Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Build your very own BS detector with this handy kit!
So I told my older brother off last week for posting a link to a "why Trump is Hitler video" on Facebook.
I did it politely, as he is my older brother after all, and I did it by pointing out that in the old days I used to be the one sporting all sorts of crazed gibberish about Dubya, Jim Bolger (and even John Key) being like Hitler and other sorts of half baked nonsense, that I was once (and still probably am) known for, yet here I was being the one suggesting otherwise, and by referencing Goodwins Law to boot.
So it would be easy to say the glove was on the other foot and its an especially bizarre position to be in because I do still believe in much of that "crazed stuff" (and will do until I see evidence otherwise).
And it turns out I am not the only one amazed at the Bat Guano levels of insanity now passing for acceptable public utterances these days (specially this guy).
The problem, you see, is not so much the conviction or passion of people and their opinions but rather the lack of actual knowledge to support them and the highly knee-jerk behavior generated by the media in general coupled with the fact that their reaction to Trump is bordering on the kind of ranting found on the lower levels of the internet and not on a mainstream news website like Stuff.
But that's just what I ended up seeing in the latest column by Jane Bowron which reads like she finally snapped after one to many glasses of chardonnay and her meds were kicking while spending the day reading an endless stream of anti-trump propaganda online.
The thrust of the article has echoes of my Plumbing The Depths Part 1 post from back on KP but with a whole lot more crazy and a lot less actual logic going on and in the end comes off like a drug fueled defeatist rant for which she will get paid (how can I get a gig like that?).
Check out this Book of Revelation style apocalyptic comment from Jane, presented here verbatim as it was in the Dominion Post.
Sick (literally) and tired of dumb humanity, the planet will watch we rough beasts slugging it out, fighting each other to the death, as we take the Earth, as we narcissists know it, out with us.
Or this, where I truly don't know if she is being ironic or not.
The planet will always hold the Trump card and win against The Joker because it plays the long game. We can't say we weren't warned.
And those are only two choice cuts from what is a spectacular piece of late night mondo bizzaro, the kind that comes from spending too much time getting your information from one pool of biased sources and an entrenched point of view that has no flexibility to dissenting opinions or thoughts (we could call it cognitive dissonance but lets just say crazy cat lady syndrome).
Its not that I don't share a few opinions with Jane about the fate of the species or Trump (because there is plenty about him to genuinely criticize (including this rather nice bit by Pablo over on KP) without having to slide off the deep end into frothing mouth foam land and either go all Goodwins Law or invoke a nihilist stance and prepare to burn it all down (what I have previously termed as Joker Politics).
And its not like I have talked about this before but people have been warned and now the backlash is starting to happen and its only going to get stronger as the arguments get absurder (and shriller and more desperate).
Its simple stuff really: trying to maintain such a hyper aggressive stance will alienate more people than it will appeal to and in direct proportion to the level of unfocused vitriol being spewed which in the long runs leads to a small burnt out core of fanatics locked into a reality tunnel (bit like ISIS) that is nothing but a one way trip down the hole into paranoia (believe me I have been there so many time I ended up bying real estate), hate and eventually violence.
So how do we go about building that BS detector I mentioned at the start of this post?
Simple, exercise your critical facilities before you speak, see it from all three sides (to quote Extreme: Yours, Mine and The Truth), know your history if your going to compare a dingbat president to one of histories monsters (I recommend the following books to get started: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer; Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer; and The Order of the Deaths Head: The story of Hitler's SS by Heinze Hohne) and never sink to the level of those you are criticizing (ranting at the ranters or using violence against those who preach it) because if you do your playing their game with their rules on their terms and you will loose!
Its ironic, and rather painful, that one side looses an election and becomes just as bitter and partisan as the other side when Obama won but this time its being played out by people who have built a house on supposedly rational and informed debate, moderation and tolerance for others but one bad result and its the end of the world and the hate (and the punches) start flowing.
And just keep this one little thought in mind if you are not convinced about the road your preparing to walk down: The definition of terrorism is using violence and intimidation for political purposes (I knew my Masters in Strategic Studies would come in useful one day).
Oppose the power all you want, as its a position I support wholeheartedly (and actively engage in) as well, but do it with intelligence, style and an understanding of what your ultimate goal is or don't be surprised when you end up on a watch list or get black bagged by the rough men who stand ready***.
So I am going to end this post by leaving the last word to Scott Adams (he of Dilbert fame*) to say why in the wake of the riot at Berkley UC in the US he is going to no longer be supporting his Alma Mater or the absurdity of the argument.
*-If you don't know who Dilbert is get Googling!
**-And yes I just figured out how to put pictures in my blog
***-I know its not really Orwell but I like to think he did say it.