of recognizing history. Or by the left do you mean the coal miners of Blair Mountain whose union was defeated by federal troops?"

I think he might have been talking about China, the Soviet Union, Cambodia. You think too small, RV. Don't think about a couple dozen guys on a hill somewhere. Think hundreds of millions, marched away, never to be seen again.

Francisco D said...

The main implication of Dr. Pinker's point is that the left has devolved so far into hysteria, name calling and guilt by association that they are no longer able to muster a cogent argument against conservative and libertarian ideas.

Gee. Are there any examples of such on this web-site?

Rick said...

The whole point of making certain topics unmentionable is because the Left is incapable of making rational arguments to support their positions. This is not necessarily because there are no arguments to be made, but rather because the Left is unable to make them due to ignorance and lack of practice.

I don't think so. They don't make the rational arguments because they don't support their desired remedies.

buwaya said...

"The main implication of Dr. Pinker's point is that the left has devolved so far into hysteria, name calling and guilt by association that they are no longer able to muster a cogent argument against conservative and libertarian ideas."

Mr. Pinker is a nice man. Much too nice.
He is not one of those that sees purpose in this.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Achilles said:
The republican voters have already cast the GOPe elite off. It is time for the democrat party to kick their corrupt aristocracy out too.

1/12/18, 12:07 PM

The problem is that many middle class liberals flatter themselves that they are part of the aristocracy. They read the NY Times and watch CNN and MSNBC, they went to college, have good white collar jobs, and have the same political views and prejudices as Stephen Colbert and Rachel Maddow. They think that somehow puts them in the elite class.

The house slaves in the ante-bellum South often identified strongly with their masters. They were never under any illusion that they WERE the masters, though.

It's strange

Spaceman said...

Martin.

Trump claims he didn't call Haiti a shithole although it ranks high on the list of shitholes in the world. In Africa, clearly Sudan, Somalia, and Libya are shitholes. In the mideast, Syria, Yemen, and Iran.

Francisco D said...

I agree Buyawa.

Pinker is a nice man who does not want to get shut out of Harvard wine and cheese events or have his house ringed with SJWs.

I should have said that I inferred my above statement from his piece and not suggested he implied it.

Francisco D said...

Make that Buwaya.

Sorry. I imagine that I am not the first.

Che Dolf said...

"The defense of Pinker is terrifying in its illumination of the state of free speech. The defense is that Pinker is liberal, jewish, and his footnotes to the facts presented fit the liberal narrative. It is not that Pinker has the right to engage in conversation regardless."
- @AtiliusRegulus

buwaya said...

"Sorry. I imagine that I am not the first.'

No,

There are quite a lot by now.
I should have been keeping a list.
Ritmo is by far the most, er, variable.
Not that it matters, it is just a word.
That's why I added a picture.
Maybe I should just go by the picture, like Prince's symbol.

I have a beef with words. They obscure and limit reality.
We need a different system.
All our tech hasn't yet broken the connection with text.
There is a Jack Vance short story where this is done.

sparrow said...

Prof. Pinker ignores the reality that for some on the left suppression is the point and they could care less if the opposition is radicalized as long as they hold on to power.
To some you are already judged to be evil or stupid or both because you're a right winger and reasoned discussion is not even attempted. PC is designed to control expression by socially punishing language. It's not argument or reason it's simply bullying.

The Godfather said...

Let's notice that the NYT is using the Pinker story to sell a different argument than the one Pinker is making. Pinker says the if political correctness prevents people from hearing certain facts or arguments, as it does on many campuses, then they will be unable to respond to those arguments when they are forced to confront them. The NYT says, it's all the fault of social media. If social media can be brought under the control of the enlightened, that would solve the NYT's problem.

And isn't that the Plan?


Annie C said...

Pookie Number 2 said...
Chuck: This is why I hang on to these things. To be able to come back and say "I told you so."

Really? Your life is so empty that you gain pleasure from claiming that you've won pointless arguments over absolutely meaningless minutiae?

.
.
.

Actually, that explains quite a lot.

Indeed.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The whole point of making certain topics unmentionable is because the Left is incapable of making rational arguments to support their positions. This is not necessarily because there are no arguments to be made, but rather because the Left is unable to make them due to ignorance and lack of practice.

Why should it have to practice? In general the right doesn't believe in logical argumentation, period, let alone rationalism. And it has gotten much worse at it. So the left has been given every reason to become lazy in combatting the abominations of the right.

There was no rational argument needed against right-wing hypernationalism, such as Nazism. It just needed to be destroyed. The Nazis did a lot of what the right does generally. Just surface observations that don't make sense and are designed to blatantly serve a more emotional and childish appeal. The climate denialists don't have evidence; they complain about trivialities around the margins of the obvious fact that climates don't exist without atmospheres. Tax cuts don't create enough growth to offset debt; again, something that the faith-based right, the Republican Anti-Fact Squad, swallows up whole. Poverty is not "curable" through mere willpower. There's no debating against those faith-based "reasoners."

That said, Pinker's right. Occasionally there's a good idea on the right but every thought/statement has to be allowed the light of day, even when it's only to let the sunlight in to disinfect us of the perversions of right-wing thought.

I don't consider PC left wing. I consider it nonsense and anyone who elevates identity politics above reason to be not only too stupid for categorization, but a waste of my time.

Drago said...

TTR: "I don't consider PC left wing. I consider it nonsense and anyone who elevates identity politics above reason to be not only too stupid for categorization, but a waste of my time."

Well, you'd have to, wouldn't you?

I'm afraid it's completely left wing. Uniquely left wing. In fact, inevitably left wing.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

As the Nazis in Charlotteville were "completely, uniquely and inevitably" right wing.

So what's your point?

How closely aligned do you feel to them?

Keep in mind that they feel VERY closely aligned to the same president/national leader that you find to be so superior to all his vanquished opponents, including the clown car containing 16 other Republican candidates running into 2016. They find him just worthy of their support, if not moreso, than you do.

So go deal with that before you make it a point to partisanize the crazies.

buwaya said...

There are, actually, no good liberal ideas.

Everything anyone in the historical left has proposed is simply part of the stew of components already historically present. A bit of this and a bit of that, with some hand waving ideology to glue it together. And tremendous reams of rationalization, afterwards, when things don't quite go as planned.

There is no rationalism in public affairs. Any pretence of reason is hubris or snake-oil. The world is too complicated and inherently chaotic for anything but empiricism, which is the soul of conservatism. Conservatism is mere humility before the incomprehensible.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The world is too complicated and inherently chaotic for anything but empiricism, which is the soul of conservatism. Conservatism is mere humility before the incomprehensible.

Denying that tax cuts don't offset debt or that poverty is not overcome through willpower or that atmospheres aren't what allow for climates to exist is not empiricism. It's denialism. And there's nothing humble about pretending that your own lack of data and conclusions are superior to those held by people whose reputations rest on accurately and cogently understanding the data.

If you had to stake monetary wagers on the truth/falsity of your outlandishly denialist claims - posted as they are on this site like so much watery diarrhea, I confidently predict you would promptly shut the fuck up and reduce the number of your overwhelmingly horrendous posts by about 90% at least.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buwaya said...

"As the Nazis in Charlotteville were "completely, uniquely and inevitably" right wing."

Hmmm. Francisco Franco's economic plan was based on Catholic Social Theory first expounded in Pope Leo XIII's rerum novarum, and implemented/interpreted by his Opus Dei team of advisers. This is not a bit unusual, as rerum novarum was quite influential as an element in the development of Italian Fascism.

As it happens, the "Fascist" program of Francisco Franco, when fully implemented, amounted to a standard-issue European welfare state, in no way different from that of France. Spain had an easy time joining Europe because the only bit of it that was out of sync was its overt politics.

Rerum novarum is also, as it happens, a foundation of "liberation theology", of several flavors, which have been used to justify left-wing revolutionaries. Interesting that communist guerrillas in Colombia had such an intimate connection to Franco the dictator.

And this is just one source, and two threads. The world is not simple, and these things are not separable.

One mans fascist is another mans communist. During the Spanish Civil War, the point at which, probably, all the competing ideologies of the century were most clearly delineated, the Nationalists, themselves a coalition, referred to their allies the blue-shirted Fascists as "nuestros rojos" - "our reds".

Add all the other sources, threads, purposes, such as ethnic chauvinisms, and etc., and you get into, not separable categories, but a single stew, of more elements than you can identify. All reason and taxonomy are useless before this chaos. Any order you try to impose fails against a mass of exceptions and contradictions.

buwaya said...

"are superior to those held by people whose reputations rest on accurately and cogently understanding the data. "

I have posted plenty of data, and arguments about economic policy, and papers on these subjects, ad infinitum. You do not, of perhaps cannot, engage.

The idea that people with data can extract some science out of this is absurd. No, really, it is absurd. It is the same hubris as that of the Soviets, who attempted to "plan" their economy. And their economy was a simple thing, mind you. And even then it only worked, sort of, because of all the little workarounds and vest-pocket arrangements their middle management, empirically, figured out how to sneak by their system.

I know how this was done, very very well. My dad did plenty of business with Eastern Europe, purchasing machinery, and we knew many of these people and how their systems sort-of worked. Not, I assure you, as planned.

You are, at bottom, a fraud. I call you out.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Shorter 6:58 PM: Blah blah blah... blah blah blah.... I know the Charlottesville marchers were right-wing Trump supporting Nazis but I'm too much of a proud old noob (despite my pretension to humility) to call a simple fact, a fact.

Own them, honey bu buwaya. They're yours. Entirely and inexorably. Love them! Invite your own back home, you furry old Nazi!

buwaya said...

" Invite your own back home, you furry old Nazi!"

Fraud

buwaya said...

"Own them, honey bu buwaya.

Fake

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Nice anecdotes and cherry-picked opinions, Mr. right-wing 7:06 PM nut job. But you might want to tone down the rage. You're giving yourself away. Not humble at all. Not conservative. Just reactionary and in a proud state of ignorant denial about some basic facts concerning the world.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Nazi-symp.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

And you're not conservative. So who's the fraud?

You are.

buwaya said...

"Blah blah blah... blah blah blah.... "

And ignorant too. Empty. Uneducated, inexperienced and uninformed.
A mass of vacuum and bile. Well, you have bile, I will give you that.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I love that 7:17 PM comment!

But it really suffers from one small defect: It's just not quite opinionated enough.

Try being a little less factual, a little more emotional, and way more opinionated.

Then you'll have a comment that better suits your reactionary right-wing demeanor.

It's hard to be in denial about the world if you can't have a tantrum every now and then about how little others - who've looked at actual data comprehensively, not just selectively - agree with you. bu bu you. bbbu buh buh buh boo boo.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Godfather said...

@buwaya: You seem like a smart and thoughtful person, but you know, don't you, that the more you engage with toothless the more IQ points you lose?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

You seem like a smart and thoughtful person, but you know, don't you, that the more you engage with toothless the more IQ points you lose?

Translation: You expose how weak your ideas are when they are actually engaged with someone who isn't required to exhibit a knee-jerk agreement with them. Engage more with obsequious, Republican bootlickers instead. They will bolster your bad ideas and bleat at them like the sheep that they are. Strength in herds! Baaahaaa! Baaaah!

Rusty said...

Friday night. Pedro got paid and hit the liquor aisle at Walmart.
Stop by his local porn shop and pick up another inflatable friend.

narciso said...

Don't confuse the toothy one with facts, pinker tabulate rasa template doesn't say much about human conscience as it is just another construct

narciso said...

Exactly buwaya, they don't understand that the left is part of the dialectic and there is a natural evolution of thesis and antithesis. Much like Warner and moller re the Austrian economists of hayek and his predecessor Von misses.

Its surprising fukuyama who fancied himself a hegel scholar missed this? It was not the 'end of history' but a rewind to 1917 if not 1848

narciso said...

So the trolls gets through multiple posts and I don't?

narciso said...

Wagner and moller i derived this from caldwells biography of hayek,

narciso said...

He does still peer into shadowy places

https://mobile.twitter.com/climateaudit?lang=en