Friday, April 29, 2011

No Christ, No Evolution

It was once thought -- as long as a decade ago, since Fukuyama's End of History is predicated on it -- that cultural evolution is universal, and that there are clearcut, unidirectional stages from primitive band to modern liberal democracy.

September 11, 2001 more or less applied the kibosh to this idea, or at least made it clear that certain cultures have a very long way to go if they are ever to break through the tribal barrier and join the ranks of the civilized.

I read The End of History when it came out, and found its thesis to be entirely persuasive. I mean, who in their right mind wouldn't prefer individualism to collectivism, liberty to authority, the rule of law to the rule of man, democracy to autocracy, civil rights to unlimited state power, free markets to command economies or crony capitalism?

The operative term is, of course, right mind. "Mind" is the most important variable, both individually and collectively, because it is obviously the case that many people prefer all of those social arrangements that we find anathema.

So Fukuyama can be correct in essence, or "archetypally," even if things are much messier on the ground. This should come as no surprise, because this is Just the Way the Cosmos Works.

For example, my racket, psychology, is implicitly predicated on the idea that health exists and that it is preferable to pathology. Any organism is internally directed toward its archetype, but that doesn't mean everyone is healthy.

To the contrary, pathology in any organic system is a measure of the distance between reality and ideal. We could say the same of cultural pathology, at least so long as we have an ideal. Modern liberalism, of course, has abandoned this in favor of a horizontal multiculturalism, in which all cultural comparisons are considered invidious and probably racist.

The result is that for the politically correct left, there is a ban on the exercise of judgment and discrimination, and therefore wisdom. One can certainly see this in the field of psychology. Like most every other profession, mine has been hijacked by left wing activists who substitute their collective ideology for individual discrimination.

In certain areas, one is not permitted to entertain thoughts that are counter to various reflexive leftist memes, especially as they pertain to race, sexual orientation, sexual differences, family structure, mothering, fatherhood, and cultural practices.

If in our view a person is enmeshed in a pathological culture, then it is our problem. As in the old Soviet Union, we need the psychologist. We need a dose of sensitivity training in order to overcome our bourgeois indoctrination.

Here one can appreciate one of the many contradictions at the heart of the left: that all cultures are equally precious except for traditional American culture, which is uniquely bad and oppressive. No leftist ever condemns, say, homosexual activists, for insensitivity to the Judeo-Christian norms of the majority.

You will have noticed how this mechanism operates in your personal life. I assume we all have crazy relatives.

The annoying thing about crazy relatives is that they always insist that you adapt to their craziness, and if you don't, you are considered crazy, or impolite, or inconsiderate.

This conceals the fact that the crazy person is crazy specifically because he has no insight into his craziness, nor can he adapt to the real world. Screwball comedies from Shakespeare to Seinfeld are based on this idea, but it's not funny when it's happening to you.

A friend of ours recently endured a three week visit from especially difficult in-laws, and was nearly insane by the last day. Here we see how mental pathology is exported into others in the psychic environment.

Conversely, the healthy person is more empathic and flexible. He can see that the crazy person is actually in pain, and he will try to minimize their pain by adapting to their nutty world. But often a line is crossed, whereby the crazy person becomes a tyrant because of our indulgence of them, i.e., our desire to spare them of pain.

When people accuse Petey of being unkind, this is usually what is going on. Since he has no one to please, he has no interest in making crazy people feel comfortable. He is not going to adapt to them. Rather, they must adapt to him. If they don't like it, they can find someone else to manipulate. It shouldn't be difficult. Don't you have family?

It is the work of a moment to see how this identical mechanism operates on the world stage. What is the UN but a bunch of crazy autocrats who expect the world to fall in line behind them? Look at their favorite mascot, the dreaded Palestinians. The UN has spent the last 50 years indulging their madness instead of pointing it out to them, which would obviously be the helpful and "therapeutic" thing to do. Indulging madness only results in more of it.

Now, back to cultural evolution. As we have discussed in the past, the word "evolution" in its original sense is completely at odds with any materialistic/relativistic/Darwinian framework, since evolution is by definition directional. So when we talk about cultural evolution, we are implicitly saying that there is an ideal way for man to "be."

And as soon as we say this, the psycho-spiritual left will accuse us of some nonsense such as "cultural imperialism" or "religious fascism." But this is no more fascistic or imperialistic than to say that some diets are better than others for cardiac health. Only if one begins with the assumption that clear arteries are no better than atherosclerosis can all diets be considered equal.

Fukuyama -- who is clearly not coming at this from a personally religious standpoint -- writes that "The only part of the world where tribalism was fully superseded by more voluntary and individualistic forms of social relationship was Europe, where Christianity played a decisive role in undermining kinship as a basis for social cohesion."

That's odd. It's almost as if Christianity, far from being at odds with evolution, is the key to it.

And when we say "Christianity," please do not make the multicultural error of substituting "religion." For example, "In India, kinship interacted with religion and mutated into the caste system, which up to the present day has proved much stronger than any state in defining the nature of Indian society" (ibid.). And let's not even talk about Islam.

However, this raises the immediate objection of why evolution didn't proceed apace in South America despite its conversion to Christianity, or in the Orthodox east, where church was generally subordinate to state.

We'll deal with that later, but it's a little like asking why one brother turns out to be a sterling chap, the other an assoul. This problem was recognized before the beginning. Look at Cain and Abel. Same family. Same God. What went wrong?

Indeed, what went wrong between Judaism and Islam? They're both tribal, strictly monotheistic, and conspicuously porciphobic. How come the former raced ahead of the pack, while the latter is stuck in the wayback machine?

Early day today. Gotta get to work. To be continued...

66 Comments:

Blogger Gandalin said...

Judaism is not tribal, but national. From the time of Moses, the thrust of the constitution for the Children of Israel was the de-emphasis of tribal identity, and its replacement with a national identity. This can be seen through the period of the Judges, and obviously with the development of the Davidic monarchy. Islam in contrast posits a One-World-One-Caliphate-One-Caliph system in which there is no real nation to mediate between the Caliph and the tribe. Hence no end to tribalism.

By the way, brilliant series of posts on Dante. These are worthy of being another book.

4/29/2011 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I understand what you're saying. No time to get into details, but from a cosmic standpoint, Christianity can be understood as a universalization and propagation of Jewish principles. Ironically, as far as I can tell, Judaism itself become much more universal at the same time Christianity did, with the post-temple rabbinic turn...

4/29/2011 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Gandalin,

By the way, brilliant series of posts on Dante. These are worthy of being another book.

Oh, I'd second that! I bet if there were a Kindle edition it would sell very well, too. The Decalog posts from way back when would be another good one...

Anyway, to the post:

It was once thought -- as long as a decade ago, since Fukuyama's End of History is predicated on it -- that cultural evolution is universal, and that there are clearcut, unidirectional stages from primitive band to modern liberal democracy.

Ah, but to believe so, one would have to blind oneself to certain historical truths. The Old Testament is full of them - how many times did the Jews allow themselves to be seduced by false gods, only to suffer the consequences? It fell to each generation to uphold the truths discovered in the past, and in so doing evolve toward an even greater truth; a great many of those generations failed, epically.

The same is no less true right now. The only question is how much farther the culture will fall, and whether the next few generations will have what it takes to provide the cultural metanoia needed to keep us from plummeting back into a dark age. Who, when they are called, will answer, "Here I am," and will have the fortitude to conform themselves to an esteem higher than their own.

Interesting times.

4/29/2011 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I assume we all have crazy relatives.

There's another kind?

4/29/2011 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

At the risk of stirring internecine conflict, I point out that South America was colonized mostly by Catholic Spain and Portugal.

Protestantism was and is a troubling development in the unity of the Kingdom of God. Nevertheless, the emphasis on liberty inherent in protestant theology has been beneficial to both us and Catholicism. Someday we will all get back together.

Catholicism was, back then, also more prone to syncretism -- i.e., religious multiculturalism. The Church was more apt to adapt to local belief systems and incorporate them into feast days and such.

For some reason, that always makes me think of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

4/29/2011 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Gandalin said...

Dear Bob,

Thank you for your kind response.

I wasn't trying to get at the universalist/particularist tension, but to differentiate between the tribal and national levels of the particular.

There is no national army in the Arab world, there are just Arab tribal militias, some of which parade under national flags. The IDF is a national service. That's the difference that I am getting at.

4/29/2011 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous scory said...

I read various people who express a fear that the world may be headed for a "new dark age". As I reflect over the past 250 years I see huge technical advances but in regards to spiritual matters it looks to me like the west has been sliding back to something more akin to the old paganism over that time. We have seen the rise of belief systems that have led to the most destructive wars in history and mass murder and oppression on a scale that is truly monstrous.

I believe we tend to equate mass education with mass enlightement. But Aldous Huxley pointed out that in the age of compulsory, free education ignorance of the nature of Man and Man's place in the cosmos and of the purpose of human existence has never been deeper or more pervasive. A great deal of what Bob writes is about exactly this ignorance.

It seems to me that we have not been sliding into a "new dark age" but are in the midst of one right now. This time it is a dark age that comes with near instant communication across the planet, truly amazing technology and weaponry capable of destruction on a scale undreamed and in the hands of people many of whom think of themselves as animals and of those they rule as nothing more than easily replaceable parts in a vast economic machine - said machine being regarded as supremely important for the happiness and well-being of all mankind. And those who do not yet share in this wonderous technology either aspire to do so and will ape those who now hold it in their effort to achieve it; or they aspire to destroy it and take us back to the pagan past on the material plane as well as the physical.

4/29/2011 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Mushroom says:

"At the risk of stirring internecine conflict, I point out that South America was colonized mostly by Catholic Spain and Portugal."

North America was colonized by the English, whose only reason for being Protestant was that Henry VIII needed liberty to randomly divorce and remarry.

The memetic superstructure of the English people, formed during the overarching reign of Catholocism was the reason the North America turned out so well.

Much of the heavy lifting that made the West possible was done during the period of 1000 to 1300.

The problem was that Catholocism proper wouldn't deal with the new memetic additions it needed to make.

4/29/2011 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Scory says:

"It seems to me that we have not been sliding into a "new dark age" but are in the midst of one right now. This time it is a dark age that comes with near instant communication across the planet, truly amazing technology and weaponry capable of destruction on a scale undreamed and in the hands of people many of whom think of themselves as animals and of those they rule as nothing more than easily replaceable parts in a vast economic machine - said machine being regarded as supremely important for the happiness and well-being of all mankind."

Actually, what happened was that our spiritual/cultural development didn't keep up with the technological advance.

I've thought about this a lot, trying to figure out the appropriate rate of technological development. You definitely don't want asynchrnous development or you end up in the mess we are in now.

Now that we are running out of cheap energy, this should correct itself.

Provided that we don't kill the entire human race off in a nuclear war.

4/29/2011 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

I suspect what we've done is set ourselves up for a multi-generational technological/economic/demographic depression due to the ending of the West coupled with the ending of cheap energy.

Basically, the amount of existence that we've metabolized, so to speak, isn't enough to keep things going the way they are currently going without some additional time and generations to really absorb what we need to absorb from a developmental standpoint.

The next High Culture will get a head start over where the West was when it got started, simply because there is a lot more to work with.

However, the next few hundred years will be somewhat annoying as we struggle to rebalance everything.

So, kind of like the 1930s, it will be a painful period, but we should come out better in a few hundred years as the next High Culture gets into gear.

I also think that the United States will get through the next few hundred years pretty well.

I haven't been able to find any possible cycle/wave longer than a 2000 year cultural period. I'm still trying to figure out the interplay between individual generations.

4/29/2011 02:44:00 PM  
Anonymous scory said...

You may be right. It seems that it takes calamity on the material plane to turn people to that of the spiritual. We see this in the short term every time something terrible happens. Many suddenly see that an awful lot of what they took for granted is not in the least under any human control and overnight the churches fill with worshippers. But these events are generally of brief duration and once they have passed or the initial shock wears off it is back to business as usual. I find your observation about being on the brink of an event that will last over generations interesting. Perhaps that is exactly what is needed to balance out the rapid technological advance with the relative snail's pace of spiritual development.

Or perhaps what we will get is a fairly sudden and compressed period of catastrophe that winnows out those who have refused to advance spiritually. Sort of an extinction level event for those who will not evolve. The end of days is prophesied in many places.

4/29/2011 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger katzxy said...

JP, I think that the issues with cheap energy are more regulatory and political than technical.

4/29/2011 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

The problem would seem to be peak *everything*, rather than just peak cheap energy. The question being whether we have an inflection point in the commodity downtrend in which we hit a long term commodity uptrend.

If you have cheap energy, you can always reprocess.

Jeremy Grantham's current article on www.gmo.com discusses this.

He makes similar arguments to Denninger, except he points to the entire economic system rather than primarily the debt/finance components.

We should be hitting an innovation wave growth point in biotech soon that should coincide with the rollout of the next wave of the information tech rollout, leading to significant economic growth. The problem this time around is that we don't need the general participation of the labor force.

4/30/2011 06:07:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

Christianity is a great force for good in the world but the other edge of the sword can justify any moral atrocity and and malign scientific fact.

Mr. psychologist, is denial a mental illness or a personality disorder? How about talking to invisible beings? There is growing evidence to support that some brain types are less capable of learning and processing information and tend to rely on conditioned persistent responses.

4/30/2011 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Johan the Cosmic Swede was having difficulty posting comments, so he sent them to me in an email. Here they are:

“How did humans transition from band to tribe? It occurred only yesterday, about 10,000 years ago, and accompanies the development of agriculture. Correlation is not causation, so it is impossible to say which came first.”

This is extremely interesting. Since the move from “hunting and gather” to “agriculture and domestication of animals” has no economical benefits at all. The only reason can be social, which in other words means sacrificial if you talk to René Girard (of whom Gil Bailie draws the fundamental ideas of the scapegoat victim).

Girard suggests in his book “Things Hidden Since the Foundation Of the World” that domestication comes first and agriculture later, and that the reason for these to emerge is because of the need for sacrificial animals. Wild animals are captured and kept for later sacrificial use. Animals that are easier to capture and keep calm will be kept and “natural selection” will do the rest to domesticate them.

4/30/2011 06:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Johan the Cosmic Swede said...

Continued:

Whenever we find lost tribes in some jungle, we notice that they are still hunters. They still are cannibals and/or practice human sacrifice. They have not yet, like Abraham, climbed the mountain of Moria. They might have climbed it half way up, and practice both human and animal/vegetable sacrifice.

If mimetic desire and the scapegoat victim lies at the basis of our culture and religion, which I certainly do believe because of it’s universal practice, I think all this has a close bearing on truth (on an anthropological level).

The lack of real positive economic effects for agriculture and domestication (except for lesser amount of human sacrifices, but that does not concern the collective, only the “minus one” individual), points to other benefits which most probably are social. This affects the psychic plane (it works both ways probably) too, because the phsycic has to be social. All the other stuff like commerce, art, music, technology, cooking, architecture and all kinds of creativity must come after as an effect, and not a cause (even if it later gets intermingled of course).

And finally you write:

“The spirits of the dead require ‘continual maintenance on the part of their living relatives, who had to provide them with regular offerings of food and drink lest they become angry’ -- like in-laws who never leave.”

Here we have it – religion - the need for animals to sacrifice - is the root cause for leaving the slacker lifestyle of hunting and gathering.

4/30/2011 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

William:

Denial is neither a mental disorder nor a personality disorder. It is a psychological defense mechanism.

4/30/2011 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And if you are honestly endeavoring to understand spiritual evolution -- which I assume is why you are here -- you will only be confused by appealing to a simplistic demagogue such as PZ Myers.

4/30/2011 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And the appeal to junk science to undermine truth is especially ironic. But such is denial.

4/30/2011 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

*sigh*

I see Billy's life is still lacking something, much to our detriment. Bummer.

4/30/2011 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Johan says:

"The lack of real positive economic effects for agriculture and domestication (except for lesser amount of human sacrifices, but that does not concern the collective, only the “minus one” individual), points to other benefits which most probably are social. This affects the psychic plane (it works both ways probably) too, because the phsycic has to be social. All the other stuff like commerce, art, music, technology, cooking, architecture and all kinds of creativity must come after as an effect, and not a cause (even if it later gets intermingled of course)."

Are we looking at this from a horizontal standpoint in terms of causation?

And isn't there a psychological benefit from being the Big Man in an agrarian world?

The person who gets to essentially bathe in the surplus?

He gets to live off of the surplus and be sedentary.

The question might be *why* didn't the hunter gatherers who still exist become agrarian?

External constraints wouldn't seem to be the issue here.

4/30/2011 08:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Don Colacho said...

A man who has recourse to a physiological interpretation is a man who is afraid of the soul.

4/30/2011 08:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Don Colacho said...

To feign knowledge of a subject, it is advisable to adopt its most recent interpretation.

4/30/2011 08:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Don Colacho said...

His serious university training shields the technician against any idea.

4/30/2011 08:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Atheists wouldn't be so annoying if they weren't constantly trying to put us out of their misery.

4/30/2011 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

How much do you want to bet this guy gets apoplectic when the Jehova's Witnesses or the Adventists come knocking on his door. And yet, he can't resist doing the same thing, only without the courtesy or respect.

4/30/2011 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

One wonders how shrunken a soul must be in order for PZ Myers to conform to its dimensions. Oh well. There's a religion for everyone.

4/30/2011 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Back to the topic at hand, this post today by Sipp for some reason reminded me of all the literature I've read in my life about dystopian futures where human life is cheap and easily destroyed for the entertainment/ bloodlust of the masses. One of the reasons such stories are always so popular and believable is that we know how possible it is for even an advanced culture to revert to such a state.

At the same time, we have reached a point where we try to defend ourselves against every possibility for injury, to the point where a lot of people seem to be stagnating. Almost as though there's a real-world pushback against the possibility of reversion to brutality (as though any amount of safety regulations can prevent people from turning on each other once a critical mass has been reached). As a result, though they may not look like the little brother in A Christmas Story who can't move his arms because he's bundled up too tightly, for many the mental effects are just as stultifying. For instance, is it really necessary for a kid to ride in a car seat until he's twelve?

4/30/2011 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. PZ Meyers, looking to him as a source of wisdom is like feeding yourself with rotten flesh.

4/30/2011 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

His intellectual world is guided by the ironyclad law, survival of the flattest.

4/30/2011 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Conservatism predicts that liberals will slander them through junk science, since they cannot refute our arguments.

4/30/2011 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Indeed; the truth is scandalous. Better to refute it with false logic and outright lies than to acknowledge it and discover that the only freedom lies in conforming oneself with what is Real.

For instance, abortion is murder. Accepting that means that one must also take responsibility for one's sexuality, and acknowledge that it has a purpose beyond simply giving pleasure.

And for instance, the climate is bigger than man. Accepting that means acknowledging that disasters can happen no matter how much we prepare, and also that there is a limit to how much the environment can benefit from ever-more-restrictive regulations against human activity; indeed, there is a point where instead we may be doing more harm than good, albeit usually in a highly localized fashion.

4/30/2011 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Off topic, I love this bit from Steyn:

The "poorest" half of the population pay no federal income tax. They're not exactly poor as the term would be understood in almost any other country, but in federal revenue terms they're dependents, so in order to fund government services for the wealthiest "poor" people on the planet we borrow money from a nation of subsistence peasants where pigs are such prized possessions they sleep in the house.

Everybody, back on your heads...

4/30/2011 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

I think that's talking about income tax.

Everyone who works at all pays FICA tax.

And there are lots of retired poor people who get paid by the government with their children's FICA tax.

A bigger problem is the fact that we don't really *need* people to grow crops/make things anymore, since we have machines and robots. Physical labor doesn't have much value these days.

There isn't really anything that a lot of the population needs to do other than serve as a market for Chinese goods.

4/30/2011 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Never trust a Darwinian monkey as a source of truth.

4/30/2011 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"The result is that for the politically correct left, there is a ban on the exercise of judgment and discrimination, and therefore wisdom. One can certainly see this in the field of psychology. Like most every other profession, mine has been hijacked by left wing activists who substitute their collective ideology for individual discrimination. "

Ain't that the truth. Freedom of Choice or the Fist of Force are the alternatives we have to choose from.

You may be hearing a lot about that coming out of St. Louis in the next few days.

5/01/2011 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

JP said "Now that we are running out of cheap energy, this should correct itself"

We aren't running out of cheap energy, in fact we have more available than ever before. We've just run out of people with the sense to not elect politicians who will make it more difficult and expensive to provide it.

5/01/2011 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Scory said "I believe we tend to equate mass education with mass enlightement. But Aldous Huxley pointed out that in the age of compulsory, free education ignorance of the nature of Man and Man's place in the cosmos and of the purpose of human existence has never been deeper or more pervasive. A great deal of what Bob writes is about exactly this ignorance."

Yep. America came into being on the thought that Education developed the persons inner understanding of who they are, of their Rights and Responsibilities and aided them in becoming worthy of and able to live in liberty.

We've fallen into a nation that believes that people need to be given correct ideas and skills to serve the greater good and compete with the japanese, chinese, or any other foe OUT there.

One is Education, the other Indoctrination, calling them both by the same name won't make them smell the same.

Crap is crap and once you step in it, it's damn tough scraping off of your souls.

5/01/2011 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

With respect to nuclear energy, you're right, Van.

I stil haven't figured how our uranium energy usage will fit into the future or when/how it will potentially peak.

I'm more concerned about food supply/fertilizer supply/land supply than I am about the cheap energy, per se. In any event, the U.S. should be fine.

And with respect to education, my classmates in engineering seemed to be getting an education to get a good job.

At least my approach in legal education was Branded School = $$$. That worked back in the 1990s.

Mostly I've self-ecducated on topics that were important to me.

5/01/2011 10:51:00 AM  
Anonymous PSGInfinity said...

Bob,
The bemusing thing is that your charming visitor can't help but encounter Truth in his line of work - and yet turns away. (shakes head). Michael Moore? Twice?

wv: tormic, a reference to his soyl?

5/01/2011 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Repulsion from Truth engenders attraction to the repellant. It's one of the underlying principles of the left.

5/01/2011 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

Denial and demagoguery qualify as "answers" from the right. A persistant and structured response pattern..

5/01/2011 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You are excused for your ignorance. One must be a professional psychologist to understand the extent to which middlebrow liberals adduce sophomoric research for the purposes of political auto-fellatio.

But no one is forgiven for believing that science and wisdom operate on the same planes. To conflate brain activity with truth is as silly as analyzing the electricity passing through telephone wires to determine which party is telling the truth.

And in any event, nothing could be more provincial and reactionary than orthodox liberalism -- which hasn't taken a new cognitive imprint since FDR -- so this trivial study is self-refuting. I myself would still be a conformist liberal if my mind hadn't remained open.

5/01/2011 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

You are excused for your ignorance.

Thanks for proving my point.

5/01/2011 04:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

I would bet folding money that William has believed the same liberal pieties since college.

5/01/2011 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

BTW, that wasn't your point, but a mere appeal to the authority of liberal academics. Thus, it reflects an innocent faith in the tenured, of which we wouldn't dream of disabusing you.

5/01/2011 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Oddly enough, William has also made my point, which I published in various academic papers circa 1990. I can't fathom the Bob who once believed such drivel!

5/01/2011 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And William, I am sure we can agree to stipulate that one of us is cosmically and catastrophically wrong; that one of us is open in ways the other cannot comprehend; and that the latter doesn't waste a moment commenting on blogs he knows to be intolerant of ambiguity.

5/01/2011 05:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Is 93 visits here since April 12 a lot? That's only like four or five times a day. It's not as if William has better things to do.

5/01/2011 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

93 visits? Criminy, Bob, does your animal magnetism have no limits?

5/01/2011 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't know. We would have to do a CT scan of his brain to find out.

5/01/2011 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I erred above when I suggested that one must be a professional psychologist to appreciate the idiocy of these self-serving studies. Let's start with the following phrase: in a large sample of young adults....

5/01/2011 06:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

With a large sample of young adults I can prove that Obama is the greatest man alive. After Justin Bieber.

5/01/2011 06:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

William: you've been made victim of a novel kind of argument in use here -- if you point out a fallacy, then the mere fact that you are paying attention to the issuer of the fallacy proves that the issuer is superior to yourself -- after all, he's not coming over to your blog. There ought to be a fancy latin name for this.

5/01/2011 06:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Josey said...

Hey, you all are kind of hard on William. I mean, the man lists "fruit" as one of his interests.

He really has nothing better to do.

And never forget, Willie, buzzards gotta eat same as the worms.

5/01/2011 06:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Josey said...

Actually, Anon, there is a fancy Latin for it: ad iudicium.


Josey Wales: Works wonders on just about everything, eh?
Carpetbagger: It can do most anything.
Josey Wales: [spits tobacco juice on the carpetbagger's coat] How is it with stains?

5/01/2011 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As always, anonymous is correct. Just because an obnoxious blowhard comes into my home and spews irrelevant kneejerk socialist bromides to all and sundry, I am under no obligation to pay attention to him.

5/01/2011 06:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Memo to One Cosmos readers: it is now a logical fallacy to tolerate bemused ambiguity as to whether political truth reduces to neurology. The science is settled!

And we have always been at war with Eastasia!

5/01/2011 07:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Margaret Sanger said...

Question for William: since 85% of blacks are liberals, and the vast majority of whites are conservative, does this finally prove that black and white brains are genetically different?

5/01/2011 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Huh. Wonders never cease: Bin Laden is dead.

5/01/2011 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Dead and unburied for well over 23 hrs... and yet another use for bacon is found

5/01/2011 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

That's the best news I've had all week.

5/01/2011 09:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"vast majority of whites are conservative" sounds like bs to me.

I took the trouble to run the GSS on this question, results are here (this is 1991 data). Whites are 23% conservative, 13% liberal (the rest are moderate or undecided). 23% is hardly a "vast majority".

5/01/2011 09:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I support William.

5/01/2011 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

kingran
= wv
osama dead--obama gloats
[no one w/ a mom named stanley should]
Trump should now shave his head
and really take the gloves off like a slightly-saner Col Kurtz ala Brando...

and Marilyn killed by the FBI?

5/02/2011 01:05:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I stand corrected. If 42% of the country is conservative, and anonymous is correct that only 23% of whites are conservative, this means that minorities are overwhelmingly conservative. Good news!

5/02/2011 05:56:00 AM  

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