Saturday, October 08, 2011

The most perceptive pro-Palin comment ever written

In lieu of demonstrating new and independent thought, I've decided to occasionally re-post some stuff from my old blog. As we finally say farewell to Sarah Palin's overextended fifteen minutes, here's one:


Supporters of Palin say they're not using "rational theorizing"

Interesting comment in a post by a pro-Palin conservative:

I think Sarah Palin is indeed a Rorschach test for Conservatives...it’s about what Conservativsm MEANS....

The core idea behind Conservatism is that most of human learning is done not by rational theorizing, but by pattern recognition....

This pattern recognition is called common sense, and over generations, it’s called traditions, conventions etc. Religion is usually a carrier meme for these evolved patterns. It’s sort of an evolutionary process, like a genetic algorithm....

Liberals, Lefties and even many Libertarians want to use only 10% of the human knowledge that’s rational.....

Conservatives are practical people who instinctively recognize the importance of evolved patterns in human learning: because our rational knowledge simply isn’t enough yet, these common sense patterns are our second best option to use. And to use these patterns effectively you don’t particularly have to be very smart i.e. very rational. You have to be _wise_ and you have to have a good character: you have to set hubris and pride aside and be able to accept traditions you don’t fully understand....

Anti-Palin Conservatives don’t understand it. They think Conservativism is about having different theories than the Left, they don’t understand that it’s that theories and rational knowledge isn’t so important.

What's especially interesting is the enthusiastic response following this idea of "going with your gut and calling it wisdom". I think the truth is a lot of what all of us consider reasoned analysis that reaches a conclusion is actually a gut response that's going through the motions, but to not even bother to fight for logic and knowledge is pretty striking.

28 comments:

David B. Benson said...

Ah me. My Firefox browser is cutting off the right end of lines and there is no scroll bar coming up here. So while the words might fit together in interesting ways, I cannot see the ones of the right to tell.

Or was not seeing the ones on the right the point? :-)

Joel said...

This reads like the Stephen Colbert segment on truthiness. But there is also the problem that Palin-style conservatives reject the best form of reasoning in favour of second-best gut-thinking.

As an aside: Mistakes Were Made, But Not By Me (http://www.amazon.com/o/asin/0156033909) is a fantastic read, if one of the scariest books around.

John said...

So, "because our rational knowledge simply isn’t enough yet," the conservatives' strategy is to destroy the educational system ?!?

You gotta love that "common sense" approach to institutionalizing "our second best option."

The critical "pattern" I've noticed is that the radical reich may well notice human frailty, from general ignorance to the disturbing realization of our mortality. But, instead of accepting the "common sense" of forming "a more perfect union" with others to overcome/ameliorate the frailty of the individual, the conservative insists that we must strive to atomize society to impose on everyone the misery and powerlessness they experience wallowing in the "second best option" of the romanticized "tradition" of rugged isolationism.

Of course, this is the strategy FOR the masses, broadcast relentlessly through myriad channels, by the powerful who unite regularly, in exotic places, to celebrate their great successes in duping the many with their "divide to control" strategy.

Indeed, we must "accept traditions (we) don’t fully understand," like poverty for the masses with simultaneous, essentially, direct cash infusions from that diabolical "big government" into the bank accounts of those of superior "character" and obscene wealth.

John Puma

Anonymous said...

Ironically when you start to actually -think- about what this boob just said it makes no sense at all. It's exactly the type of nonsense that Palin-supporters dig - the type that is full of impressive things that sound like they might be true, as long as you keep your brain switched off.

My gut feeling tells me there's something wrong with his argument; common sense tells me that a Palin-supporter would never be so perceptive; and rational analysis serves to confirm my suspicions.

Martin Vermeer said...

Actually this 'conservative' is on to something: yes it is about common sense, but real conservatism is about the common sense of realizing that all successful, worthwhile change comes in small steps, with learning taking place at every step. That is, a process of evolution.

In contrast, today's 'conservatives' are radical: they believe in implementing untested, complex changes from the ground up, learning processes be damned. It is itself based on a thoroughly counterfactual belief that it is possible to actually do this and succeed: i.e., that Intelligent Design works.

We shall see how, e.g., the radical change of the planet's atmospheric composition to values vaguely familiar from before Homo Sapiens even existed will work out. One test of radical pseudo-conservatism.

Dallas said...

I agree it is on to something. The simple common sense is to hold the course until there is valid reason to change. It kinda like the Monty Hall problem in statistics. If the course is your first choice, change when apparent improves your odds of getting the car. Simple common sense.

Holly Stick said...

There is a place for listening to your gut, such as when interviewing a prospective roommate (gut said no, it was correct; but then I also later ignored some evidence that said no) or whether to go into business with a particular person.

But you need to be able to distinguish between gut feeling and deep-seated prejudice, and where possible to employ rational thought based on evidence. I'd say gut feeling may work well on a personal level but should not be relied on to make decisions affecting groups. And you need to be self-reflective enough to understand what may be influencing your decisions.

There should be a separation of gut and state.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately some have a gutfull of talk radio and other toxic substances. The belief that this is traditional common sense is just more false nostalgia.

Pete Dunkelberg

J Bowers said...

"The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counter-intuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what's true." -- Carl Sagan

Don't jump off a cliff = common sense.

Russell said...

Fanboys like Hollender have Palin's Straussian handlers in a snit.

Why read The Weekly Standard when you can embrace your inner Trig?

Jeffrey Davis said...

That analysis of Palin assumes that she is sincere rather than exploitative. I think that conservatives, generally considered to be in thrall to their resentments and passions, know that they're considered to be in thrall to their resentments and passions but continue because they perceive a political advantage in playing things that way. Think of the people who broadcast to all and sundry, "We [conservatives] have more guns." That's not religion, common sense, or pattern recognition. That's simply an attempt to parlay the passions and resentments of others.

There's an enormous cynicism at play in modern conservatism. Frigging Newt Gingrich turned it [conservative political power seeking] into an industrial process. The modern conservative has more self-awareness than they're often given credit for. And they're creepier.

David B. Benson said...

Off topic, but if chemists (I'm not one) can provide insights regarding
Coastal spreading of olivine to control atmospheric CO2 concentrations: A critical analysis of viability
Suzanne J.T. Hangx & Christopher J. Spiers
International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 3 (2009) 757–767
doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2009.07.001
I'd appreciate it.

Dallas said...

Totally off topic.

Eli, you have an open mind. Consider this before snipping.

http://ourhydrogeneconomy.blogspot.com/2011/10/explaining-why-einstien-angstrom-plank.html

You even have Angstrom's work on your blog, why would he be so wrong?

dhogaza said...

Great comment on Dallas's site:

"Dude, you are whack. Hit the books."

Take it to heart, Dallas.

And remember what sagan had to say about what Galileo and Bozo the Clown had in common ...

Dallas said...

dhogaza, LOL I always do. I even moved that one up to main post, musing on dark matter. I just haven't had anyone say exactly why that Kimoto equation is totally useless. It looks like it can work within limits, its predicted warming for doubling is close to the estimates, but I have no clue if it is truly valid or for how large a change if it is.

EliRabett said...

Dave Archer explains it all (about 22:00). Olivine, magnesium iron silicate, weathers really fast compared to other silicates .

Russell said...

Really fast if you grind it really fine, but kind of like watching the grass evolve if it's in the form of great lumps of basalt.

The good news is that olivine rocks entrained in active tectonic margins get deformed, and the deformation induced dislocations accelerate the weathering mightily, so in addition to serpentinization, you can get magnesite, which is just the ticket for slowing ocean acidification . Unfortunately, such metasomatism is also mighty energy intensive

David B. Benson said...

Thanks.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Andy Lacis has precipitated (and when you read his post you'll know what I mean) a major train wreck over at Judith's. Have fun!

Dallas said...

For Eli and dhogaza,

http://ourhydrogeneconomy.blogspot.com/2011/10/why-estimates-were-off-and-why-i-am.html

Holly Stick said...

Rattus, that is pretty funny. Aww, the dupes and minions had their feelings hurt. I'm a little surprised they are self-aware enough to realize that they are the dupes and minions he mentioned. We can always hope some of them will decide to stop being dupes and minions, though it seems unlikely.

J Bowers said...

Rattus, too cruel. No warning to get a head vise, jaw sling, or put down the coffee first. I'm black, blue, sucking food through a straw, and badly scalded.

Anonymous said...

My, my but how daddy Roger Rabbit likes to misinform, distort and play games.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/pielke-sr-and-sks-warming-estimates.html

Sincerely,
Very annoyed bunny

Dallas said...

Eli, I am stuck on the radiant heat coefficient, it has the form of
{4A(T)^3+B(T)^2+C(T)}/T. Normally, you can assume the first term is most significant (or insignificant depending on the case of conductive)and consider just one order of the equation. In the atmosphere, conductive, latent (with sensible component) and radiative would be ~ linear at the surface for a small range. But you have three boxes, surface, lower atmosphere and tropopause. It can be simplified to a RCI circuit for a reasonable approximation. Regional boxes would provide better accuracy.

It has been a long time, but I did this for a psychometric formula when we got computers 25 years ago. Must have killed that brain cell.

Anonymous said...

Considering the basalt/Co2 question..

Currently, the place on Earth where this reaction would presumably be happening fastest is in at the mid-ocean ridges, where you get Black Smoker fields.

In theory you could inject concentrated Co2 here and have it naturally react; you might even find you ended up with harvestable CH4 (likelyhood: not).

Well, that's the solution in theory, now we just need a few practical details working out. I'm just an ideas rabbit.

Fluffy Bunny

Antiquated Tory said...

I have a friend here who dropped acid before brushing his teeth every morning for about 10 years. This has greatly increased his pattern recognition, as LSD stimulates the pattern recognition part of the brain. Or as he told me "You went to University and limited your imagination. I took LSD and expanded mine." He will now happily explain to all willing listeners how the Holocaust never happened, no airplanes were involved in 9/11 (it was all CGI) and how the Pyramids were constructed as giant microwave transmitters pointing to space. Unfortunately my mental horizons have been too limited by my worship of rationalism for me to appreciate his ideas.

Antiquated Tory said...

It should be said in his defense that he plays a mean game of chess, however.

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