Search engines’ function of providing us with information almost instantly means people are losing their intellectual capacity to store information, Nicolas Carr, said.The author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, claimed that the web was depriving our mental faculties of the regular workouts they need.He told the BBC that the internet meant people now found it harder to concentrate, for example when trying to read a book.
One of these kids is doing his own thingC’mon, can you tell me which one?Can you guess which kid is doing his own thing?Before my song is done?And now my song is done.– Sesame Street
Most of us have seen the movie Weekend at Bernie’s, right? Two guys going through all sorts of wacky hijinks in order to convince people that their dead boss is still alive, while going to hilariously desperate lengths to deflect any close scrutiny that might reveal the truth?
Why is anyone paying attention to what Stephen Hawkings or most other scientists say about religion except on the basis of their presumed authority? And it’s the flimsiest kind of authority on the topic, based in a reputation gained in an entirely different field of study. As far as I have been able to see, Stephen Hawking has never published a scholarly paper on the subject in a reviewed journal so it’s not even passed that level of testing. Perhaps if he had tried his ideas in that academic realm he might have avoided limiting himself to one, very crude assumption about religious thinking, believing that all of it is as unaware of the vicissitudes of the study of religious questions as he obviously is.Anyone who has read even a little of the rigorous, formal literature around various religions, would know that the contemporary critics of religion almost never have the slightest knowledge of what serious people have said on the topic.
Not a single law of science is anything other than the product of human thought. Not a single one of them has been developed except within a realm which excludes everything but what we can discover of the physical universe. I believe that exclusion is based in our experience and the extension of our logic, which, itself, is a means to address our experience of the physical universe.…A passage in the Book of Isaiah that often comes to mind when thinking about this topic, is when God is said to have said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”. Whatever else people have held about God, no matter how much of our limited minds and thoughts and even our crimes and injustices we have attributed to God, even the most anthropomorphic religion holds that God is not a human being. To think that God would be required to follow our laws of science or, indeed, any possible actual mechanisms of a universe created by God, is rather touchingly naive in a way that even the “ignorant goat herders” who are believed by the incredulous to have written the Bible were able to surpass.
It seems to be an emotional need of the new atheists to believe they have disposed of the question of purpose but most people seem to be unimpressed with that artificial substitute for reason. And that’s only one of the questions that we, mere mortals, have about the universe which we find ourselves in. I am more convinced as I see us destroying ourselves, to a large degree with the products of science and technology, that unless we include questions of purpose, justice, rights, morality and other entirely non-scientific features of human thought and culture, that science is inadequate in itself to ensure our continued existence.
What does it take to be a Megan McArdle? I’m really, truly fascinated by this phenomenon. What kind of psychological contortions must you put yourself through in order to suffer this kind of humiliation on a regular basis without losing faith in your intellectual abilities?
You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.– Blazing Saddles
I said before that one of the reasons I wasn’t all that impressed with Joe Bageant was that he just struck me as a more affable James Howard Kunstler. Heywood crystallizes one of the other reasons for me: he also makes me picture a slightly more avuncular Dave “Mudcat” Saunders. Can you tell which one is which?
I have bitched and moaned for years about the lack of tolerance in the elitist wing of the Democratic Party, or what I refer to as the “Metropolitan Opera Wing”. These are the people who talk of tolerance but the only true tolerance they ever exhibit is for their own pseudo-intellectual arrogance.–snip–I am certain I will get personally attacked for this next statement, but in all honesty, I don’t care what the “Metropolitan Wing” of my party thinks. I don’t like them. The damage the pseudo-intellectuals have done to my party by abandoning tolerance, combined with their erroneous stereotyping of my people and culture, is something that brings out my incivility. In his column, Joe said, “…the smart stuff is being drowned out by a fierce, bullying, often witless tone of intolerance that has overtaken the left-wing sector of the blogosphere.” Amen. I must add that this same intellectual arrogance and intolerance overtook the party years ago, and for that very reason, my people in rural America left the tent.So to those bloggers who believe in a straight-forward dialogue and exchange of ideas, God bless you and thank you. Together, you’re coming up with a lot of good stuff, and frankly, much of it has been helpful to me. At the same time, those Democratic bloggers, who have appointed themselves as intellectually superior and believe the only way to win an argument is to shot the loudest with personal attacks, you can go to Hell.
Most educated American liberals, however, believe simply being progressive makes them, by default, the nation’s saviors — morally and intellectually right in all things. As proof, they read more and, allegedly, are more open minded than most conservatives, except when it comes to their daughter dating a redneck named Ernest who lives in a trailer court behind the strip mall. They are certainly among the educated class in a country known for its lousy schools and a dull, sated and unquestioning public. Education and access to education are now our fundamental class delineators. Higher education is now for the privileged. And that privilege, almost regardless of profession or career, is a future that depends on government. Liberal or conservative, it matters little. In fact, this privileged class votes Democratic more predictably than the working class, Hispanics or Blacks.So when educated liberals look up from their copy of The Nation or the Jon Stewart show, they behold a chilling sight: Beefy mobs waving teabags and demanding tax cuts to help pay for new schools and bridges, Sarah Palin emerging from the ashes of the McCain campaign to become the high priestess of the uncurried tribes, with a Mormon named Glenn Beck exhorting millions of fundamentalists to seize the country. They feel that something has gone terribly wrong with America.Immediately they conclude that it is the American people’s fault through their backwardness, incomprehension and misdirected anger, and that maybe it serves them right for not rallying behind the flying progressive standard…”Ah yes,” they wailed, the people have let us down. They are absolutely disgusting!” liberals agreed. And they still agree. Read the comments on Huffington Post or Daily Kos.Or look at the arrogance of Barack Obama’s characterization of American heartlanders “clinging to God and guns.” Which we do. However, implicit in his statement was that both God and guns are indicators of an ignorant loser class. When opponents scalded him for his remarks, he justified them by pointing out he had said, “what everybody knows is true.” Meaning everybody in his class, the educated liberal class.
Even though the Southern people will not so much as listen to us, let us calmly consider their demands, and yield to them if, in our deliberate view of our duty, we possibly can. Judging by all they say and do, and by the subject and nature of their controversy with us, let us determine, if we can, what will satisfy them?Will they be satisfied if the Territories be unconditionally surrendered to them? We know they will not. In all their present complaints against us, the Territories are scarcely mentioned. Invasions and insurrections are the rage now. Will it satisfy them if, in the future, we have nothing to do with invasions and insurrections? We know it will not. We so know because we know we never had anything to do with invasions and insurrections; and yet this total abstaining does not exempt us from the charge and the denunciation.The question recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: we must not only let them alone, but we must, somehow, convince them that we do let them alone. [Applause.] This, we know by experience is no easy task. We have been so trying to convince them from the very beginning of our organization, but with no success. In all our platforms and speeches, we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone; but this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them is the fact that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them.These natural and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them? This, and this only; cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly — done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated — we must place ourselves avowedly with them.
Today, not only in peasant homes but also in the city sky-scrapers, there lives alongside the twentieth century the tenth or thirteenth. A hundred million people use electricity and still believe in the magic power of signs and exorcism … What inexhaustible reserves they possess of darkness, ignorance and savagery!– Leon Trotsky
Separating from the TM movement in the 1980s, physician Deepak Chopra began promoting a mixture of Eastern and Western self-help healing philosophies that has come to be called “quantum healing.” The notion is that we can make our own reality, solve all our problems, and heal all our ills by just thinking about them. In recent years, this idea was picked up (and treated as newly discovered) in two highly successful films, What the Bleep Do We Know? and The Secret. In all cases, the proponents claim quantum mechanics shows that human thought can change reality by an act of will.
I’ve argued publicly and in private that each and every American of voting age by Oct. 2001 should be indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity. And i mean it.Still, i could also make a reasonable argument that what was done in my name was done against my will. I didn’t vote for Bush. I didn’t vote for the vast majority of the asshats in Congress either. Now i have to accept a much more personal responsibility for every drone strike and torture coverup.I did vote for Obama, against my better judgment but within the confines of the American political game it made some sense. So i voted for the escalation in Afghanistan. I voted for more drone strikes in Pakistan. I voted for expanded covert operations and the assassination of American citizens. I voted for the ever expanding Clusterfuck Empire.– Lex at Scholars & Rogues
Until I saw that the link actually went to Fox News, I seriously thought S.Z. was making up the quotations from Glenn Beck here. This was my favorite one:
The other thing this thing is about is incompetence. I mean, how many terrible decisions has this administration made? I mean really — ones that are destroying the country, it’s almost like they’re intentionally trying to destroy it? Oh, did I say that? I better take another swig of root beer.
(Update: Okay, forget Beck — this is my new favorite “destroying America” example, from the intellectual giant who brought us “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang”. He even invokes Che himself!)
May the God he believes poisons everything be with him.Hitchens is an atheist. Wishing God be with him during his illness is like wishing COBOL on a caterpillar or bequeathing morals to Newt Gingrich. None of them have any use for what you are wishing on them.