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  Topic: Luskin angry with Wikipedia, How dare Wikipedia tell the truth!< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Arden Chatfield

Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 09 2007,20:07   

Quote (k.e @ May 09 2007,19:57)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 10 2007,02:13)
Quote (Jason Spaceman @ May 09 2007,15:23)
Discovery Institute, an organization that promotes the field of intelligent design (ID), has posted a series of comments on its website accusing Wikipedia moderators of being unfairly biased against their view.

This seems apropos.

Factual relativists?

That's just a political term used by the liberal press which we know has a reality bias, I prefer.

"Social and Legal Onanistic Reality Constructivists" SLORC


For example:

Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 04:59:23 PM PDT

Chris Mooney, the author of Republican War on Science , wrote a rather prescient article about what would befall his hometown of New Orleans if it was hit by a Category 5 hurricane. Regular readers of Mooney's blog have witnessed an increasingly desperate tone as the hurricane approached his hometown, wondering why no one heeded the warnings. Now, the hotel lobbies of Houston where I live are filled with (I never thought I'd say this about Americans) refugees who made it out before the storm. Restive people are being turned away at the Astrodome parking lot as they come looking for food and a roof over their head.  It only hints at the chaos that must be happening one state over. Yet, that chaos is familiar.
memekiller's diary :: ::
Reinforcements of the National Guard were not sent in to quickly establish law and order, leaving the city to devolve into looting, death and violence directed at the people sent there to help them. Those with the responsibility for security claim "no one could have foreseen" what has been written about extensively not just by Mooney but in Times-Picayune as well as broadcast on NOW and CNN.  In the hands of Bush's brand of humanitarianism, even an American city can start looking a lot like Baghdad.
In an article I wrote for Skeptic magazine, I made the case what led the administration to subvert scientific reports on global warming or post false links between abortion and breast cancer on government web sites was the same thing that led it to twist pre-war intelligence and push bogus links between Hussein and Al Qaeda. "The Universe is the one foe more steadfast than he is," I warned.  "It cannot be bullied or intimidated. The laws of physics know no compromise. This is a game of chicken Bush will lose. If he doesn't take his foot off the accelerator, then the only question is: how will we recover from the crash?"

At the time, the crash would come in Iraq, but it has also come in New Orleans, and will come again in any number of illnesses that will rise in the years to come from our fudging of reports on mercury, or our refusal to test for Mad Cow. Time and time again, the reality-based community has had to sit in the passenger seat as our country drove into a ditch we saw coming from miles away. With Mooney's book, fittingly released as the hurricane hit, we are finally starting to form a picture about why everything the President touches turns to shit: his utter disdain for reality.

This is a difficult concept for even Bush's harshest critics to get their head around, but there it is. It is not so much that this administration distorts facts, or allows its biases to cherry-pick the facts that suit them, as it is that facts don't play any role in their thinking at all. As Thomas Murray is quoted saying in Mooney's book, "It's the first postmodern science administration we've ever known.  They don't seem to understand science, quite frankly--or if they do, they really seem to not care.  They just want to use it for political purposes."

So, the conservatives have begun practicing their own form of postmodernism, a kind of factual relativism that believes every group is entitled to their own facts.

Former Bush administration official J. Dilulio left the White House, complaining of a similar lack of concern for policy.  It's why an administration who boasts of preparing America for terrorist attacks can be seen as so flat-footed in the very real disaster unfolding in Louisiana. Policy, like science, or facts, or intelligence, have consequences only in the real world, and therefore have no place in Bush's universe. Things of substance only have meaning in the sense that they can achieve certain political ends.

What we are witnessing is a grand political experiment in which cynicism is practiced in its purest form. Truth is defined as what Bush says. Facts are defined as that which backs up Bush's policy. Policy is that which furthers Bush's agenda. The agenda is to consolidate power.

In this grand experiment, we are starting to see the cracks in Machiavelli, where employing any means necessary do not always necessarily meet their ends.  Doing only what makes us popular will eventually make us unpopular.  Pursuing power for power's sake will eventually lead to our downfall.  Good politics is bad politics if it is not rooted in real world policy.

As Ron Suskind famously quoted one "senior advisor" to the President: "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality." No, we don't.  What Mooney's book shows quite clearly is that empires create their own fantasies. They practice a form of political masturbation, where they stroke themselves, alone in the darkness, pretending to be loved.

Though officially concerned with stem cells and sex education, Mooney's book has much greater implications.  It gets to the heart of what is responsible for every misstep, every blunder, every inexplicable decision this administration has ever made.  It gives us an important lesson: reality doesn't bend to anyone's agenda.  So our agendas better start bending to reality, or New Orleans won't be the only casualty of this empire's arrogance.

"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  8 replies since May 09 2007,15:23 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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